Love Self

A Life of Excellence, part 9

Photo by Zetong Li on

When you wake up in the morning, what is your first thought? I hope it’s not, “Oh no, I’m awake.” It is sad to think that many people wake up and feel this way all the time. Some days it feels this way, but we could agree that it shouldn’t be a daily occurrence. If it is, then it’s time to make some changes in your life. After we reach adulthood, most of the decisions we make fall on us from that point forward.

When you look at any other living organism, its purpose is not always clear to us. If a tree went to sleep at night, when it awoke in the morning, it would still be planted in the same spot as the night before. No shock there, right? No matter how ambitious it got, it would still be right there in the same spot. By our measure of standards, we’d look at it and say it isn’t going anywhere. But we would be wrong. Trees may not be able to leave the environment they were planted in, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going anywhere because they rise upward in whatever capacity they can.

If you walk into a river and suddenly get upset that the water only flows in one direction, people might think strangely of you. If you started yelling at the sun for coming up in the east and not the west, people would think something was wrong with you. There are certain things we’ve come to expect from what we see around us. Have they always been this way? I can’t say for sure but I’m pretty certain based on what we know so far. I’d venture to say most things, like the tree, have a purpose. It doesn’t take us recognizing its purpose for it to fulfill it. Lifeforms live out their purpose every day, with or without our knowledge or approval of them doing so.

Humans, though, are different than any other creation. We were given minds with free will. This means we have the power of choice, which can be exercised in a split second. We don’t have to live programmed the way other lifeforms live. If you wish to stay up north in the winter and play in the snow, you have the choice to do so. You are not biologically programmed in the same way an animal is. When you leave your house every day, there could be an obstacle that trips you up every time. Let’s say it was a cheap doormat that had the edge folded up. Every stinking day, on your way out, it trips you up. It caused you many times to spill coffee on yourself, drop your keys, slip, and trip. If you continue to live with this faulty doormat, you’d be living just like an animal, thinking that’s the way things are. But you aren’t just an animal, are you? You are a human being, gifted with intellect and reasoning.

You could philosophize about why people put doormats in front of their doors in the first place. You could debate with whomever it was that put it there. You could theorize a possible solution to weigh down the corner that causes you to trip. Or, rather than continue to put up with the blasted thing, you could declare that enough was enough. You could roll up the doormat and throw it in the trash. How you choose to deal with your obstacles is a choice that you alone have to make. If you decide to wait on others to come fix your problem with the doormat, it may never happen!

Find something that is worthwhile and good, that you can conquer. When we are challenged, it awakens something within us that likes to be stirred. It’s one of the reasons we like competition with others so much. It’s why many of us seek to outperform our previous best efforts. We enjoy growth, movement, and the rise to a good challenge. Stop waiting for the world to solve your problems and start solving them yourself. If you want to live a life of excellence, it means you have to take charge of your life!

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