Taunet Nelel means 'New Beginning.' This blog is about finding purpose and living in purpose. It seeks to inspire hope and help you live a fulfilling life. One with "No Regrets, No Fear, No Shame and No Anger."

Making a Living Versus Making a Life

Friday, April 13

Ecclesiastes 9:4 "... even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!"

This verse really means that no matter how despicable your life is now; you are better off than those who have died even if they were Kings in the jungle. The simple reason is you are alive and they are dead. You are still breathing.

When you are alive, doesn't matter what circumstances surround you, what obstacles stand in your way, who is against you or that no one is with you - what matters is you are still standing.

Recently, I got a chance to visit with three grandmothers who are struggling to raise their grandchildren either because their children, who are these grandchild's parents'  have died or abandoned them. The struggle these women go through is enormous. Despite everything, they appreciate that they cannot do the work on their own, they recognize God's work in their lives and they live by the rule "Take one day at a time."

I couldn't help but admire the stamina with which these women go about their daily lives, doing all they can to help their grandchildren grow into independent adults. To them the obstacles were not deterrent, the goal to provide and nurture is prime.

I also learned that everyone despite the odds that face us, has opportunity to be whoever they desire to be or do. The choice to live is in your hands. It is not about making a living, it is about making a life.

True living is in making a life, by extension making an impact in other people's lives; and not merely making a living.

Making a living denotes one who is driven by survival :
  • Survival is a myopic goal in life.
  • Survival is only selfish.
  • Survival is not for the fittest, it is for the fattest. Those who only think about 'me me me'. The 'what about me' mentality.
  • Survival only sees the problem. Small-picture thinking.
Are you a lighthouse for the ships in distress?

Making a life denotes one who is driven by significance :
  • Significance outlasts you - it's a legacy.
  • Significance puts the needs of others in the right context, above your needs.
  • Significance asks pertinent questions regarding others, "What should be done about joblessness?"
  • Significance focuses on creating lasting solutions to the problems. Big-picture thinking.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 says :
"I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time."
This verse explains it quite well, survivors in life are the fastest, the strongest, the wise, the skillful and the educated - the common trait between all of them is that they have given themselves for one cause to be the best in their field. Apparently they do not always get what they desire.

What happens to the second-bests? What happens to those who tried and failed? What happens when they no-longer hold the "trophy", when someone else breaks their record?

To get away from survival you have to be inclusive :

  • It is better to give than to receive.
  • Teach others what you learn. Most people think in teaching that they loose when in actual fact, they cement their lessons and inspire others.
  • Think about how you can make the world better, make use of the opportunities and people at your disposal.
  • Use time wisely.

Every man has what may be called time and space to act in, and opportunity to do a particular work. These two constants will ensure you are making a life/ creating significance.

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