By David Favor
I have been given opportunities in life for over 75 years. After 75, I stopped counting but kept on learning. What I have learned is that there are no absolutes and no guarantees in life. I have been through self-mastery training and learned that I have more control over my life than I first thought. I learned that my emotions, bias, and experiences would determine how I feel and act. That suggests I can monitor and change the way I react to circumstances. If I can do it, so can you.
I learned that while I may have more control than I thought, I am not in full control. I have had my surprises in life with health, relationships, and business. I learned through six years in the Navy, 32 years in corporate America, several major surgeries (heart bypass, prostate cancer, and joint replacements), a diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy, and two primary long-term relationships. All these added to my bucket of experiences and changed the way I react to life. How big is your experience bucket?
One day out on my deck I was thinking about all this, getting ready to have a pretty good pity party. You may know about these parties. That is where I say life is not fair, woe is me, and other crazy thoughts. Today was going to be different. It occurred to me what a total waste of time a pity party would be. If I was in control of how I interpreted events and that interpretation controlled how I feel, then why not choose to be happy? I could even take it a step further and suggest, why not be joyful? Then a negative thought crept in: is this reality? A job, a business, our health, or a relationship can be given and taken away at any time. Crap; talk about negative vibes. But I don’t have time to waste with negative thinking.
When we are at the end of our lives we will determine if our life was well lived. OK, so the people around me may judge my life, but that is their burden. Getting back to my plans for today, I had better get busy and start adding some positive experiences before that day comes. I think that we all choose to stop or continue, believe or blame, have faith or be afraid. We need to take the chances we are given in life. I now have a new day ready to start. The pity party has been canceled. Let the joy commence.
Many years ago, when I was in the Navy on board a destroyer, I had a friend that had this crazy theory. When we had the chance to go ashore, he would ask every young lady he met if she would go out with him. He got a lot of slaps, but every night he went home with a girl on his arm. The rest of us just went home bummed out. Perhaps not the best example of virtue, but the theory works. So go ahead and live your life and get rid of the “what ifs,” the fears, the worries, the judgments, the second-guessing, and know that you might as well take a chance and live your life the way you truly want to live it, knowing that life can be short, so don’t waste a lot of time.
Now it is up to me how this day will roll out. Do I have what it takes to ask for what I want, express what I truly feel or risk taking a chance? Well, I am thinking here I am staring at old age (not there yet), with more than a few health issues, and feeling pretty good. What the heck, may as well take that chance. This should be an exciting day.
Did you find some neat ideas in this blog? What are the exciting ideas you came up with, and how are you implementing them? Let me know by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.