One of the most important decisions you can make in life is defining your “F”. You see, L.I.F.E. can stand for two things: Living In Fear of Everything or Living in Fulfillment of Everything.
Fear is like a cloud hanging over your head, causing self-doubt and holding you back from realizing your dreams. Fear of failing. Hell, sometimes even fear of succeeding. Fear you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. Fear of the unknown or of being alone. Fear of what others will think. Fear can hold you back from reaching your full potential and can often lead to regret later in life if you choose not to overcome it. Fear is like a scared dog backed into a corner. When pushed too far, they’ll either run away or attack. Often, the people we meet who try to squash our dreams, who say we are unrealistic or question our goals, are typically just scared and uncertain themselves, living in their own fear. So, they attack you for wanting to do more.
Fulfillment, on the other hand, means always working toward something, feeling the light radiating from within, setting goals and striving to realize them. Fulfillment doesn’t mean you will always be successful, but it provides the motivation confidence and determination to keep going, to try harder and reach new heights. Fulfillment is the belief that yes you can and yes you will, and you are worth it. Fulfillment is the belief that the best is still yet to come. Fulfillment means taking risks, following your own journey, living outside of your comfort zone and surrounding yourself with those who will lift you up. Fulfillment is giving yourself permission to have a dream and then going for it.
Often the biggest and best achievements actually start from a place of fear. I mean, let’s face it. Starting something new, leaving a life behind or persevering even though we failed at something is not easy. There is a that little voice we all have that says, “what if this doesn’t work?” Fulfillment then steps up to say, “But what if it does?” Sometimes fulfillment is actually fueled from fear, especially fear from others. I personally like to leverage the negative, fearful energy from others – when they say ‘you can’t do that’ I respond with “oh yeah? Watch me.” Fear can be good for fulfillment, as long as you choose not to remain in a state of fear.
It’s quite amazing when you look at the world around you, how every living except humans seems to live in fulfillment. That dog that had to have his leg amputated? With a few days he’s running with abandon on three legs. Plants and trees are also pretty remarkable. No matter how many sidewalks or other human-created barriers you put in their way, they will twist and turn and find a new place to pop-up or navigate their roots until they find water. Recently I had some invasive bamboo removed from a section of my yard. Every day now I am finding new bamboo shoots popping up several feet away, between the cracks in my sidewalk and even in the neighbor’s yard across the street. While it’s pretty annoying, the determination of this bamboo is really incredible and admirable it its own way.
In the end, the only guarantee in life is that one day it will be our last day. Each day you wake up, you get to choose how you will live your life. Will you reside to that fact that things just never go your way so why bother trying? Or, will you explore new things, learn from your experiences and face your fears head on?
How will you define the F in your life?