You have one life, LIVE it fully

Wednesday, May 2

A friend recently shared a quote that I believe is vital to today's topic:

"Life is not a rehearsal, you either leave it or live it."

Have you ever reflected back on your life? Where you came from, how you were born, what your parents taught you whether wrong and right, what you observed growing up? The low and high moments in your life. Where you are now? Where you want to be in 3-5 years? What you are potentially able to do? I'd like to think of this as a graphical representation of your life.

I believe that we are all laden with unlimited potential. There are resources, people and opportunities around each of us but they are hidden in plain sight. Just because you can not physically see something doesn't mean that it is isn't there. All these will be vital in attaining the goals, and the vision you have in life.

All the people that ever died having emptied themselves of their potential have various things in common. It did not matter what religion they were in, what mattered is that they believed in a greater power than themselves. They believed in a cause greater than themselves and pursued those causes even unto death. Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gadhi, Mother Teresa, and our very own Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathae are a few examples. They were not driven by material gain, popularity contests, awards, “followers” or none thereof. Their significance was measured by how well every activity they engaged in tied with their purpose. Nothing deterred them from pursuing their calling. Yes, they generated a lot of criticism, but none of them resulted to war as a weapon to champion their causes. They were peaceful even in the midst of turmoil. They remained steadfast and ultimately lived fulfilled lives. Isn't it better dying trying to do something than to live doing nothing?

Have you read the story of one Anne Sullivan? She was an American teacher best known as the instructor and companion of Helen Keller. She epitomizes a life fully lived. She died empty.

The world is devoid of action only small-talk.

What is sad is that many people walk around doing nothing and changing nothing? Always complaining, blaming and excusing themselves from what is essentially their duty. Where you complain the most, please take a moment to see whether you are the missing change agent? Most probably you are the one who'll make a difference. You are the one who needs to change. It's not so much about making a big change in the shortest period of time, rather than making steadfast small changes, one day at a time. It is also not about being perfect as much as it is about striving for excellence.

Maybe the guy who is always throwing tantrums in your office only needs a smile. Probably, no one has ever cared enough to smile at him.
Maybe your small brother just needs someone to tell him, he can do it. All he has been hearing around is that, "It's not possible." No wonder, he's always in his room watching TV from dawn to dusk.
Just maybe, your boss, or the president of your country is not the problem. You just need to wake up from your dream of 'freedom' and take action.

People find it easier talking about others than being introspective and talking about themselves. It's not about being overly self-conscious or on the extreme and being arrogant. It is much harder to look within yourself, and admit that you are fearful of failure, that you can't ask for help, that you never delegate routine tasks because you don't believe that others can do a better job.

What do you love doing most? Give it some thought. What do you hate most and would want to do something about, if given opportunity? If there is something you could do for free and not mind if no one paid you, what would that be? What gives you tremendous energy? These are pointers to what your life's purpose is.

Until you do what you love, your life will be controlled by emotions such as fear, anger, shame and regret. Until you stand up for what you truly believe in, you will always have to compromise, settle for second-best. Opportunities will pass you by in broad daylight. Remember, you are not getting any younger as you age.

What footprints will you leave behind after you die? What is the legacy that you will leave? Will you have made the world a better place to live in? Will you have made it easier for another soul to breathe better in the world? The change has to start inside you, but you have to take actual steps and make an impact.

Dr. Anthony Campolo, Professor of Sociology, Eastern College, St. Davids, Pennsylvania, shares the results of a survey where 50 people 95 years and older were asked: “If you could live your life over what would you do differently?” These old people said they would do the following:

  1. Reflect more.
  2. Risk more.
  3. Do things that would live on after they died.
Do you have to wait until you are ninety to reflect so painfully? (excerpt from Made for Greatness, Anthony Gitonga)
I pray for you my friend today as I do for myself, may we empty ourselves of the uniqueness we have in us. May we pursue our purpose. May we fulfill God's calling of us today. Whatever you do, wherever you are, the Maker is calling for you to touch the life of another, and by chain effect, many others and ignite them through your purpose. Choose to spend your life wisely today, you only have one (life).

What steps will you take starting now? Your “Hellen Keller” is waiting!


  1. Great post Jepb.

    "People find it easier talking about others than being introspective and talking about themselves"

    That is a classic and so true.

  2.  Thanks Ngina for reading and your kind remarks.

    We should learn to be introspective, only then will we view the problems around us as our responsibility to solve and not other people's.

    Always appreciate your comments.

  3. The world is truly devoid of action but full of small talk. We act though but our acts are rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Just like small talk, we focus only on externals and superficial acts whose significance do not last beyond our lifetimes. But we deceive ourselves into thinking we are active.

    That would be why those 95+ people would say, risk more, reflect more, do things tat would outlast them... Today, most people would rather watch soap operas than reflect. We would rather spend hours at our jobs than tie our work into a transcendental purpose like the people you mentioned.

    Great, great post Maureen.

  4. Thanks Tolu for reading and sharing such a rich comment. You are a blessing.
    "Today, most people would rather watch soap operas than reflect." You really captured that point Tolu. Small talk versus action. I was reading John Maxwell's book and He was sharing that successful people do things habitually that unsuccessful people don't and the reverse is true.

    "We would rather spend hours at our jobs than tie our work into a transcendental purpose like the people you mentioned." The number of people that don't fall in this category are few, echoes the words of Jesus, "Many are called but few are chosen." I believe that if just you and I take up the challenge to sat no to the status quo, we will CHANGE the WORLD.

  5. And in reality, there is no "small talk" and no insignificant action. Our words and actions either count negatively or positively in the present and for eternity. Hey if the guy who called Himself the truth says we will give account of every idle word, which talk is small?

    And absolutely, we will change the world if we refuse to conform to the status quo.

    Thanks Maureen.

  6. I absolutely agree. There are only two avenues of influence, positive and negative, and because we were made for eternity, talk and action are not insignificant. The parable of the talents illustrates this quite well, and thanks for bringing this out. The two who had 10 and 5 talents were both told, "Well done thou good and faithful servant" while the one who had 1 talent and just buried it, ended up losing for eternity.

    In retrospect, what we do with the 'talents' God has given us, however small, is what will count at the end.

    I appreciate your contribution Tolu, always extending my thoughts. God bless you.

  7. You wrote this in May, but your words inspired me TODAY as I begin a new year. Thank you for prompting me to action. I tend to do many things, but I need to pray for God's purpose in my life and align my actions to HIS will. Keep writing.

  8. Hi Karen,

    Happy New Year. I am really excited that these words prompt you to seek God's will and purpose for your life. You will not be disappointed. He promises to answer us when we call.

    I have reread the post as well, and I shall keep writing. Love your resolve, here is to a year of obedience to God's leading. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  9. Great article...its painful that many people die without ever discovering themselves or leaving an impact in this world. We shd use what we have been given to bless others...

  10. Mwalimu, you said it best. It is painful, I agree. For those of us who have discovered that we are laden with unlimited potential, it is on us to tell more people to discover themselves.

    I appreciate you reading and sharing your exhortation. We are here to bless others with what we have been blessed with.


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