Life is the greatest gift we have and we are fortunate enough to be living in a time were our lifespan keeps increasing every decade. That is as long as you aren't a fatty or take crappy care of yourself you will live a long life. The point being that there is a pretty good likelihood that those of us alive today could possibly live to our theoretical maximum life span, this is of course not factoring what advances in genetics and biotechnology could do to increase our life span. But the seemingly unstoppable upward trend of our maximum life spans is not the focus of my post. One thing is for certain, I, you, and everyone else will die. Whether there is an empty void, reincarnation, or an after life no one can rightly determine with full confidence, but we do know our time is limited, and this is important.
It is easy for us have our life pass us by and not even realize it's passing us buy. I'm not simply talking about the individual that passes through live on the consumerist morphine drip. I'm talking about us, the individuals who blog, read blogs in this ever growing circle. Observer calls it watching from the box and I call it living in my head but they are the same thing, the acts of a passive individual. In this case the passive individual isn't mindless like the masses, in fact it is probably quite the opposite. The passive individual in this case is very contemplative and intellectual. A lot of our time spent on this earth will be watching and analyzing the world around us. I don't need to expound on the benefit of having this disposition of which you are all well aware but there is a potential problem. That problem is inactivity.
Being of a certain mindset and outlook it is all too easy for us to become just as inactive as the consumerist. Yes, what we focus our time and energies on, the world of ideas, are much more important than the mindless drivel the consumerist lives on but the end result is the same. We become passive observers of life, and not active participants of it. This isn't to say that reading about Plato, Charlemagne, Washington, Edison, Western and Eastern philosophies, and a whole host of other great thinkers and ideas are bad. But why settle for simply reading about great men when you can try to become one?
This of course isn't to say that you will become a great man a historical sense, or that becoming a great figure is even desirable, but that the one thing great men all had in common was their propensity to action. Action entails overcoming strife and struggle, and that is were a full life is lived. Be it as simple as writing a novel, were a man must struggle with story and prose, or as great as building a commercial empire, where he struggles with competition and commerce, each action entails some sort of obstacle that must be overcome. By overcoming challenges, whether self imposed or otherwise, it helps us live great lives.
So what have you done? What are your goals? How are you improving yourself? Can you honestly say that from a year from today you will have moved forward, if even by as little as an inch at a time? As for me I have started a small list of things that I want to accomplish or make some real progress on by this time next year. Oh, and one last thing, it's a damn nice day today in my corner of the world so take the time and go to the beach/mountains/park or whatever, pour yourself a stiff drink, and enjoy the day.