We all have approximately 27,000 days from birth to death. Are you truly LIVING those days?
How many hours/day do you spend doing what you want?
How many moments each day do you spend with the people you really want to be with? How many minutes each day are positive experiences and how many are used up to get to a positive experience?
The title of my Blog is “Spend Your Time LIVING”. But what does “LIVING” really mean?
How you define this word is so important to the quality of what we call life.
How you define "Living" is literally EVERYTHING.
It “IS” your whole life.
It will determine the quality, the quantity, they type of, the style of, and the sum of,
all experiences you have throughout your entire life.
Think about that for a minute....
Author B.J. Noble wrote: “We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences – be they positive or negative – make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives. And, like a flowing river, those same experiences, and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become.”
And the famous Maya Angelou expanded on this by saying, “You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it's all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”
I love her spin on this. That if we know we are the sum total of our experiences, then we have, to some degree, the ability to shape who we are, and who we are to become. In other words, she chose to try her best to have positive experiences, knowing this would make her a positive person and create an overall positive life experience for her and those around her.
This will be a very important piece of understanding how to Spend Your Time LIVING.
However, if we truly are the sum total of our experiences then we really need to examine these daily experiences to determine what is creating our positive LIVING and what is causing our negative living. So let’s dig into this a bit.
Webster defines “living” as the following:
1. being live, having Life, in actual existence, not dead
2. active, functioning
3. exhibiting the life or motion of nature
4. full of vigor, excitement, energy
5. burning or glowing, as a coal
6. flowing freely, as water
7. The act or condition of a person or thing that lives, a particular manner, state or status of life (it’s a living), (they are living well)
8. the means of maintaining life
9. livelihood (earning a living)
10.used with plural verb, (living persons), (to be among the living)
My definition of LIVING is comprised of only 4 of these items: 3, 4, 5, and 6. The dictionary version would go like this:
LIVING: Being in a state of constant motion, experiencing nature, approaching each moment with excitement energy, burning and glowing, flowing with the every changing tide of your circumstances. That is LIVING.
The definition of living without those ingredients I used would go something like this:
ALIVE: not dead, active, functioning, maintaining, earning a living, being among the other “living”…..
So, which one of those are you really? LIVING, or just Alive…..
It’s an important question. Possibly the most important question you could ever answer. I suggest you really examine yourself to find the truth on this one.
In reality the average American spends 20 of their 24 hours doing every number BUT 3, 4, 5, and 6. Think about it.
Our morning and evening routine, the travel to and from work, the work itself, even much of our recreation is all so planned, contrived, conceived, repetitive, thought out, carefully planned and executed to perfection, like a powerpoint presentation. Much of our lives are so mundane, that we don’t even know real “LIFE” when the opportunity to live it walks right up to us and ask’s for a chance. Most of us are not LIVING, we’re simply alive; functioning, existing and maintaining. Just among the living…
In this introduction I want to dig deeper into the difference between being LIVING and being alive, and get you to be honest with yourself about which one your doing. And if you are simply alive, maybe get you started on the path to truly LIVING your life and enjoying more moments than every before. So Let’s dig in.
Are you living or LIVING?
How do you really live? What are you doing with your 27,000 days?
This is really an entire book chapter, but we are going to cut it to its bare essence here.
For this exercise I want you to not look at your definition of yourself, but how you think I would see you if examining your life last week. Using the Dictionary definition of living and my definition of LIVING, let’s see where you fall in the spectrum by answering a few simple questions.
If I were to examine every single detail minute and hour of your schedule in the last 7 days, things like:
- morning and evening routines
- all your travel
- your time at work
- misc chores (gas, car wash, house/lawn maintenance, other times)
- misc. obligations
- all conversations, texts, emails, social media, tv, movies
- and true actual recreation
Would I say you were spending most of you time:
A. in a state of constant motion, experiencing nature, approaching each moment with excitement energy, burning and glowing, flowing with the every changing tide of your circumstances
B. not dead, functioning, maintaining, earning a livelihood among the other “living”….
Be honest and 95% of you will say B. If I, Jay Riggs, was to independently evaluate you last week, statistics show that I would determine 9 out of 10 of you were alive and not LIVING.
Ok, I’m sure you are thinking, “Well that’s just real life Jay. That’s how it is for most of us. Most people need to spend that time and energy and thought on those mundane things, just to survive, to make ends meet, to keep going, just to enjoy a few good moments”…. right?
You were thinking that, weren’t you?
Well, I am sorry to be the first of what will probably be many times I’m going to disagree with what you’ve been taught your whole life……
But Your Wrong. Yep, dead wrong.
You do not have to just be “alive” in order to do all the things necessary to be a responsible, productive, providing adult. There is a way to have your routines, drive your car, do your job, take care of your home, pay your bills, converse with your co-workers, friends and family fit in your texts, emails, calls, tv, movies and true recreation and STILL LIVE EVERY MOMENT like it was your last. You can live each of these moments full of excitement, energy, wonder, love, happiness and fulfillment and end your day satisfied and wake up the next morning excited to experience all this new day has to offer.
Sound to good to be true?
Well I’ve heard that same sentiment uttered by many a person when describing some of the best opportunities in life. I’ve even compiled a list of things people commonly think are too good to be true:
Finding a job you love to do every day
Making more money than you need
Making more money than you need at a job you love to do every day
Living without debt
Living the good life, without debt
Taking your dream vacation
Making a real difference in the world
Having only positive people in your life
Enjoying most of the moments of your life rather than only the few
Having love, happiness and joy be most of the moments of your life and stress, sadness, guilt, remorse and loss only be the minority
What about having ALL those things just mentioned..... together?
Does that sound too good to be true?
Well it’s not.
Once again I will scoff in the face of the masses and disagree with pessimism.
Why? Because I have been able to do all these things and more.
Over a period of years I have personally met, interviewed, studied and befriended many individuals who have achieved all these items, and I noticed some very distinct patterns they all had in common. It has everything to do with exactly HOW they spend their time.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so it stands to reason the only difference between a happy person and a sad person, a successful person and a struggling person, a person who is REALLY LIVING and a person who is just alive, is HOW they are spending those 24 hours.
Sure, there is a lot to it, from attitude, to self-belief, action and reaction, mental hurdles, making difficult decisions, personal discipline and more. But to simplify it, I decided to find all the similarities and put them into a single methodology and philosophy.
I call the life Philosophy “Spending your time LIVING”.
I call the methodology, or process of getting there, “Figure It Out”.
And the main ingredient is called “The Value Proposition”.
This is the secret sauce, the magic bean, the item that will open every door for you to achieve every goal you set for yourself, once all the other items are in place.
If you are currently just alive and would like to be LIVING, or if your are Living some of the time, but want to learn how to Live Every Moment, then I invite you to join me in a Journey where we will explore the mysteries of LIFE and learn how not just to pursue happiness, as our forefathers desired in 1776, but to actually acquire it, embrace it and LIVE it!
Thank you for sharing some time with me here. I invite you to come back and let me help you with this journey. The Journey of YOUR life. And to learn how to Spend Your Time LIVING.