It's easy to fall into a comfort zone, you know, that stress free place where you feel safe and unbothered? You are doing what you've always done and that's what works for you. But every now and then you might want to shake things up, push the envelope of your life and challenge what may be turning your life into nothing more but a habitual sequence of events. In other words a routine, where you are not really living, you are just existing. We can choose to live routinely or we can unseal our life and live abundantly. That's the life we have been called to live - the abundant life. A life where we are exploring the "so much more" than we can see or imagine kind of life.
There is so much more.
I remember years ago when I was feeling pretty bored with life saying to myself, "there has got to be more to life than this". Going through the motions, living a life that had become what I call a ritual of routines. Now, the one thing we need to understand about routine is there is a kind of routine that gets you nowhere, and the kind that will get you exactly where you want to be. (That's another post for another time).
I knew I needed to make some changes but I had no clue what to do. I started asking myself some hard questions. It's not easy to turn the mirror on yourself and acknowledge that the life you live is the one you created. I knew I wanted more, but I didn't really know what that meant for me. I prayed. I looked to God and I said "if this is all there is, then I have had enough." It seemed like that prayer hit a brick wall. I felt helpless. I knew my arms was too short to box with God but I recall saying to God, "you are the god of the universe, you made the heavens and the earth in 6 days, why do I have to wait so long to hear from you?" After what I will call "an appointed time" I heard a whisper in my ear, "there is More". At first I thought I was going crazy hearing voices, but I heard the whisper again for the 2nd time, "there is More". A couple of days had passed since I heard the whisper when I received a call from my sister telling me that Oprah was going to be in New York doing a seminar on "Creating the Life You Love". She asked me if I wanted to go and, of course I did. This was during the beginning years of the Oprah Show, who wouldn't want to be there right?
So, as I sat in the room at the Marriott Marquis in New York City listening to Oprah, I realized just how much more to life there was and how much I was missing out on stuck in the rut of routine. I felt like a fire was lit on the inside. I believe it was always there, but it took someone throwing some gasoline on it for it to start burning the way it has ever since. I have spent my time since that day cracking life open to discover what "more" there was for me. My relationship with God became stronger as His word that "he came that I might have life and life MORE abundantly" became more real to me. Ultimately it was that divine whisper that put it all in motion. That's the long story short, but there were many other situations, encounters and events that opened me up and inspired me to shake things up.
We Live in a World of Wonder and Possibilities
The moment you decide to step out of your place of comfort, life as you know it changes. The world is full of wonder and possibilities. At any given hour of the day there is an infinite number of things to do and discover. Routine and comfort zones will limit what is possible for you. Don't let life pass you by while you live within the walls of routine. You have to shake it up!
Questions to Ask Yourself
If you want to really shake things up in your life, start by asking yourself some hard questions. Facing the truth about your life can be the beginning of a life you may have been unconsciously rejecting.
"Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise." – Unknown
Is my life making a difference - Take a look at your life. How is it impacting the lives of others? Are you contributing to the betterment life in general or are you existing for yourself?
Who am I? - Many times when you ask others who they are, they will more than likely tell you what they do. If all the comforts of your life were stripped away, who would you be in that moment?
Who can I run to? - We all have those moments when we feel lost. When we need some guidance to usher us out of a place of distress. Can you trust yourself to be there for yourself? Are you someone that you could call at 3am in the morning?
What do you want? - A big part of knowing what you want is knowing what you don't want. Do you want the life you have or are you ready to shake it up?
What burns inside of you? - Are you ignoring the fire that burns in your belly? Is there something you have always wanted to do? What is that?
What are you afraid of? Fear is an unfortunate part of everyone's life. But as Steve Maroboli says in one of my favorite quotes: Fear is 100% dependent on your for its survival." Are you shacking up with fear?
What do you want to be remembered for? It is said, the two most important dates are the day you are born and the day you die. What lies between the 2 is what you do with the time you are given. What is making you unforgettable?
If you knew it was impossible for you to fail, what would you do? The truth is failure is in the eye of the beholder. We don't actually fail at anything. Sometimes things just don't work out as we envisioned they would.
Are you happy? - Most of us never really ask ourselves the question "Am I happy", we just kind of know when we are. Happiness is how we respond to something that brings us joy. What brings you joy?
What do you regret? - Most if not all of us have done things we regret. But, we were ok with what we did at the time we did it, because it did not render the result we expected, we tend to regret it. Truth is there is only one thing in this life we should ever regret and that is having to mourn a life we chose not to live.
How do you plan to shake things up in your life? Share your ideas in the comments below.