What is it about us that prevents us from living life to the fullest?

The easy answer is fear.  It is true that giving life all of your effort may result in disappointment.  It may result in heartache or financial setback or loss of pride. Loving life and people without reservation comes with risk, no question. It is easy to look around at those who are saving their energy, passion, material goods, and love for “someday.”  However, when you admire a person, isn’t it usually because they aren’t holding back?  They have what we only dream of because they were willing to risk it all.

We envy those who are out there having fun, living that life we long for, and having the relationships that seem so easy.  We want what they have, yet we hesitate.  We have our reasons, our doubts and our insecurities, but no one is ever successful without real risk.  We have been hurt before, some of us very early in life.  Sometimes our role models taught us how to save, keep, hoard and harbor.

It will require actual effort to overcome the fear.  To jump off the cliff of safety, into the abyss of uncertainty, takes faith and strength. It is those who are willing to put their money, their heart and their energy on the line that are the most successful at this thing called life.  We talk about someday, maybe, luck, and wishes, but they are actually out there doing what it takes.

If you want more out of life, if you want to skid into the grave with a smile, there are steps you need to take today.  Here is a list of the daily efforts that reap the biggest rewards

•  Forgive those who have hurt you.  It is holding you back from what you want.  They may not even know that pain that they have caused, so it is up to you to let it go.

•  Tell the people in your life that you love them.  Today, right now, go tell someone how much you care and how much they mean to you.  If it isn’t reciprocated, that’s okay.  It isn’t about receiving, its about letting your feeling be known so you can move forward unencumbered.

•  Give of yourself.  If you have money or resources, do not hold on to them.  If you have talents, share them.  If you have time, give it away.  No one ever got to take their time and talents and money with them when they died.  If we are to be judged at the end of our life, how do you want to be remembered?  As stingy and selfish or as generous and thoughtful?

•  Take a minute to count your blessings every morning.  We get so wrapped up in what needs fixing that we forget to appreciate all the things that are wonderful about our lives.  Start each day with an attitude of gratitude!

•  Reach out and give a compliment, a pat on the back or a hug to someone who needs it.  There is someone who is hurting more than you.  Someone who is having a dark day or who struggles with fear and doubt.  Be the light in someone else’s life on a daily basis.

•  Finally, take calculated risks.  Nothing foolish, just chances that you wouldn’t otherwise take.  From the greatest risks come the greatest rewards.  It would be sad to look back one day and say “if only.”

To live life fully means feeling all the emotions in the spectrum. Great joy and great sorrow. Yes, sorrow, because with every pain is a lesson that will teach us what we need to know to grow stronger. Those who live in fear never truly live, and that my friends, is a really sad thing to watch.