Get Busy Living
Are you happy? Do you feel alive? Are you fulfilled? Do you wake up in the morning looking forward to another day, or do you wish you could just close your eyes and go back to sleep? Is your life filled with hope and wonder or regret and disappointment? If you are not taking responsibility for your own happiness and well being who is? The answer is no one, it’s your responsibility.
In the movie, Shawshank Redemption, one of the main characters is released from prison after spending 40 years of his life behind bars. Upon his release he realizes that through his life in prison he has become conditioned to have all of his decisions made for him. He’s forgotten how to live. His ability to make decisions for himself were taken away.
After being paroled, he falls into the dreary routine of going to his job every day as a grocery bagger and then wondering home to sit alone in his little apartment. His life has become his personal prison without walls. Life for him has little meaning or purpose, he’s simply going through the motions. He realizes that he must make a decision, if he chooses to stay everything will remain exactly the same and he will continue to simply exist. If he chooses to leave his future is uncertain. He will have to take responsibility for his life and the unknown that awaits him. However, he also recognizes the potential that awaits him if he so chooses to pursue it. Either way the choice is his and only his to make. He decides the risk is worth the reward; he takes responsibility for his future happiness and makes the bold proclamation “either get busy living or get busy dying.”
Life is like that. I have certainly found myself facing that same predicament as I am sure most of you have. Whatever condition our lives are currently in, whether it’s the life we want or the life we don’t want, it is the life that we have created for ourselves. Yes, there are outside circumstances and conditions that affect everyone one of us, but how we deal with those circumstances and conditions is our sole responsibility. That is the ultimate power, to control one’s self. It is a power that very few people master, but those that do master it live lives of complete abundance. Their happiness is not predicated by what they have or don’t have, how they are treated or not treated, or by the current circumstances or challenges they may be facing. Their happiness is based on their state of mind and their willingness to take full responsibility for their lives and the declaration, through their choices, that they will take positive steps to move forward and face the uncertainty that we all must inevitably face. That is the price of happiness, personal accountability.
It is my unwavering belief that we are so that we might have joy. It is not a guarantee; it is a gift that must be earned. We earn it through the lives that we choose to live each day, the impact we have on the people around us, the love we show our families and the commitment and dedication we attempt to live our lives by in making today better than yesterday.
I believe in the power of the human spirit. It transcends our physical limitations. It is what elevates us to see beyond ourselves and recognize the inalienable power that they have to be the source for goodness and light and intelligence. Choose to be, it’s up to you.