Thursday, April 8, 2010

3) Life Isn’t a Fountain?

here’s an old joke about the man who’s looking for the meaning of life.  He’s obsessed and unhappy, and during his quest, he gives up his job, his wife, his family, his home and ultimately loses everything.  He hears of a wise sage, who lives high in the mountains.  He treks to this foreign land and climbs the mountain.  He endures cliffs, storms, cold, snow, thin air, and exhaustion, but finally reaches the guru’s cave.  Upon seeing the hermit, he asks, “What is the meaning of life?”  The sage responds, “Life… is a fountain.”  The man thinks for a moment and can’t understand.  He impatiently says, “I’ve given up my wife and family and job and home; I’ve lost everything and traveled around the world to climb this mountain facing storms and cold and cliffs to discover the meaning of life, and you’re telling me that life is a fountain?!”.  The guru looks at him surprised, and responds, “Life isn’t a fountain?!”

            Life is what you make of it.  Lemons can be made into lemonade; the sour made into sweet.  The unusable can be made usable; the boring can be made exciting.  You can live your life on purpose or you can live your life by accident.

            I believe a famous Harvard study from the 1950s showed that those with goals had a 100 times better chance of being successful in life than those without goals.  Those that actually wrote them down had another 100 times better chance of success - or 10,000 times!

            There’s a man who died about a decade ago, who had a list of over 100 life goals including things such as visiting every country on the earth and riding in a submarine.  When he died, over 100 of them were accomplished; he didn’t get to visit the moon, but almost every other goal was achieved.

            Have you written down your life goals?  Do you have constant reminders like lists, photos, alarms, calendars?

            You want to set a goal and then find a way to achieve it.  If you first analyze whether or not a goal is achievable, you may not pursue it.  Moreover, that’s a shame.  It’s also a shame to steal a dream; dreams are free, so dream big!  Would we have gone to the moon based on ease?

John Greenleaf Whittier said, “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: "It might have been!"

            I also recommend not being motivated by fears, but by goals.  That’s how to achieve on purpose.  Then you can congratulate yourself, bask a little and do it again - maybe even motivate or teach others!

Be motivated by goals, not fears.

Life is a Fountain; jump in!

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