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November 22, 2011
All Or Nothing
by Shannon Ables
Simply Luxurious Life
There are many things in life that can be attempted half-heartedly: picking up the house, having a conversation with a stranger, watching television, ironing, raking leaves, painting a closet that no one will ever see inside – you get the idea. And because we are all aware that it is possible to get by in life by just doing enough instead of investing our full abilities, sometimes this shortened route to completion can be tempting.
However, there are many situations in life where choosing the route of “just enough effort” leaves us receiving less than what was possible and leaves us walking past beautiful opportunities that had we attempted with our whole heart and abilities could have blossomed in to indescribable events that we will forever remain ignorant of if the former approach is traversed.
Yet another reason many keep it in third gear instead of shifting to overdrive is because of the uncertainty of what the outcome may be. For example, you don’t want to share too much too soon with a new friend or significant other for fear of losing them or your boss asks you to put together a presentation and instead of impressing them with your tech savvy presentation abilities, you dumb-it-down so as not to upset your co-workers.
The funny thing is playing it safe never catapulted a career to unexpected success, and it certainly didn’t impress those you love because holding back is like turning the dimmer down on life. It is similar to saying, “Life, I realize you have amazing, unexpectedly beautiful things to offer me, but since I don’t know what they are exactly, I’m going to have to pass and just live the life I know which is safe and predictable.”
The amazement waiting to be savored in life is wrapped up in a box, but so many of us are so terrified that a scary clown is going to pop out of the box that we choose not to take the risk and open it anyway.
I can honestly say, life continues to become richer and more awe-inspiring which leaves me speechless and beyond appreciative for choosing to give it my all. Initially it will be intimidating to put yourself out there, but for all the positive energy and effort we place into something, it tends to act like a boomerang. You’re never sure when it will flip a U-turn and arrive back at your feet, but the universe has a funny way of rewarding those who wholeheartedly choose to seek the rewards and bounty she has to offer.
Think of it this way, here are few of the simple pleasures in life that if we don’t fully let ourselves savor, we never experience what all they have to offer:
1. The jelly in a jelly donut
2. The rainbow after a rainstorm
3. The exhilaration that follows a hard fought victory
4. The depth of trust developed over time with your partner
5. REM sleep
6. Dessert at the end of a five course meal
7. The bounty of spring at the end of a long, cold winter
8. The diploma earned at years of hard work which will help to open doors
9. The satisfying ending of your favorite book
10. The happy ending
11. Biting into freshly baked cookies instead of eating all of the dough
12. Losing yourself in laughter after a well delivered joke
13. The weekend after a long, productive week
In other words, beautiful things arise after we do all that is necessary, required and possible of our efforts, but if we stop halfway or only give a little, we will never experience the full potential of what is patiently wanting to be discovered.
“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” -Thucydides
So today, ask yourself, “Where am I holding back in my life?” and decide to from this day forward throw your full body weight into those aspects of your life that deserve your 100% effort.
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