Enjoy Life’s Journey
Posted by Todd Smith
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As I anxiously waited for the funeral service to begin, a little girl sitting behind me complained to her mother. “I can’t see!” she said with a bit of a whine. Her mother assured her, “There is nothing to see, sweetie.” This couldn’t have been farther from the truth. The funeral was for my daughter-in-law’s grandfather, a man that, despite health challenges and other setbacks, had garnered respect and admiration throughout his life.
What was there to see? From my perspective, plenty! The rows were filled with friends, acquaintances, and family members who wanted to pay their respects to a man who understood the joy of living. The French call it joie de vivre – the joy of living. The Italians say nienta sense gioia – nothing without joy. For the Greeks, it’s kefi – the spirit of joy, passion, and enthusiasm. A lesson for us all: whatever you’re doing, enjoy the journey.
The popular quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” can be found on posters, bumper stickers, and the like and has been paraphrased and used to motivate a sales force. As is the case with any overused expression or phrase, we tend to overlook its significance and dismiss the message entirely.
Thank goodness for funerals then to remind us that life is a journey. It will throw you some curves and you’ll have some detours along the way, but God intended for us to enjoy life to the fullest extent possible.
When I ponder my life and my consistent commitment to achieving my goals, I often felt like I was running a race rather than enjoying the ride. Reflecting on the funeral and how life can be fleeting, I am making a list of things to help me enjoy the balance of my journey. I would encourage you to do the same. Here are some ideas to consider:
- I will make sure to have fun. I will smile. I will laugh. I will tell jokes. I will go fishing more often. I will beat my family in tennis. I will take long walks on the beach with my wife. I will have more pie fights.
- I will continue to place a priority on spending time with family and friends, enjoying the activities that we can do together.
- I will enjoy God’s gifts of nature. A walk in the park, the birds chirping, the flowers blooming, and the waves rolling along the shore. I will take at least 15 minutes a day to remind myself to slow down and “smell the roses.”
- I will control my reactions and appreciate other people’s differences. I will let others win the battles that don’t matter. It’s just not worth getting worked up over things.
- I will recharge my batteries sooner and more often. As an entrepreneur, it is easy to work 24/7. But I know that I should take time off, let my body relax, and reward myself with breaks.
- I will be happy with where I am at any given time and give my all to the people I am with at the time but eagerly and optimistically anticipate the thrill of the next great adventure.
I hope my introspection gives you some ideas. Please take time out of your busy day to contemplate your journey and make it one enjoyable ride! You only live once.
“Enjoy all that you have while pursuing all you want.” -Jim Rohn
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