Are you truly living?
Have you ever blown out the candles on your birthday cake and thought to yourself, “Another year already?”
There is a big difference between living your life, and feeling alive in your life.
If you’re simply living your life, you’re probably used to monotony. Life is just a series of going through the motions. Your days have a tendency to blend together.
But if you’re alive in your life, every day feels more exciting than the last. You wake up before your alarm clock because you can’t wait for what’s in store. You feel like electricity is coursing through your veins on the regular. You feel like you are unstoppable.
So, as your friend, I need to check in with you. Do you feel like you might be coasting? Or are you seizing every moment that comes your way?
Here are the five ways that you know you’re truly living, and not just existing.
1. You Are Loving Fully
“A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.” – Rumi
You know what sucks? Being in a relationship where you don’t really care about the other person.
Just like working a job you don’t really care about, a lacklustre relationship saps your energy. It drains you. It slowly robs you of your sense of integrity.
“Yeah, but she’s really supportive of me sometimes,” sounds just like “Yeah, but it pays the bills.”
However, if you brag about your partner to your friends, if you find yourself telling your ‘story’ to others all the time, and if you two are that sickeningly sweet, affectionate pair in public that possibly offends some people… then you are most likely loving fully.
2. You Are Following Your Heart, And Not Other People’s Advice
An evolved man listens to the opinions of others and, while he certainly considers their advice, ultimately goes his own way.
Nobody should be running your life except for you- not your best friend, not your parents, not your culture, not your society, and certainly not me.
Only you can hear the voice that already lives inside of you. That voice within knows what’s best for you.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve listened to that voice, it may be a little difficult to hear it again. Do not be discouraged. That inner voice is just like a neglected lover; you can coax it out of hiding by encouraging it to speak up while listening with patience.
3. You Are Following Your Passions
And you are doing it so balls-out that it makes you tear up just thinking about it!
You know all the things that you tell yourself you would do if you had $10 million in the bank, if you were born into a different family, if you just had the right social circle to help you with it? It’s time to just go ahead and start chasing those dreams (despite your financial, familial, and social standings)!
Passionate people are addictive to be around. Their positive energy seems to spill over into the lives of those around them; it is intoxicating and exhilarating to be so close to such passion.
And you’ll know that you’re truly living if you become one of those people that others are naturally drawn to because you are passionately chasing your dream.
4. You Are Afraid
People ask me all the time how I do it- how do I travel the world, rock an online business, and follow my passions with complete disregard for failure?
And the truth is, I don’t even feel like I can do it. I’m frequently riddled with self-doubt, hesitation, and anxiety like every other human in the world. But I’m still doing it.
The main difference between people I know who are successful in life (in love, in a thriving social circle, with financially stability, etc.) and those who are not, is that the successful ones act on their passions in spite of their fear. It’s not that they aren’t fearful, because they are. They just don’t let their fear stop them.
They might think, “This could hurt like hell,” or “I really don’t know if this will work,” but then they TRY it anyways. They are different than the unsuccessful people who think those same things and allow their fear and insecurities to stop them from attempting great things.
You, of course, are in the former camp. Although life can be downright terrifying sometimes (ahem… a lot of the time), you are still out there, giving it your all. Fuck yeah, you!
(You are out there giving it your all, right? If not, let’s chat!)
5. You Are Making Mistakes
If you are truly living, your life at times feels like a big pile of mistakes. And that’s a good thing!
Your successes consist of glued-together pieces of your failures.
If you feel stuck or unfulfilled in your life right now, it’s probably because you aren’t making enough decisions (which result in more failures) in your life.
Do you want to live more? First, make more decisions. And then embrace (and learn from) the mistakes.
How Do You Know If You Are Truly Living?
When I quit my job of three years for an uncertain, but passion-filled future, I was plagued with self-doubt.
When I left home for the first time to travel the world and pursue my dream of running my own business, I felt terrified.
And when I went scuba diving for the first time to conquer my fear of sharks and the open water, I felt I might have a heart attack.
But when I nearly died on a volcano and had the biggest epiphanies of my life, I was overjoyed.
The joy I felt came from realizing I was truly living- in the moment I was the closest to death, I knew I had been alive in my life.
What makes you feel like your veins are pumping electricity?
What makes YOU feel like you’ve come alive?
Tell me in the comments below.
Dedicated to your success,
Ps. I’m walking the walk this week having just come off of a wilderness survival training course in Denver, and writing this post from the back of a sail boat on a trip with friends in Santa Barbara, California (as you can see from the photo we’re close enough to the mainland that I still have a strong enough wifi signal to post this article). Three cheers to living a full life.