An individual may be breathing, moving, eating, sleeping, talking and doing things, but is he/she truly alive? Does life excite him/her? Is the person living with passion, getting enjoyment out of life and giving back?
Srikumar Rao, a professor and inspirational speaker said,’I believe that if you don't derive a deep sense of purpose from what you do, if you don't come radiantly alive several times a day, if you don't feel deeply grateful at the tremendous good fortune that has been bestowed on you, then you are wasting your life. And life is too short to waste.’ Some people find their purpose early in life, but others take much longer to discover it. Some have a paid job where they can fulfil their purpose in life and for others that fulfilment is what they do in out-of-work hours. Being a full time parent may be the purpose of life for some and can be deeply satisfying. A friend said she made being a mother her career. What gives you a ‘deep sense of purpose’?
Different things make different people ‘come radiantly alive’. It may be helping other people, caring for the environment, discovering through research, caring for animals or some form of creative or artistic pursuit. Someone may come ‘radiantly alive’ through their job, volunteering, their spiritual life, a hobby or through their home life. What makes you come ‘radiantly alive’?
Feeling gratitude for the good things in life, instead of dwelling on problems makes one feel truly alive. The ‘tremendous good fortune’ of which Srikumar Rao speaks includes the natural environment, the people (and pets) in your life, your own abilities/ strengths and the material possessions which are part of your life. Some people will express their feeling of gratitude by thanking a higher being for all they have. Some will thank their family for many of the good things and experiences they enjoy. There are those who keep a gratitude journal and those who share what they are grateful for through an online forum. Other people will just be grateful.
Thornton Wilder wrote, ‘We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.’ I interpret ‘our treasures’ as meaning much the same as ‘tremendous good fortune’. What are the ‘treasures’ or ‘tremendous good fortune’ in your life?
What a pity to waste life. As one gets older the years seem to pass more quickly. We don’t know how long our life will be so we need to really live every day, we need to be truly alive.