Education Article:Life Is What You Make It: Or Is It?
People often come in to see me with varying ideas of what life is and isn't and with confusion about who is in charge or fheir lives and with questions about why certain things happen and others do not. I often spend considerable time trying to assist others to find answers to these thought provoking and intriguing questions. I have lived many years myself and have sought answers to these questions and have been able to find out for myself what my answers are to these provactive life questions. Early in my life, I started on my own spiritual journey which has helped me to clarify and understand the nature of the tapestry that we call life. I have realized that the experiences that I have in my life have led me to find the answers to life's soul searching questions. It is very important that we live fully and not die "with our music inside us and unplayed".
I have several observations that I would like to share about this journey called life. Early in my career, I read several books that helped me to answer these intriguing questions. These books include "Who Moved My Cheese" and "Man's Search For Meaning" and "The Shack " and "The Road Less Traveled". All of these books provided me with various viewpoints about meaning of life and the road of life. I also have viewed several dvd's and movies which include "The Five People You Meet In Heaven", "Pay It Forward" and "You Can Heal Your Life". These programs also positively influenced my perceptions, beliefs and intentions about myself, my life and my quest for self actualization and fulfillment. Everyone of us has an idea about how life should or should not be. I have learned that no other person or thing can make my life whole or perfect or fulfilled. Most people look outside of themselves for their happiness and answers when the actual truth is that true fulfillment and happiness and wholeness are within each one of us if we take the time to look for it.
The journey towards happiness, fulfillment and contentment actually starts with our being dedicated to our own search for personal truth, understanding and wholeness. First, we must become intimately acquainted with our selves and accept the person we find living inside our body. Next, it is necessary to decide what is important to us and what is not important to us. Third, we must find those experiences that help us to grow and develop our potential and our possibilities. These experiences will vary from person to person. Fourth, we must be willing to have and to also let go of the "things" that are important to us so that we are not externally controlled or having to control others to obtain what we think that we have to have in order to be who it is that we think we ought to be. It is important not to turn to self medicating tools in our environment including alcohol, drugs, people, positions or food or other mind or mood altering chemicals or substances in order to avoid our experiences or the truth that presents in our lives. So often, we become fixated on someone or something and we forget the real nature of our true existance and the true meaning of our lives. It is important to manage our stress, to eat properly, sleep properly, to relax and to have a balanced life with appropriate recreational activities to renew ourselves and our lives. It has been noted by researchers that personal spirituality is a very positive contributor to a positive life and a positive existance. It is important to have your own personal spiritual practices and to engage in these practices regularly.
One of the most powerful and positive decisions that you can make is to choose the path of positive personal change and self actualization through personal discovery and exploration. A balanced lifestyle positively contributes to positive change and growth. Regular spiritual activities also have been shown to assist people in their quest for self development and growth and actualization. Participation in programs such as 12 step programs and Mastermind programs can aid in your personal growth and development.
John Garlock, Ph.D.