Good morning. If we forgot when we woke up, we can take a moment now to remind ourselves that we will actively intend to have a good day, and a good weekend.
Part of what makes time feel good is a sense of accomplishment. And that requires at first an intention, then some back and forth between planning and testing the execution. And then we finish with the achievement.
In this case we want to achieve the good use of our lifetimes. To that end we must be reminded that they are limited events. The films of our lives only have so many frames. When we sense how limited our opportunity for life is, we can suddenly become much more invested in spending it wisely:
Let’s take a few minutes on this one just to think some things through carefully. Let’s all think back to who we were 10 years ago. Let’s really seriously think about what our concerns were at that time, as the person we thought we were then.
What were our external objectives? What internal feelings were we seeking with those objectives? And note that since then, many of our wants have been happily abandoned without being achieved. And note that in the meantime, we found ways to satisfy ourselves that were unknown to us 10 years ago.
This suggests that our ‘failures’ today are often equally meaningless, and that we will stumble into happiness as often as we attain it through effort. This can be quite a relaxing realization.
Our lives are not created by what we achieve as much as they are formed by how we achieve. Life is not found in winning, that event happens in a moment in time. Our lives are formed by our efforts to achieve, whether we achieve or not.
Only one Olympic athlete in each sport will win Gold. While the others may have failed to achieve what they wanted, their lives will nevertheless benefit from the lessons learned in pursuing it. But only if they actively appreciate that fact. They could also choose to live a life filled with thoughts of disappointment. That choice is where the quality of our life is found.
Do not defer today’s appreciation for tomorrow’s want. Achieving the want may or may not provide some reward. But the act of appreciation is always a reward unto itself.
For a G20 nation with a life expectancy of 80 years, a life includes 29,200 days, or 700,800 hours, or 42,048,000 minutes of life. Think of them like frames of film. Let’s start by figuring out how many we have already shot/lived, and how many we have left to fill. Actually look at the two numbers side by side.
Let’s scare ourselves into realizing how few frames are left, and how precious each day is. Then let’s ask if we’d like the remaining days to be better or worse than the ones we’ve already lived?
For most people the answer is they want as good a life as possible. So the question becomes, why would we achieve a higher percentage of positive frames in our future, without doing so intentionally?
This indicates that we must try to intentionally focus on more positive or rewarding moments to commit to film. And we are always shooting film, even in this moment. So it is time to become more conscious about what we are ‘filming’ because these moments add up to our lifetime.
We know how much time we have left. Now let’s listen to this song. Even if we’ve done it before, let’s do it again. If we don’t have the patience that says something important.
Let’s really read the lyrics and really listen to each note. This song makes a lot of people cry. And after that, it tends to motivate us. It does that by reminding us that we have already wasted too much lifetime. Which means it is time to get serious about spending our lives in truly rewarding ways.
Let’s convert our fears about wasting our lives into a jolt of energy. We want to electrify the idea that we can and we will begin to make better choices about what ideas we will entertain.
We process our lives through our minds. So let’s stop focusing on what’s outside of us, because we have no control over that. Instead, let’s pay attention to our acts of processing, which we do control.
The great thing is, if we learn to process life really well, then we can turn almost any life into a valued experience. After all, a good life rarely happens by accident. To the contrary, they generally only happen because we actively intend them to be that way.
So let’s seriously listen to the song. Because if we don’t even have the patience to listen to this as a valid meditation, then we must accept that we are more currently more interested in our busy current thinking than we are in ensuring our futures are better than our pasts.
Life is processed by us. But too often we invest all our energies on trying to change our lives and ourselves when what we really need to do is process how we view both. You are better than you think you are. It is time to accept that fact and to decide how to invest that good life and the good person you are. We are not nouns. We are verbs.
P.S. Some of you are finding the clear instruction in these meditations to be comforting. Others have requested posts that are less meditative and more focused on general positivity –more like posts to cheerlead good feelings for a day. If you have feelings about which route I take, please do write and let your feelings be known. I may make adjustments as early as next week. Thank you.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.