Jul 162021

Many aspects of life work against us living large. It is all too easy to get stuck in a rut, taking the same road to work each day, fighting the same traffic, doing the same thing day in and day out, listening to the same problems, hanging out with the same friends with all their worries and petty grievances, paying the same bills. Many people find themselves in life’s quicksand, getting the same results and facing the same outlook next month.

There is a proven way to live a much larger and more fulfilling life. You must decide to be a student, which has little or nothing to do with being in school. Becoming a student of life – for life – means staying curious, learning new topics, reading new stuff, meeting new people, trying new things, making new mistakes, struggling a bit with new endeavors, and above all, taking new chances. As the Great Gretzky put it, “You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.”

Time for a quick self-assessment: Are you a life-long student?

Take just two minutes with a piece of paper and list out all the new stuff you have tried or learned in the last 60 days. What mistakes have you made and what lessons did you learn from them? If you are not making any mistakes, odds are you are playing it way too safe. Personal growth comes from pushing your personal envelope.

Is it harder to take chances? Sure it is, in the short run. In the long run, getting stuck in life’s quicksand is much worse.

When you decide to become a life-long student, you discover the keys to the fountain of youth. The daily struggle that comes with asking questions, doubting the talking heads, taking prudent risks, seeking to understand, adapting and overcoming — that is what epitomized youthfulness and vitality. When you combine the life-long-student discipline and attitude with sincere do-something-about-it-now goals (the second key to the fountain of youth), you become unstoppable and wind up living a much larger and fulfilling life. There are no guarantees that you will become rich like Richard Branson in the process, but it will be a ride worth talking about.

I.M. Optimisman

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