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How to Make Life Count

Do you ever wonder why you’re here?  Do you ever wonder if you’re doing enough?  Do you ever wonder if you’re making the most out of life? In my personal belief, we were put here on earth for a very specific purpose.  I am not going to go down that path in this article, but it does spark the idea behind the content for it.  Sometimes I find myself wondering if my life really counts.  We are forced to think about the brevity of life from time to time, especially in light of the recent tragedies our nation has seen.  When we see others’ lives end seemingly far too soon, we realize that we cannot control when that day comes for us.  It could be tomorrow or it could be 70 years from now.  Regardless of when it is, we can be confident that it will happen.  And when that time comes, do you want to leave a legacy behind?  Or just a bunch of empty Fritos bags and dirty socks?

Alright, so not to get too Debbie Downer on you guys, but I really want to talk about how to make your life count.  Here are some ideas on how we can start living more intentionally today, rather than wait for that someday to come:

  1. Discover Your Purpose.
    There has to be a reason you’re here.  If ‘everything happens for a reason’, and God doesn’t make mistakes, then that means you are here on purpose.  Have you discovered what your individual purpose is for your life?  The first step to doing this is to figure out what you’re passionate about.  Maybe it’s crunching numbers or creating art or instilling knowledge in others.  Maybe it’s organization or leadership or raising a family.  You never know how a passion of yours could actually affect someone else in a positive way.  Your painting could hang next to a sick child’s bed and bring her joy every morning when she wakes up.  Your passion for leadership could gather together a group of individuals that may be wandering or lost and help them get back on the right path.  Whatever it may be, figure it out!  And do more of it. 
  2. Care For Others
    If you spend your life doing nothing but seeking to please and gratify yourself and your own desires, I promise you that you will die an empty, unfulfilled individual.  On the contrary, many people do not find themselves until they put others before them.  Serving and caring for others is one of the most gratifying things you can do while you’re here on this earth.  This doesn’t have to be done in a drastic way such as selling all of your belongings and moving to the slums of Africa to feed the poor.  Although that may be your calling, you can serve others in your day to day life.  Instead of worrying so much about getting ahead or being first, let others go before you.  For example, hold the door open for someone, pay for someone’s coffee at Starbucks, let a car get ahead of you, let your spouse have the last slice of pizza, and so forth.  In lamens terms: be kind.  Kindness goes a long way.  The little things really do go a long way, and it is far better to give than to receive.  If you don’t believe me, try it.
  3. Self Care
    At first glance, this may seem to conflict with the previously mentioned point.  However, it goes hand in hand with it.  While it is incredibly important to put others first, it is also important to care for yourself.  Taking care of yourself doesn’t necessarily mean going and buying a Rolex the next time you close a big deal.  It does include getting adequate sleep, eating healthy, exercising, and making sure you have time for entertainment: social activity with friends, attending sports events, spa days, etc.  In order to function at the most optimal levels, you have to take care of your physical and emotional wellness.
    While these suggestions are simple and minimal, they really can go a long way towards making your life count.  It is easy to get out of balance, and when you do so your overall output will be compromised.  Think about it this way, when you pass away what do you want people to remember about you and say at your funeral?  Do you want them to remember how awesome you were at your job, so much so that you never saw your family or friends?  Do you want them to talk about how you loved yourself so much that you put yourself before everyone else?  Or do you want them to talk about your kindness to others, your compassion for humanity, using your gifts for good, and how you loved people well?  Spend some time thinking about all three areas and simple steps you could put in place today in order to make your life really count.