making the most of your life

5 05 2006

Scott Adams (the writer of Dilbert) was asked :

Why do most people end up living mediocre, “regular” lives?

and his answer was simple yet insightful : “It’s easier.”  I think he’s right.  I figure if you asked most people, they would say they’d like to do something big with their life that would change the world, if they had the opportunity.  But the thing is, any of us can make a difference in the world.  Even if we don’t impact millions of people, we could impact hundreds if not thousands.  Even if we help just a few people, it’s worth doing.  Just imagine if everyone tried to help a few people around them… the world would be a much better place.

So why do most people not attempt to do much with their life?  (I mean of making the world a better place and helping people, not just working a lot of hours and accumulating a lot of material things.)  Are we that lazy?  Or do we feel intimidated, like we’re too small and insignificant to make a difference?  Or do we just not care about other people that much?  I imagine there’s different reasons for different people, but the question still remains : why don’t we do more with our life?  I think all of us (including myself) have a lot of untapped potential that we aren’t using.  We all have some gifts and/or talents that we can use, and even beyond that, just loving people will make a difference in their life.

I don’t know how to sum all this up in closing… because it’s an individual choice, and we each have our own unique circumstances to deal with, and we all have unique opportunities also.  I just know I’ve been thinking about doing more with my life, and I have to make some changes to do so.  Sometimes I figure that “in the future” I’ll be more like I want to be and doing more of what I should be doing, but just expecting the future to be a certain way doesn’t make it so — I have to take those steps today.  The things I do today are seeds for my future.  And here is where it comes back to the original question and answer — will I put forth the extra effort today, or will I just hope the future works itself out in a good way?  The best answer is obvious, but the best answer is also the harder path.

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