Ever notice how some people seem incredibly adept at making the most of life, regardless of their circumstance?
You know the people I’m talking about. They’re the ones you expect to be bitter and hardened because of their cringe-worthy family of origin stories, and instead they’re strong and vulnerable. In the same category stand those who seem to regularly pull the short straw in life’s lottery, personal and professional, and yet they’re resolutely positive and resilient. Finally, literally, they are joined by those who face the end of their lives with such grace and humour that you leave hospice feeling better about life itself.
Most amazingly, they extend this meaning-building project beyond themselves, influencing their social circles and broader communities.
I’m curious about how they do it. What patterns of thought, which hard decisions, what concrete experiences bring them to a point where they are comfortable in their own skin, giving towards others, and wired for growth?
It’s as if they’ve embodied the words of Fritz Williams:
I believe in cultivating opposite, but complementary views of life, and I believe in meeting life’s challenges with contradictory strategies. I believe in reckoning with the ultimate meaninglessness of our existence, even as we fall in love with the miracle of being alive. I believe in working passionately to make our lives count while never losing sight of our insignificance. I believe in caring deeply and being beyond caring. It is by encompassing these opposites, by being involved and vulnerable, but simultaneously transcendent and detached, that our lives are graced by resilience and joy.
Somehow they’ve gained the wisdom to consistently know in which direction to lean at any given moment, coupled with the discipline to actually follow through. But how? And why is it so difficult for the rest of us?
In hopes of addressing (rather than answering) these questions, I’m opening my pursuit to as broad a community as possible. Along with personal ramblings, I’ll share the best of what comes across my plate: wisdom stories, creative clips, insightful articles. More than this, I’m delighted to share the contributions of some very interesting minds on this key question of our existence – how do we seize a meaningful life?
Thanks for taking a look. For this collective pursuit, the more the merrier.