Over the summer, my brother and I (and our better halves) threw a surprise 60th birthday party for my Mom and we flew our grandmother (Nanny) in from Texas. She was flying in from Dallas and I was on my way back from a business trip in Austin, so I had the privilege of meeting up with her in Atlanta and helping her get to Burlington, Vermont. We had a bit of a layover and some time on the plane, so I asked her… What is life?
I love asking that question to people who have much more wisdom and experience than I do. I mean, really, what is the meaning of life, what is the purpose of life… what is life? You may ask yourself that question from time to time (probably when you are going through something tough), but we really should be asking that question every day and then actually listening to the answer.
Which is exactly what I did with Nanny. When I asked her, “What is life?,” she paused for a while and responded with one word – family. But she then went on to explain: Life goes by in a flash, so enjoy all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because that is life. Never settle. Be grateful for what you have in the moment and the best part is that happiness can be found in any experience, it’s just our job to find it.
I think she was spot on.
Have you ever gotten a killer deal online for a $99 week-long vacation on a beautiful beach and the photos made it seem like it was the deal of the century and too good to be true? Turns out, it was. The place was a dump. But you had the best time ever anyway. Has that ever happened for you (see what I did there? It happened FOR you, not TO you). And why did you have the best time? Because you were surrounded with the right people – laughter, engaging conversations, adventure – those can happen anywhere, anytime. On the flip side, you can have everything money can buy in life and still be miserable because you are in relationship with the wrong people or missing a relationship with the right person.
Life is a journey, an experience, an experiment.
We all get so caught up in the BS of life that we forget to actually enjoy it and just live! There are moments of joy when life turns out exactly the way you wanted it to, but why can’t we enjoy it when it doesn’t? Most people are still trying to GET something from life instead of realizing that life is something we experience. And it’s the relationships that are the key – which is why Nanny first said FAMILY when I posed the question. Now, that doesn’t always mean that family or relationships are going to be prefect. Relationships will come and go, which is why the second component of experiencing it all (and not placing any judgement on it) is so critical. Embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly – just like Nanny said. Don’t let life pass you by without embracing every moment.
Life moves pretty fast.
If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile,
you could miss it.
– Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
So, what is life to me? Life is an experience that we witness to help shape us for our next celestial journey.
And let me just leave you with this. My man, Tony Robbins, always says that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of questions that you ask. So make sure you are planting incredible questions into your own mind every day and asking great questions to those in your world.
What is life for you? Take it even deeper. Ask yourself, “If I died today, would I be happy with all that I gave and with the legacy I am leaving behind?” If the answer is no, change your life today.