The Art of Living Deliberately

A younger version of me used to dream big and also have big hopes. But this young, naive me also had a weakness – I would assume that life will somehow lead me in the direction I wanted to go.  I expected life to just happen and make me healthy, happy and important. All I needed to do was be a good person (pass my exams, have no enemies…you name it) and the rest of the good stuff would follow me. I assumed things would just work out for me – until I realized life doesn’t work that way.

Lemme share several analogies to help explain what I’ve learned about this journey to success:

  • A farmer who wants a bounty harvest must learn the ways of the farmers and do what successful farmers do
  • A person who wants to be a successful salesman, doctor or engineer must be taught the ways of engineers and do what actual engineers do
  • A person who wants to look healthy and happy must know what makes them happy, and do what needs to be done to be happy.

In the three examples above, they start off excited about being a rich farmer, successful doctor/engineer or a young, beautiful model that is adored by all. However, that’s just the beginning.

If you get a chance to enjoy a farmer’s fresh fruit or fresh meat from their farm, an honest and successful farmer will tell you that their success is a result of many seasons laden with a bittersweet experience of successes and failures. They would not only be proud of their successes but would also be aware of the many mistakes that they made and learned from – before mastering the art of becoming a successful farmer.

Similarly, a truly successful career person acknowledges that beyond the good papers that helped them to secure a good job, they have had to learn a lot from their mistakes and from others – before they could become well known, well paid and well sought out.

It’s no different with a model who has that perfect, adorable body. These ones will also tell you how much exercise and restricted dieting it takes before getting the body you admire; being admired for having the ideal body shape has a price they have to pay.

There’s always a price to pay before you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. That price also involves taking time to learn, learning from your mistakes, being committed to progress even when it’s hard to stick to discipline to make but a few. The price involves accepting it when results don’t turn out as expected and most importantly – not giving up at moments of despair.

You see, desiring to be successful doesn’t make you a successful person. It, however, inspires you to be successful. And though you might experience a few challenges here and there, life will still reward you for having dared to want something different from what you already have.

A goal that you consider worth achieving is worth enduring whatever comes your way as you pursue the goal, and a worthy goal requires you to lead your life to reach the goal. And in as much as life doesn’t always go according to you plans, intentions or hopes, every step in the right direction brings you closer to a worthy goal.

Lead your life to reach your goals; live deliberately.

If you think about it, we live one lifetime at a time, and that is an opportunity to make a mark you can be remembered for. As I grow older, one important thing am realizing is that whereas time is a very scarce resource, making proper use of time is an art – a life long art.

Human life is like passing wind; it blows once and then dies away (Psalms 78:39).

Am proud to have upgraded beyond the naive notion I used to have that life will somehow sail me in the direction I wanted to lead my life. Am still learning to live deliberately and every experience is worth it.

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