Have you ever asked yourself the question, “What does "Making the most of our lives” mean to me? It may not be surprising that either you or me have a straightaway answer to it. Could the reason be that we are used to going by what is familiar. Or could it be that we are overwhelmingly stretched by the demands of daily life that we hardly have time to sit and reflect on one of the most important issues in life. Or could it be that we let life take its own course and we simply drift alongside it. That aside, we cannot afford to ignore this question if we really want to live a satisfactory and meaningful life.
I use the word ‘make’ to mean reaching, becoming or getting as far as you can. I also use the word ‘most’ to mean best or greatest. In the context of this article, making the most of our lives may mean:
- becoming the best we can ever be in our personal life and professional life,
- reaching the pinnacle of our achievement in our personal life and professional life,
- enjoying our lives or something as much as possible,
- getting as much out of something as we possibly can.
I am persuaded that each one of us is desirous of living to his or her best, and because of this, you are most eager to transform your mind to think as one that has purposed to enjoy life to its fullest, to get as much out of what you do as you possibly can, to become the best you could ever be, and to reach the summit of your achievement. Now I share with you some principles that may be helpful to you to make the most of your life.
Naturally when you love something, you do it with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength, and all your substance; you give it all of your best.
Love generates enthusiasm and excitement in what we do; it sets our passion on fire, and this could be one of the reasons why it is hard to stop someone whose passion is set on fire from reaching his or her full potential.
One of the greatest commandment is to love your neighbour as you love yourself. You enjoy the most of your life or what you do when you are at peace with others. An environment of peace is one where people care for one another, where people support one another, where people cooperate and collaborate with one another. Love is indeed the foundation for a prosperous and united community.
Love is a virtue, the greatest of all virtues. Love gives humanity its true face and completeness. Love binds people together, love is the foundation for trust and loyalty, love sustains community and society, and it brings the best out of us. Out of love comes humility.
We demonstrate humility when we believe in others, when we give them a second chance after they try and fail, when we correct them with love in the event they make mistakes, when we let others go first, and when we instead of competing we compliment others so that we all win. Humility is a recipe for serving others, for letting go our selfish ambitions and ego, which releases the best out of us. Humility attracts trust and loyalty, it in essence creates unrelenting support from others.
Humility is the greatest power someone can exercise over himself or herself, to lead oneself. Anyone that can ably lead himself or herself is best fit to effectively lead others. Humility is the gateway to the greatest honour that can be bestowed on anyone, and a path to elevation and to reaching the pinnacle of achievement in one’s personal life and professional life. Humility is self-control at its climax; it is a cornerstone for self-discipline.
- Self Discipline
Self discipline is all about exercising self control over your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and expectations. It is the ability to choose the way you want to feel, to think; choosing the beliefs that are in congruence with your intentions and expectations. We can get the best outcome of what we set to do when we exercise impulse control and emotional control through the act of deliberately focusing on the goal, task or activity that yields the greatest results. Lack of impulse control leads to distraction, and distraction results in time wasting and boredom, which are cancerous to making the most of our lives. Self-discipline is the pathway to order.
Where there is no order there is disorganization, disagreement, imbalance, fighting, confusion, mess, upheaval, lawlessness, disruption, separation, incoherence, offence, and distress. When we closely examine these words, they imply that things are out of their proper place, and if your life or part of your life is out of its proper place, then it is hard to get as much out of it as you possibly can no matter how talented you are or intentional you are. For instance, can you achieve much in a situation characterized by wrangles, misunderstanding, quarrels, arguments, conflict? Honestly no. The word order suggests stability, calmness, peace, harmony, organization, union, systematic, fellowship; it also implies that there is direction. A lot can be achieved where there is harmony and harmony in essence talks about agreement, synchronization, congruence, coordination, and coherence.
These four principles are fundamental to someone who strongly desires to make right judgment, choice, and decision, to select and focus attention on the most important thing, to master skill or activity until he or she is an expert (authority), and ultimately to becoming precise. I explore these principles in part 2 of this article.