What does it mean to actively participate in your own life as opposed to simply participate? Participation is simple and it is often reactive. You wake up, get ready for work, and send the kids off to school, go to work, come home, feed the kids, get everyone settled in for the night, and then go to bed only to start the process all over again in the morning. This is a lot of work and is surely participation in your life but is it “active” participation? No – this is reactive participation.
Reactive participation means that you are following the decisions and choices of others. Maybe you are just doing whatever was expected of you without considering other alternatives that you may have preferred. Reactive participation is participating in a manner that allows someone else to make your choices. Reactive participation is living in a manner in which you have surrendered your power.
Active participation in your life is mindful participation. It is taking the navigational role in your life. It is determining how you want to live and making it happen. It is taking responsibility for the life you have – even the not so great aspects of it. It is recognizing that you are living the life of your choice – even if you don’t decide you realize that not deciding for yourself is also making a choice. It is engaging with the world around you, with the people around you. Active participation is making a difference in the world. Active participation is taking full responsibility for yourself and your impact on the world around you every day.
The concept of active participation in your life is not simple and is not for the weak of heart. To become an active participant you must really look at your life in an objective manner and be brutally honest with yourself. Ouch! This might sting a little but the end result is so very worth it. You must take the time to work on yourself, to face your weaknesses, and embrace your strengths. We all have weaknesses – every single one of us. None of us is without imperfection; that is why we are so damn interesting! Once you truly know yourself, imperfections and all, think about what it is that truly brings you joy. Identify the different aspects of your life you want to change by either improving or abandoning altogether.
Decide what it is going to take for you to achieve a peacefully calm and happy life. Then set goals to help you achieve those things that will create your dream life. Next, create plans to follow in order to achieve your goals. Do something, anything, every single day that supports your goals. Even if you only have a few minutes to think about what you want and how you are going to achieve it – spend the time. Make the investment in yourself. Get help if you need it – let me help. Actively participate in achieving the life of your dreams.
I urge you to choose active participation. I insist you choose active participation. The world needs your unique talents and your unique perspective. Please don’t traipse through your life just doing what is expected of you just because it was expected. Think about it – who are you and what is your place in this world? What do you want? You don’t have to know the answers to any of these questions yet, but think about it. You need these answers to be your best. You don’t need to know these answers to create your calm but you do need to be thinking about it. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t spend your future regretting what you didn’t do in the past. It is often said that elderly people rarely regret what they have done but often regret what they did not do. Don’t let this be you. Actively participate in your life. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish.
What changes would you like to make in your life? How are you going to make those changes?