The Well-Lived Life

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Do you have what it takes to truly be the person you can, and want, to be? Everyday I am faced with people who have decided to be less than everything they could be. They have decided that short cuts, scams and outright crimes are the easiest ways to accomplish what few goals they have. In some cases, they lack any goals at all beyond servicing greed or a bad habit that must be fed. They have given up any chance at a better life and settled for one filled only with empty rewards. Rewards that will leave them feeling empty, no matter how attractive they might seem. You can’t achieve your own, best, life by constantly chasing the easy answers down one dead end after another. It will always remain beyond your reach, even if it is still within your sight. It will taunt you with its closeness but always be beyond your grasp.

What does this poorly led life look like? You probably see examples of it every day — People and businesses who would rather scam people into signing up for a service they neither want, nor need, instead of building a product that people actually want to purchase – people who write articles and create videos that only seek to tear people down instead of building them up – people taking advantage of loopholes, shortcuts and unknowledgeable people to line their pocketbooks.

While it may seem like people get away with their transgressions, I think they reap another, more costly, reward. They live a half-life, a simulacrum, instead of the life they should be living. They spend their lives worrying – waiting for it all to come tumbling down around their ears.

I am not just talking about career criminals here. I am sure we all have neighbors, acquaintances, and perhaps even friends and family members who suffer from this to varying degrees. In some ways, we have all looked for the easy answer the easy score, the easy fortune. Hopefully, you, like myself, have found that you could not bear the half-life, the feelings of despair that it caused. I hope that you have found that even with all the typical struggles of our lives, there was still a correct and proper way to live them.

This isn’t about religion, either. Religious tenets, at their best, only seek to reinforce what we already know to be true. They are reminders, guidelines and rubrics for behavior that are but an outward display of inward, and inborn, desires to live a good life.

Even in the darkest despair, the worst ghettos, on the sidewalks of your city’s Skid Row, you will find those that still try to live the best life they can under the circumstances they are given. In fact, wealh in some ways, makes it easier for us to go astray, shows us more fruitless dead ends to travel down. Life is most likely to take a turn for the worse exactly when we feel it is going well. Immersed in our success, we take our eye off what truly matters. We allow ourselves to be distracted or apathetic until we suddenly find ourselves at a dead end of our own making.

Why are you struggling right now? Is it circumstance, bad luck, a bad economy or have you made decisions you regret? Are you at a dead end in your life and career? If so, turn around right now and head back the way you came. You will find the path again and find a second chance. A chance to take another path that will lead you on to the good life and away from despair and stagnation.. Your perfect life is out there. Your job is to seek it out at every turn. Even if you never reach perfection – few of us do – the journey alone will accomplish more than all those that take shortcuts to a dead end, again and again.

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