The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins. ~Bob Moawad
I don’t know your whole story, your background, your current situation, your financial statement, or anything else about you but I can tell you one thing that is a fact.
You can live an epic life.
Before you start thinking of excuses in your head why this statement cannot be true for you, silence that voice for just a moment.
When I say an epic life, it doesn’t mean your life has to revolve around yachts, private planes, or $10,000 bottles of wine. If your dreams are that big, you have a big idea, and you put in the grind behind the scenes, then I have no doubt you can get there.
Just be sure to invite me.
There’s four possible ways you can decide how you want to live your life.
- Boring– Little risk. Little reward. Lazy. Not much to talk about.
- Mediocre – Have a paycheck but hate your job. Life seems okay from the outside but lots of complaining. Refuse to take action to correct it. Keep complaining.
- Above average – You’re moving up. You’re following your passion but something is still missing. You don’t take the extra step needed and quit too easily.
- Epic – You’re doing what people only wish. You’ve done the unrealistic. Much more difficult but the rewards last a lifetime. You’re in the top 1% of the population.
What is an epic life? For this post, I’m going to just focus on work. An epic life will definitely include all other aspects of your life as well.
You will work 91,520 hours in your lifetime
The beauty of an epic life is that it’s mainly up to you.
An epic life for one person might be being paid to play video games all day, while another would love to write. Someone may love to travel the world on business 300 out of 365 days out of the year, while another loves the feeling of working from home.
One way to gauge how far or close you are to an epic life is to take the dreaded question test, “What do you do for a living?”
If you’re living anything but an epic life, you’ll hate answering it. I know that feeling. It’s horrible.
If it totally rocks, your body and soul feels proud to give that answer every time. You would be happy to keep on talking about it.
The answer shouldn’t completely define you as a person but should give you insight about how your work life is at this current moment.
So take a moment to think what you would answer if someone asked you what you did for a living?
How does it make you feel? If unhappy, don’t be upset at yourself. Like I said earlier, you can still live an epic life.
An epic life is a life of doing what excites you. It doesn’t mean go skydiving, but I see it instead as doing work you’re proud of sharing with the world, getting paid for it, and having the freedom to enjoy life on your own terms.
Let’s be honest, we need to make money. If we’re going to be working, the ideal scenario would be doing something we actually enjoy that allows us to live the lifestyle we want.
The average person working from 21 till 65 will work approximately 91,520 hours! Why suffer for a majority of our life in a miserable job?
To me, an epic life could be summed up like this. It doesn’t feel like work and I can’t believe I get paid to do what I do.
We are the only creatures that can choose our life
How can I say that you can have a remarkable and epic life if I don’t know anything about you?
I do know one thing. You are human. Humans can do something that other animals cannot. We can choose the journey we want to take in life. That is quite unique to the human experience.
Lions are big and strong but if they decide to be vegan and study yoga, that’s not possible. Sharks can’t decide one day to start a blog about cooking seafood dishes and get paid for it. I know it sounds silly, but I hope you get my point.
We, on the other hand, have so many choices. The possibilities are endless and the outcome is determined by us.
Everything that we have become up till now was based on a choice. The choice may have came from you or someone else. There was always a choice.
When we were younger, many of those choices were made for us. But once we became adults, the power to make choices shifted to us. Some have embraced that power while others still let other make the choices.
You had a choice what to wear today. You had a choice of what to eat. You had a choice of how you felt at any moment today. You had a choice to read this far in my post (thank you!).
Those who live epic lives love having the power to choose and take full advantage of it. Those who are struggling, haven’t made many choices. They got lemons and let those lemons rot.
If you let others make choices for you, you’re going to live a miserable life. I’ll tell you that for a fact! I let that happen for the better part of my 34 years.
When I did finally make my own choices, my life completely changed for the better.
- I hated my job and chose to leave and study in Taipei.
- I chose to stay past the first three months.
- I chose to overcome my fear to join kickboxing class.
- I chose to follow a girl I just met two months ago to Sydney and fell in love.
What happened when I made my own choices? Epic results.
If faced with choices and you leave it up to someone else to decide, you have given away all of your power. You might as well not be human.
As humans, the ability to choose makes us unique. Why give that power away?
You know what’s going to happen when you don’t choose? You’re going to bitch an complain when things don’t go your way. You’re going to hate life. Life will always be a struggle.
When you’re on your deathbed you will say,
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Not choosing is such a waste.
Who told you life has to suck?
When we were born, we were wide eyed and saw the world as full of possibilities. As we got older, we were told to follow a map given by our parents and society.
I had that map. I was to graduate college, work, make money, move up the ladder, have a family, support the family through meaningless jobs, and then save all enjoyment of life till I’m ready to retire.
Honestly it sucked. I cried. I cursed. I hated life. Finally, I made a choice. I took that map last October 2010 and incinerated it. Now I’m creating my own.
The only map we have in life has a point A and a point B at the end of the pages. It goes from birth to death. That’s all we are guaranteed. We’re all going to get to point B at some point.
However, what you do between those two points what will shape your life.
If anything, it should have lots of zigs and zags. It should never look linear. It should look like the most expensive painting ever sold, a Jackson Pollack. Lots of lines, patterns, and confusing but beautiful to the one who created it.
It should be fill with laughter, love, family, friends, gratitude, giving and excitement. Sure there will be rough stretches but we won’t let that ruin the overall journey.
When we arrive to point B, we will have left our legacy, made sure people knew we were here on this earth, affected as many lives as possible, and have no regrets.
The next post in this series, I’m going to talk about one thing that you probably have running through you mind. Excuses.
Until then, what does an epic life mean to you?
What are you doing to make sure you live an epic life?
Photo by Mat Honan