What is the only guarantee for every living thing? What is the only piece of the experience of life that we know, with certainty, that every organism on Earth will take part in? From the tallest trees to the smallest micro-organisms, from the eagle soaring high in the sky to the jellyfish in the sea, from the billionaire in his private jet to the baby being born in a small village, far from electricity & money...
It's pretty simple: DEATH
Death is the one thing that each and every one of us shares. The thing that ties all the stories together; they all end, and break down to become the building blocks for future stories.
We all know that we are going to die. None of us know when, or how we will die. We just know that it's going to happen.
That knowing that we only have a short time in this existence, could be the biggest inspiration to live the lives of our dreams, to chase our passions, to try new things, to challenge ourselves, and to do whatever we can to leave the world a more loving & free place than we found it.
So, why is that death seems to have the opposite effect for so many? Instead of making the most of their limited time hear, doing everything they can to experience joy, love, growth, and connection... So many spend their days afraid of death, afraid to trust the universe and step out into the unknown.
The Illusion of the "Known"
There is probably nothing I have heard as often since I started living out of a backpack than "I wish I could live like that." You can. Anyone can. I'm not saying that everyone "should," I'm just saying that you can if you want. When I dig deeper into this idea with people, most of the time the root of what they are saying is that the way they've set their lives up so far is to minimize their experience of not knowing.
They know where they'll be 40 hours per week, the know where they will get a paycheck every two weeks, they know that they've got a shelter to sleep in, they know that their retirement will allow them to keep having a cash flow when they stop working at some point way down the road. Right?
But in reality, do they actually know any of those things? Of course not! They've simply created an illusion of "knowing" for themselves. The truth is, they could get fired at any point. The business they work for could shut down (maybe under threat of violence by some authoritarians.) Their house could burn down. Their retirement savings could disappear into nothingness, whether due to fraud, mistakes, or simply because the dollar is hyper-inflated by the people who decided they have the right to print money, to the point that their savings are actually worth less every year - based on what it can actually buy.
Oh, and of course they could get hit by a car while crossing the street, have a heart attack, or suddenly die for any number of unforeseen and uncontrollable reasons.
We Each Have a Choice
The only real difference between living that repetitive, trapped, limited life and living a life of flow, trust, synchronicity, and magic is a simple choice. Choosing to acknowledge, accept, and embrace the fact that everything is unknown. None of us know what will happen to us tomorrow. None of us know when someone will come along that changes our life. None of us know what's possible for us to accomplish and experience, unless we are moving farther from our comfort zones, from what we have already experienced.
Since we don't know what tomorrow holds, we get to choose whether to be afraid that it might be something challenging or painful, or to know that whatever it is (especially the painful & challenging parts), it will make us more than we were the day before.
Because each of our experience of reality is based almost exclusively on our beliefs, our preconceptions, our programs - the way that our life unfolds is almost always going to match what we expect. This is simply the nature of human experience, the way that our limited sensory inputs and neurological filtering keep us from experiencing most of what is happening around us.
If you choose to believe that you are on an adventure, a journey of healing & growth, a life of service & joy, then you are going to notice the opportunities, interactions, and moments that match that story. If you choose to believe that your life is small & limited, that you are just stuck with what you have now, then you are only going to notice the moments that match that. Even when adventure comes and knocks at your door, you won't be able to hear it, or worse yet you will be to afraid to answer it because it's so outside of what you are comfortable with.
How many of the "greats" can you think of that got there by believing that where they started, or where they were at any given time, was as far as they could go? None. None at all.
How many of the "greats" started off poor, weak, un-skilled, in some place that limiting beliefs would say can't possibly lead to where they ended up? Most of them.
Ever heard Jim Carrey's story?
How about Muhammad Ali's?
Will Smith? Conor McGregor? Arnold Schwarzenegger? Jay Z?
I could fill an entire article just doing 1 sentence each on the first few hundred I come across doing some internet searching.
Maybe you're the next...
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