How to Live Life to the Fullest (and Grow Your Business)

How to live an amazing life?

You’ve probably read this a thousand times.

I have.

But what does it mean, really?

I’ve asked myself this question for decades: “How do I live life to the fullest?” Have you?

Many people might say the following: “There’s nothing great about my life.” And I think this problem comes because this “epic life” stuff is subjective AND we (you and I) have been comparing ourselves to others for years.

We can’t help it, really. Most of us have grown up in a media-saturated “reality,” where celebrities, athletes, and reality TV stars are given their 15 minutes and then some.

I mean, if Kim Kardashian can become famous, why can’t I?

So, we are confused by the ever-present media and tricked into thinking certain people have everything. It’s hard for anyone to escape it’s influence, even those who don’t watch TV.

And if you’re spending much of your day on social media, particularly Facebook, you’re experiencing the emotion of jealousy over and over and over.

Think about it. This “epic life” nonsense is shoved in your face daily, on multiple channels.

And there’s another problem…

Living a great life means something different to each person you pass on the street. Just picture yourself in the middle of some major American city, you with a microphone asking each person the following:

“What does it mean to live life to the fullest?”

I’m sure certain themes would develop, but the answers would vary.

And the biggest problem of all…

When it comes to this “living life to the fullest” topic we often think in terms of adventure, where we need to make big, bold moves and completely change our lives…

  • To quit your job, sell all your possessions and help starving kids in a third world country.
  • To become a globe-trotting nomad, living out of a backpack.
  • To create some amazing new product that will make you millions and give you the ride of your life.

Nothing wrong with the three examples above. They are great, and might be perfect scenarios for someone out there, but I’m taking a big leap and am guessing that someone is not you.

It sure as hell isn’t me.

No.

How can I answer this so definitively?

Because I finally cracked this big, fat nut and think I’ve figured out what “living life to the fullest” means, for me at least.

It feels like it took me 119 years but it finally came.

Maybe this will apply to you, or at least help you find your own answer.

Are you ready?

Well, here you go…

I was recently reading Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” for the umpteenth time and came upon the passage where he introduces us to the term, “Resistance.”

Resistance: “an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”

Here is what he wrote on what elicits resistance:

“…any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any of these will elicit Resistance.”

I’ve read this many times but it never sunk in like it should have. Probably because my judgement was clouded by some of the things I mentioned above, and thinking living life to the fullest should be based on what someone else has done — his or her model of greatness.

But no. It’s way, way simpler than that.

Yep.

For years I’ve been fighting those acts that stem from my higher nature.

Let me give you an example.

I love writing, honestly more than just about anything I’ve ever done.

I’ve written off and on for much of my life, but never truly embraced it, until around the age of 46.

But when I write a few things happen…

1. The world stops.

In other words I am “in the now” and am so deeply immersed in the process, nothing else matters. (Now I finally understand what the hell Eckhart Tolle was going on about for years.)

2. New ideas come.

From “what cool new services can I offer” to “I finally get this ‘living in the now’ thing.” Writing opens me up like nothing else. It gives me new ideas… for life, business, and overall well-being.

3. I get smarter.

Writing brings out the best in me, and it also brings out my true nature. But I’m also more confident in myself, and after I write for an extended period of time I see people, the world around me, and myself in a different light.

4. It energizes me.

I embraced the practice of daily writing years ago, but when I slip and don’t write for a few days I can really feel it.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.

But here’s where the problem came.

While observing bloggers, writers, online marketers, I would stop, re-tool, and re-start…

How can I monetize my writing? How can I become the next James Altucher? How can I deconstruct Brian Clark’s genius and somehow turn my writing into products, raving fans, and one business idea after another? What must I do to write myself onto the TED stage and give a talk that trumps Susan Cain’s amazing presentation?

STOP!

That’s what I finally told myself after I read the Pressfield quote.

Here it is again…

“…any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any of these will elicit Resistance.”

A practice like writing — one that stems from my higher nature — is something I should hone daily.

Why? For all the reasons I mentioned above.

Getting hung up on mechanics, making money, and imitating others are forms of resistance, and… they won’t work.

And I finally realized, they’re spirit-killers.

Want a real-world example? Here you go…

I while ago I interviewed Lisa Gerber and we discussed her husband Patrick’s wine making business/passion and Small House Winery, a craft winery located in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Patrick and a friend decided to fully embrace their passion — to push through and do the work to actually make this “thing” come to fruition, all while earning a paycheck somewhere else.

And instead of trying to emulate some other winemaker, they’ve slowly rolled out something that’s not the least bit pretentious and is all about the craft, the experience, and the passion.

Resistance probably hit him upside the head a thousand and one times whispering sweet vile nothings: “This won’t work.” “You must be crazy.” “I’ll go broke.” “This is way to much to do in my spare time.” “I’ll never compete with the big boys,” etc.

Here’s what I think he did instead…

He rejected immediate gratification in favor of a love that might lead to something very special in the long-run. The maker — his higher nature — was always there.

Your lower nature is always waiting to sabotage your efforts. The things that come from your core will always draw out the demon called Resistance.

So, today skip instant gratification.

Instead focus on long-term growth.

When it comes to marketing your business, keep showing up.

Think about what makes you happy, healthy, and full of energy.

A practice where maintaining your integrity doesn’t come into question.

And frankly, that “thing” that comes so easy to you.

Then work daily to push through and fight the repelling force that will always, without fail, be there waiting to stop you. Don’t let it.

Don’t quit your job, drop everything, and do an instant re-boot.

No, formulate a plan and take the time to fight through and see “it” through. Those extra moments in the day where you do nothing — fill those with that act that derives from your higher nature.

You’ll have an end-goal and you’ll enjoy the journey along the way.

That, my friend, is how you will live life to the fullest.