I believe we have two lives. The life we learn with and the life we live with after that.  –from the movie, The Natural

Life is one big (or small) lesson after another– a giant classroom. You’re the student, teacher, and proud (or concerned) parent/caretaker wrapped in one. (Ain’t it grand to be an adult with all these roles/options?)

Any student of life knows we mess up plenty– mistakes in all shapes and sizes of our own making. Sometimes we own up to our part easily, other times it’s harder to face.

Self-awareness is good– but let’s be honest– when the light of self-awareness shines brightly on our weaknesses it can be painful, no matter where it falls on the learning curve. (I’ve found sunglasses provide some needed respite when embracing a brilliantly difficult lesson.)

Feelings of embarrassment, shame, humiliation, incompetence, rejection, anger, sadness, fear aren’t fun– the agony of defeat is real.

But what about the thrill of victory when the lessons (including the mistakes) come together? That’s what makes living to the fullest possible.

In this article:

You will get four shortcuts for being great at learning along the way to living YOUR life to the fullest!

Let’s put your greatness to good use!

#1– Look for ways to improve.

Are you asking for feedback regularly on what’s working and not working?

For example, what’s at least one way this article could be improved?

I’ve been part of a Facebook group for over two years where we post our articles weekly for peer (and teacher-guru with super experience) review.

We’ve all improved– and speaking for myself– it hasn’t always been easy on the ego– yet always helpful.(Really? I thought I was better at punctuation and grammar! Can you imagine that what I write isn’t always interesting? Say it isn’t so!) 😉

Approaching both work and personal relationships with a learning mindset (about the other and yourself) will always keep you at the front of the classroom.

#2– Do what’s hard regularly.

Finding others who do what’s hard is inspirational– and with the internet– it’s a YouTube-Ted Talk- blog- away.

We’ve got some good company:

Listening to Amazon Music’s  recommendations while cooking the other day I learned  that Barbra Streisand got stage fright at a concert in Central Park and forgot the words to one of her songs.

She didn’t return to the concert stage for 27 YEARS!

That’s a long time– I’m sure she did a lot of therapy/coaching so she could do what was hard.

Although we know that criticism makes our work better– it can be hard to take especially when delivered harshly.

During a commercial break between songs I was listening to on You Tube, Judy Blume, author, says she was ready to throw her writing career away after she was criticized.

She didn’t– and that’s why she can be offering this writing course according to the commercial. She overcame her bruised ego and did what was hard!

Share your story of overcoming what’s hard- (I know there’s at least one). It’s good to remind yourself of how you’ve persevered in the past. We all benefit.

#3– Appreciate the little moments.

The sunrise, the sunset, the blue moon the cat stalking a plastic bottle cap, pouncing on it, tossing it into the air and then ignoring it completely like it’s activity that’s beneath him– a sampling of moments to appreciate.

Here’s a recent “little moment” I enjoyed:

Texts are a wonderfully efficient form of communication and occasionally someone texts me by mistake.  Last week I got a text which said, “Happy Birthday Mary!! Love you girl!!!!! I let him know he had the wrong Mary.

Did I take and appreciate the extra goodwill? YOU BET!

And another moment (which wasn’t so little) during a group session related to the death of a team’s leader:

The group of eight took turns sharing memories. It was obvious they both loved and respected their boss. They admired him for letting them know when their work needed improvement and then asking later if he was being too harsh.

It wasn’t uncommon to look up and be shocked to see his faced pressed against the glass wall, fingers in his ears taunting them during a break.

We were all laughing, dabbing the tears away with kleenex..

Appreciating the little moments provide some colorful sparkles along the path to living life to the fullest, don’t you think?

# 4– Demand more from yourself. Expand and grow beyond your comfort zone.

Living life to the fullest doesn’t mean

  • crossing off all the things on your bucket list, although it might include such a list
  • traveling to foreign places around the world, although it might include travel
  • taking more courses, acquiring more knowledge, although it might include more knowledge gathering

Living life to the fullest is about choosing to take on the learning available as you push yourself into the unfamiliar, overcome the challenges and allow your perception of the world to expand.

It’s all about the beauty which comes from growing spiritually, mentally and intellectually– hopefully adding to the betterment of others too.

Here’s your takeaway:

You’re great!

Be great and adopt a learning mindset so you can live life to the fullest.

What lessons are you signing up for today?

I’m interested– What does living life to the fullest mean to you?

It’s great to improve continuously, do what’s hard, appreciate little moments and demand more from yourself, expanding and growing outside your comfort zone.

Let’s get together and talk about your shortcuts to living YOUR life to the fullest.