Friday, October 29, 2010

Living a Bigger Life

One of my greatest fears in life is the fear of living a small life. For the past few years I’ve been trying to figure out what kinds of thoughts, habits, ideas and practices lead to living a small life compared to the thoughts, habits, ideas and practices that would actually lead to a big life.I spend a great deal of time thinking about this, reading about this, and observing the habits of those whom I think are living big lives.

Here are a couple of things that I have observed and learned about what makes for a big life…

1. Be generous with your money
People who live big lives are generous. They are generous with their time, their energy and their money. We live in a time when money is everything. It is rare these days to find people who are willing to part with their precious dough. It’s interesting though at how fascinated and inspired we are when we hear stories of people who are willing to give away their hard earned money. People who are able to give away the most precious commodity known to man are people who are not owned by money, but instead own it and make it serve them.

2. Regularly do things that aren’t for your own benefit
Most people live their lives completely for themselves. It is a rare thing for people to get outside of themselves and do things for others that will in no way, shape or form benefit them. Sadly, when we live only for ourselves, it leads to a very small life. Conversely, when we begin to regularly serve people and do things that aren’t for our own benefit - our lives become increasingly bigger.

3. Have ambition
People who live bigger lives want something. They have dreams. They have goals. Of course, these dreams and goals usually don’t revolve around themselves. If one’s dream or ambition is to get that car they’ve always wanted or to get that bigger home, well, let’s face it….that makes for a small life. Our goals for the end of our year can’t simply be all about having a better body, better health and reading ‘x’ amount of books. There is nothing wrong with these goals, but there has to be more. Our big life dreams and ambitions must be outside of ourselves and for the sake of others.

4. Be You
Many times, we don’t even realize that we are each created uniquely and the most amazing thing that we have to offer humanity and our planet is our self. People who take time to figure out who they are, what they love and what they have to offer have the potential to live some of the biggest lives. Figure out who you are and be that person (unless that person is not generous with their money, rarely does things that benefits others and has no ambition. If that’s the case, then figure out who you are and don’t be that person. Instead, work on becoming the kind of person that lives a big life.)

5. Learn to love
People who live big, love big. Learn what it really is to love people. Learn to love life. Learn to love moments and to love seasons. Don’t be a complainer or a pessimist. See the good in people. Don’t look for problems, but instead look for opportunities in how to live and love bigger.

What about you? What do you think makes for a bigger life?

What kinds of things have the potential to keep one stuck living a small life?