Monday, August 31, 2009

Going Through the Motions

I listened to a song today that I've heard many times over the last several months, yet I never really paid attention to the words. Until today. One of the lines really stuck out to me:

"What if I had given everything, instead of going through the motions?"

What a great question!

I once heard Oprah say that many people are living an unconscious life. That's what "going through the motions" means to me. Day in and day out. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. All of it runs together. Have we gotten into such a routine, such a rut, that we look up one day and wonder "where did my life go?"

Of course we have dreams. Of course we have goals. Of course we have things we want to accomplish. Of course we make plans to do things that make us feel alive. Of course we want to experience all that life has to offer. But then comes work, long commutes, paying bills, and plain old lack of energy.

But "what if you give everything instead of going through the motions?"

If you are feeling that you are just going through the motions...the good news is that you can make a change. Just imagine.

Imagine if you went to work with a renewed excitement to do your job better. To focus on fostering relationships with other coworkers and being more engaged. To do what it takes to get ahead, make a real contribution, and have a serious impact on the success of your company. Imagine if you look for other opportunities - both inside and out of your company - that's more in line with what you ultimately want to do with your career.

Imagine what life could be like if you stopped being on automatic pilot when you got home in the evening - cooking dinner, dealing with the kids and watching TV. What if you tried a new recipe, spent quality time with your children - refusing to give in to video games, the Internet, or the TV (several years ago, we got rid of every TV in the house for almost a year).

Imagine if you set fear aside and did the things that you long to do. What could your life be like if you let your heart pound and your hands get sweaty, but went ahead and did it anyway (whatever your "it" is).

Imagine if you made your health, and the health of your family, your number one priority. Refusing to be swayed by easy, cheap meals or unhealthy snacks. Imagine if you went to bed early so you could exercise in the morning. Imagine if you skipped the local sandwich shop for lunch and went for a walk instead.

Imagine if you cut out time wasting activities and reconnected with your hobbies - the very things that bring you pure joy. Those hobbies where you lose track of time because you are truly loving what you are doing. Is it crafts, scrapbooking, baking, sewing, photography, collecting wine, doing home improvement projects, fishing, gardening, painting, or writing?

In this day and age, it takes a real effort to give everything and NOT just go through the motions. But what if you didn't just imagine what life could be - but you actually begin living it.

Here's hoping that you do!

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  1. WOW-I'm guilty of a few items above! :) I would add--what would happen if we turned off the TV-stopped watching what others were doing in their lives and actually lived our own? If we stopped reading mags/rags/following the latest step of celebrities and paid more attention to what is going on in our own world? We do so many things to "sedate" ourselves. I think from time to time we all get in ruts where we find ourselves doing alot if these things. The key is to snap out of it. I am going to take a look at what "time wasters" I'm guilty of and make a concerted effort to address them today! Great post. Tawana

  2. You are so on point with watching other people's lives. While I am all for having a favorite TV show or two, we have become a society obsessed with watching other people live THEIR lives! Whether they are housewives, nannies, bachelors, models or chefs...they are living their lives while you are sitting on the sidelines.

  3. School has started and the new rule is no TV. The first two weeks have been wonderfully different. No one is rushing to get there homework done, arguing about practice or extra reading and studying. Bedtime is not interupted by "can I stay up" and I have more control over our time. Personnally, I'm have severe withdrawal sympton what will "grey's anatomy" or "NCIS" do with out me.....They will go into reruns and I can claim 2 hours of my time back.

  4. Sounds like you are starting your children off to a great start - and it sounds like you are participating as well. No TV during the week is a great rule when school is in. Between sports, activities, homework, dinnertime and family time, how much time could there possibly be for TV before bedtime.

    It's also great to discover how you fill your time when the TV is off. It can be a little weird at first, but you'll get use to it.