How do we enjoy life and get the best out of it?
My mind goes back to a few years ago, when as a trainee engineer in one of the top oil servicing firms in Nigeria I was asking the same question. I jotted down some thoughts/reasonings then in my notes. Let me share with you my thoughts then. They are still valid even now. I have titled it “The 5 Philosophies of Life”
Life is Short – Invest It
When you learn to take life by each passing day, each passing hour, each passing minute and second, you will realize indeed how short life is. Yes it is. We are not eternal. Only God is. No matter our vision and plan, we have a time frame to make it happen. Even in societies with advanced health and medical care, life still has a limit. No wonder a wise man once cried out “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of understanding”.
Since life is so short, there is only one thing meaningful to do with it – invest it. It’s possible to waste it. Many people do. They wake up one day to discover that they are already 70 years old and close to their grave without anything to show for it. They’ve squandered their lives on drug addiction, smoking, too much TV or social media, too much sleep and other distractions. Some other people just spend life. They just go through life as it comes. Those are the type of people that ask the day where it has gone. To get the best of life, do not waste time. Do not just spend it. Invest it. Invest it in things that will outlive you.
Life Is Small – Be Kind
It’s a small world afterall. I have established several times on this blog that you are about 3-5people away from everyone on the planet. It is amazing and almost unbelievable how close you are to everyone on the face of the earth. Pay close attention to the people you meet today, do business with today, live with and lord over today. You will most likely still meet again. Please, be kind to them. You can never tell where else you’ll meet. It may not even be them. It may be with their families and friends and you’ll be amazed how much small favours you’ve done for them can open giant doors for you. It’s a small world and I recommend that you should be kind…to all.
Life Is (or Could Be)Complex – Be Wise
We live in a time where someone has described as the era of 3 C’s – Accelerated Change, Overwhelming Complexities and Intense Competition. Life can indeed be complex. You need wisdom to deal with the complexities of life.
When you want to be successful in every area of your life (and I assume you want to), you’ve got to be wise. It’s not the default. The default is that you succeed in an aspect of life and fail in the other aspects. How many successful business men have a successful home? Quite a few. Most traded their families' success for their business success. I know a lot of people who are successful in business but failing in their health. Really, it could be complex handling all these areas together – career, relationships, spirituality and health. You need wisdom.
Do you know how to get this wisdom? I know how. It will take another write up to tell you how but let me give you a tip. Wisdom is not a “thing”, it is a person! Yes. I will prove it sometime soon. Stay connected.
Life Is In Phases – Be Sensitive
This is one part that people do not really comprehend. They are more comfortable with the status quo and just want to remain in their comfort zone. Unfortunately, that’s not how life works. Life is in Phases. There is a time for everything.
Look at it closely. Your childhood was a phase of life. You were largely dependent, weren’t you? You enjoyed things being done for you. Then comes the teenage phase where you crave for independence. It’s another phase of life completely, with new lessons and challenges. Getting married and settling down with your own family is yet another phase with its own challenges. Moving from phase to phase successfully requires sensitivity. You need to be sensitive to the changes going on in you and around you and make the necessary adjustments.
If you are using yesterday’s ideas to do business today, you will surely not be in business tomorrow. Be sensitive to things going on around you. Life is in phases and men are in sizes. Identify the particular phase you are in and be careful and conscious about living it.
Life Is Interesting – Enjoy It!
I had a challenging time growing up. Because of my 'humble' background, I learnt to save a lot and delay gratifications. I grew up with this 'scarcity' mentality and even when I started doing pretty well, I still saved quite a lot. I wasn’t even buying things for myself. I was only preparing for the future. One day, as I was reading a book, a powerful truth dawned on me when I read a quote “many people prepare so hard for tomorrow’s rain that they forget to enjoy today’s sunshine”. That described me in its totality - I was lacking the balance to also enjoy life.
Listen to me folks. Life is interesting. Don’t be too hard or tough on yourself all the time. Enjoy every moment. Celebrate little successes. Take yourself out to lunch. Take that vacation out of the country that you’ve dreamt of. Reward yourself. Pay yourself. Celebrate yourself. I remember once after having a great speaking engagement, I did a celebration for my mouth! Yes, I did. I told myself “you’ve got to celebrate this mouth. It has brought you this far and it will take you to where you are going!” Stay balanced and Enjoy life!
When people ask me how I am doing, one way I answer is to say “I am enjoying where I am preparatory to where I am going”. Will you join me in saying and meaning this confession?