When it comes to living life we look toward the people that you feel live it to the fullest as your example. You know the ones who follow the Polish? “Dance like no one is staring, Sing like no one is laughing, love like you’ve never been battered, and live each day as if you are about to asphyxiate.”
These people who live life to the fullest are living without fear. Fear is the biggest enemy, which isn’t news. If we aren’t living life to the fullest, we are probably afraid of something. Most of the time it is easy to pinpoint – we are afraid of happiness or success – we shoot ourselves in the foot because we really couldn’t imagine ourselves in those positions and then we complain. The rest of the time it is more complicated. Afraid of being alone, afraid of being with someone, afraid of NO drama, afraid of no purpose, afraid of ugliness, afraid of judgment…
Living life to the fullest is not so easily defined. A full life is individually defined. Fulfillment isn’t simply getting as many thrills in the minutes you have this time around. For some, it is about soaking in the moment, for some it’s about expanding their horizons, for some it’s about learning and teaching, for some it is about making and spending, and for some it’s about exploring the big moments.
In order to get people to live life and not be afraid – the western world tries this: You only live once, live it up, pal.
Let’s fight fear with fear. We are afraid of not succeeding. We are afraid that this is our last moment on Earth. Believe it or not, most people are going to chose their insecurity fear over fear of death. This doesn’t work! The ‘you could die tomorrow,’ doesn’t work because unless we are aware of something that might actually kill us tomorrow, we will live expecting tomorrow.
Then there are the Buddhists. You don’t live just once. You do this a bunch of times until you can get it right. In the mean time, go learn. Learn what? And is learning really the way to live life? What about just tanning in Tahiti?!
Well let’s take the “being judged” fear – Imagine yourself in the future. You are elderly, in a hospital gown, alone for a moment, sitting on the edge of the hospital bed. You think to yourself, “I wish I was never judged by that musical director at that Les Miserables audition when I was 24.” Ummmm – no, you wouldn’t be thinking that.
Go audition, go dance, go sing, go perform. Live.