virgin islands scene

Don't play for safety-it's the most dangerous thing in the world.
-- Hugh Walpole


The MONTHLY Motivator - January 2003

What is holding you back?

Are you living your life as fully and as completely as you can possibly imagine? Do you spend each and every moment true to your highest vision of what life can be? Are you becoming the person you were truly meant to be, and fulfilling the unique purpose with which your life has been blessed?

If not, then what is it that’s holding you back? What is it that’s stopping you from reaching your true potential? There is a sense of pure, confident fulfillment that comes from living true to the highest purpose you can imagine. Most likely you’ve had glimpses of it. You know it’s there. What is preventing you from experiencing it every day, in everything you do?

Whatever is holding you back is doing so with your cooperation. For while outside circumstances can be very powerful and intimidating, there is nothing outside of you that can, on its own, prevent you from fulfilling your most treasured possibilities.

Is it a lack of time that’s holding you back?

Are you just too busy, too overwhelmed with the day-to-day necessities of life to pay attention to really living? Think for a moment about the absurdity of that situation. You’re so busy keeping up with life that you don’t have any time left to truly live it. So what in the world are you so busy doing? Where is all that busy activity taking you?

Do you think that way off, some day in the future, all this busy activity is going to get you to the point where you can truly live life on your own terms, with meaning and purpose and fulfillment?

In fact, there is never any need to waste your time on empty, unfulfilling activities. There is no reason to be so frantically busy, running around in circles and getting nowhere. At any time you wish, you can begin to truly live with purpose, with constant forward direction.

But you have so many responsibilities, so many things that need your attention, so many people who depend on you. How can you possibly find the time to find fulfillment and meaning, and to escape the frantic pace that you’ve gotten yourself into?

The answer is to find value and meaning in those very responsibilities. The answer is to find purpose and fulfillment in serving those who depend upon you. For what could be more fulfilling than making a positive difference in the lives of others?

The fact is, most of what makes life so unbearably busy is not the activity itself but your resentment of it. But you can change that in an instant. You can change it by simply starting to genuinely care about everything you are doing. You can infuse the empty activities with purpose and meaning by truly valuing and appreciating them.

When you challenge yourself to honestly value and appreciate everything you do, something interesting happens. You become dramatically less busy, less hectic, and far more positively productive. There are two fundamental reasons for this.

First, you naturally begin to filter out the things that don’t really matter. When your genuine intent is to value and appreciate everything you do, and you find yourself doing something that you cannot in any way bring yourself to appreciate, it drives home a startling realization. You think, why in the world am I wasting my valuable time on this? And then the realization comes that there is no reason to be doing this. Your husband, your mother, your best friend, and your therapist could tell you all day long that something is a waste of time, but you’re still probably going to do it. Yet when you come to that realization yourself, when it is driven home to you by your own sincere search for meaning and purpose, then you know without a doubt that it’s a waste of time and you simply cease to make it a part of your life.

Challenging yourself to value and appreciate everything you do has another fundamental positive effect. It makes you far more creative and effective at those things you truly value. When you’re truly “into” what you’re doing, absolutely convinced of its value, then you’re clearly going to be much better at it. Whether it is designing a new computer circuit or driving your children to school, you are going to find ways to put real value into each and every moment.

Seek to value and appreciate everything you do, and rather than never having enough time you’ll find that you have ample time to move your life and your world in the best direction you can imagine.

What other things could be holding you back?

How about a lack of money or other financial and material resources? That’s a big one for a lot of people. It takes money to get things done in this world, right?

Not exactly. Certainly it’s true that with money you can get things done, but the inverse of that statement -- that without money you can’t get anything done -- is most certainly not the case. In fact, it is probably one of the most damaging, widespread misconceptions the world has ever known.

Money is a useful and very flexible tool that can be used to efficiently accumulate, store, and exchange value. Money itself has no value apart from its use in representing other kinds of value. But because money is so

To continue reading this member-only content, please log in if you are a current subscriber/member, or if you’re not already a member, you can join today for an annual price of just $15 and get immediate access to the full text of this article and many others, plus additional member-only content such as downloadable audio programs and e-books. If you’re not ready to join right now, we invite you to look through our extensive archive of more than 6,000 shorter daily messages, which are fully available for everyone to read.

--Ralph Marston

More Monthly Motivators...