Where do you find yourself in life today? Are you fully participating in what’s going on around you, excited about what the day could bring? Are you emotionally invested or are you just going through the motions—detached, distracted, on automatic pilot?
To live life to the fullest—to be successful in your career, in your relationships, reach whatever goals you set for yourself—you must show up, be present and you must be engaged. Being engaged means you are in it for the long term, not just the short term, much like when you become engaged to be married.
Most of us want to fulfill our dreams, yet we live on the fringes, just barely doing what it takes to get by, in nearly every aspect of our lives. It will be nearly impossible to fulfill our dreams if we don’t commit to our vision of our lives. That can be the vision we have for our future, our relationship with others, or our relationship with God.
Being engaged absolutely means showing up for your life. Being engaged means giving your all, as much say you can. In short, being engaged means showing up and being committed.
It is difficult to be fully engaged, fully committed in a world full of distractions. There is the phone, the TV, the movies, and a myriad of other activities that pull our attention away from our goals, away from what means the most.
To be engaged you must:
• Be present in the here and now. If not, life has a way of passing on and you won’t realize the passage of time because tomorrow never comes or yesterday is taking up all your “space.”
• Be aware. do not dull your senses with drugs or alcohol or some other addiction.
• Show up in the moment. Listen to who’s speaking to you, don’t let your mind wander to what you will say next or worse, your next activity.
• Show up spiritually. You must know God. You can’t uncover why you are nor will you be able to weather life’s challenges without a belief in something outside yourself. Spirituality will be your anchor. Be present and in prayer and meditation.
• Show up emotionally. Failing to acknowledge your emotions will stunt you.
• Discard envy for the life someone else is living. This is your book and you are the author, not your friend, not the movie star nor the rapper.
Somewhere there’s a score being kept, so you have an obligation to live life as well as you can, be as engaged as you can.
— Bill Murray, Actor
Are there things you can do to be engaged, to show up in your life? The following is a list that can be used in nearly every aspect of your life:
• Practice being present. Tune in and listen. Be aware of your surroundings regardless of whether you are in nature, in a classroom, or in an office.
• Practice stillness. Pray or meditate regularly.
• Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep dulls the senses, making it difficult for you to be engaged and committed.
• Eat properly so that you stay healthy.
• Exercise regularly. Again, you must be healthy to be engaged in your life.
• Be grateful. Expressing gratitude keeps you humble and grounded.
• Be positive. If you see the positive in life, you are less likely to want to engage in activities that distort your perceptions.
• Know yourself – the good, the bad and the ugly.
• Have a purpose and a vision. Without purpose and vision, you are directionless. It’s very difficult to show up and be committed if you have no real destination. Proverbs 14.8 says, “The prudent understand where they are going but fools deceive themselves.”
The bottom line is this: don’t coast through life expecting that something will happen along the way. Things will happen, but they may not be what you want to happen. You have to make things happen and to make things happen you must show up and be engaged. When you only get one shot at something, one chance, you do what it takes to make it happen. That, my friends, is life.
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or suggestion if you have thoughts about being engaged and showing up for life.
If you are at a crossroads, uncertain of what you want from life, it always helps to talk to someone you can trust. I can help you. Don’t hesitate to contact me.
Photo: Getty Images