“Monday 5 Things”™….. Living Full …..

500 9891Photo: D. Paul Graham, ‘Rari’s in the Rain’, Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2022

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Living Full …..

The Weather Channel called for rain. However, the forecast failed to include the word “monsoon” levels of precipitation. I was at the photo-hole between T11 and T12 at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the heavens opened with a Noahesque torrent. Rain covers protected my cameras and lenses and the deluge made for dramatic photographs. I was soaked but grinning like a kid at Christmas. Three accidents at T14 (thankfully no one was hurt) within minutes brought the red flags out, delaying the race and cancelling lap sessions. Running and splashing through puddles (yeah, I’m man-child enough to admit to that), I made my way back to my car. I laughed at how much I was enjoying myself.  Even in the pouring rain. I realized how fortunate I was to once again be taking photographs on one of the world’s greatest racetracks. Waiting for the rain to stop, dripping all over the interior of the car (sorry Avis), the phrase, “Living Full” came to mind. I grabbed a pen and paper from my camera bag and this week’s M5T poured out.

1. Direction

Living a full life requires direction. Psychologist Dr. Benjamin Hardy profoundly said that “Success isn’t that difficult; it involves taking twenty steps in one direction. Most people take one step in twenty directions.” Find your direction and stick to it. Know what’s most important to you and focus on that. Be relentless and single-minded with your time and energy on your priorities – your priorities, not the priorities of others. Close a door to move forward. Burn the bridge behind you so you can’t go back. Say no. Often. Keep, moving forward without distraction.

2. Ask Yourself First

What does a full life look like for you? Don’t expect others to provide the things you want. When it comes down to it, no one else will care to make your dreams and goals a reality. It’s up to you to put the effort into realizing what makes your life full. Ask yourself, what will you sacrifice – time, pride, costs – to live your life with the fullness you want. Ask yourself if you’re really the person you want to be and living the life you want to have.

3. Asking Advice

Be selective in asking for advice. Don’t allow other people’s insecurities, fears, or world views to be projected onto you. If they haven’t been where you want to go, how can their advice help you? Seek out people who are smarter, more experienced, who think deeper, and who you admire because of the life they live. Find that one person in your life with whom you can truly be yourself, who you can trust, who will be honest, brutally honest, with you, and who wants to live a full life together.

4. Change

Living a full life requires change and growth. Change is definite. Growth is your choice. Growth comes from being mindful of yourself, your relationships, and your environment. Get to know yourself better. Manage your inner critic. Choose to change your bad habits. Cut off relationships with toxic people. Build relationships with positive people. Align your environment to what you want to achieve. Stop putting things off if they are truly important to you. Be prepared to change the plan as necessary.

5. Make it Yours 

There was a guy named Albert who postulated a fair bit on energy, mass, and time, all in relative terms. He also thought a lot about living a full life. Al said that ‘There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s books and write your own.” At some point you have stop living through the experience of others and make your own story, your own experiences, your own life. Your full life is uniquely yours. Take responsibility for taking action. And then own it and live it. Fully.

Here’s to a week of living your life as fully as possible.

© 2022 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 10 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T ™.  Each Monday, Paul shares his observations, thoughts and passions on people, life, and culture.