Think of someone you know who is alive. Wait, I didn’t word that very well.
Think of someone you know who exudes aliveness. Better??
Think of someone who is loving life. The are excited by every day. They are able to roll with the punches, celebrate the good times and it feels great to be around them.
This aliveness comes across in both what they do, and who they are being. They are taking action, and there is a flow and ease as they do. They effortlessly get results.
What’s going on there? What is this aliveness? How do we cultivate it?
Start with thinking about when you feel most alive. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? Reimagine it in all its detail - all the colours, sights, sounds, textures and more. Immerse yourself in it for a moment. What made it so special?
For me the first scene that comes to me is a perfect “bluebird” day of off-piste skiing (bluebird = clear blue sky). There were so many things that made this day special:
It was unexpectedly good, the forecast wasn’t great (variety, uncertainty)
I was sharing the experience with friends (sharing, connection)
I could go where I liked, make the experience my own (freedom)
I was close to the edge of my abilities (learning, challenge)
It was thrilling, an adrenaline rush (risk)
It was good exercise and I was very ‘present’ (physical and mental well-being)
The scenery was outstanding (beauty, nature, awe)
And, I’m slightly embarrassed to say, it was a chance to show off (achievement, recognition)
Those words in brackets - they’re important values of mine. If I find ways to have those things in my life on a daily basis then I don’t need a perfect bluebird day to feel alive (although I’d never say no!). For instance, I get some of these through regular sport, some through owning my own business, some through social activities and some through striving to be a better coach today than I was yesterday.
There are some extra ingredients to staying alive. Wait, I mean, to experiencing aliveness on a regular basis!
Purpose. Impact. Meaning.
What are you on this planet to do? What is the impact you want to have? What meaning do you find in what you are doing?
Would I feel fully alive if I went bluebird skiing every single day? Well…. I could definitely last quite a long time that way (!) but ultimately it would start to feel somewhat hollow. For the sake of what would I be doing it? I experienced this after travelling the world for 10 months - a wonderful experience but by the end of it I really wanted to start work again. Not only because money was getting tight but because I felt adrift, purposeless. It was quite a surprise and a valuable lesson.
Live by your values. Find and follow your purpose.
Then you’ll stay alive 😊
This article is part of 100 Days of Creation, my challenge to myself to write 100 articles in 140 days, each taking no longer than 30 minutes to write and publish.