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Philip E. Humbert, PhD

Author - Speaker

Personal Coach

Chapter 12:
Living Well Starts NOW!

How long do you want to wait to start living "the good life"?

For myself, I don’t want to wait another day, not an hour, or even one minute longer than necessary. And yet, in some ways, aren’t most of us waiting for…something? Aren’t we all postponing the "good life"?

Most of us no longer define "living well" as acquiring status symbols, flashy toys, or anything that simple. And yet, I am struck by how many of us routinely tolerate days we don’t enjoy, and expect that in some magic, wonderful way, life will eventually get "better". Well, I have news for you – this is as good as it’s ever going to get!

You read that right. I don’t think life will ever get any better, any sweeter, any richer than it is right now, at this very moment. Take a deep breath – notice how good it is! Check the sky and notice the color. Make sure the sun, or the stars, are still properly in place. And see if you have a pulse. If all of these things are working as they should, then I’m afraid that’s the most you can hope for. This is as good as life gets.

Beyond those physical realities, everything else is in your hands.

Whether you laugh with joy, or worry, or drag yourself from one meeting to another, or snooze on the couch, or listen to the wondrous sounds of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – it’s all up to you. Do with these precious minutes what you will. But never again wish for a richer, fuller, or happier life!

Over the years, like most people, I hope to have more money, to retire, do more traveling and so forth. You probably have your own list of similar dreams. But, "living well" can not wait for those things! Living the "good life" is a choice we make every single day, and I see no reason to waste a moment!

Several months ago, I spoke with a professor who has traveled the extensively, spoken to audiences all over the world, and published her research in major journals. But, she never had time to "do what I want, for myself." I asked what held her back, and she literally stared at me for many seconds, probably half a minute. Finally, she blurted out these words, "I’ve never even thought about that!"

My entire coaching session consisted of one sentence. I told her, "I request that this weekend, you go away, take a long walk on the beach, and enjoy an ice cream cone." She later told me those minutes we spent together were "one of the three most important conversations I’ve ever had in my life."

How long will you take to begin living your own, "good life"?

As I write this, it’s a beautiful summer day outside, but I’m stuck here in this miserable office, writing, answering emails, coping with a sick dog, and being stressed with far too many things I "must" do today. It’s a lousy, terrible day!

Or, wait, perhaps today is a great day! I have a Tchaikovsky Concerto on the stereo, the dog is sleeping at my feet, and I get to think about what’s really important to me and share it with you! Many people have sent me email, and later I’ll get outside to work in the yard. How could anyone have a better "job" than this?

I think the point is obvious – The quality and experience of my day is up to me! And, the kind of day you will have is up to you.

We each get a limited number of days and years, and we do the best we can. We make our decisions, select our values, and make the most of our opportunities. And, along the way, I think we go through a marvelous sorting process, and people end up on one of two groups.

As we go through life, some of us grow wiser and more grateful. The rest, it seems to me, just grow old.

The challenge for each of us is to live to the very best of our abilities, to savor every moment and find the heart of the thing. And, at the end of our days, to be able to say, "I gave everything I had, I did my best, I have no regrets."

That, my friends, is my wish for you.

Never – NEVER – put off the opportunity to have a great life! Dance and laugh. Love with gusto, take risks, "flap your wings" and even embrace the disappointments that are bound to come your way, for they too, prove you are alive! Give thanks, and give someone else a helping hand along the way.

Of the "10 Golden Keys to Total Success", I think this is the most challenging and the most fascinating. There is no need to wait! Success lies all around us, it is here today. We are alive! We are here, and that’s as good as it gets! Living Well Starts NOW!

 

============================================

Quotes of the Week

"Choose this day how you will live. Choose this day to release all struggles. If you re-lease, you get a new lease on life. If you release, you move into real-ease. It's in the letting go that you find what you possessed all along."
                                                 –   Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey

"The way we live our days, is the way we live our lives."
                                                 –   Annie Dillard

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment to improve the world."
                                                –   Anne Frank

"Look, I really don't want to wax philosophical, but I will say that if you're alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful and lively."
                                                 –  Mel Brooks



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