There’s a huge difference between existing and living.
And I’m not just saying this to summon all the people who own a thesaurus either. It’s a semantic difference.
I was thinking about this today as I was having a conversation with another web developer. She’s struggling with the ups and downs that come in business and was thinking about getting a side job.
Trust me, when I say, in the internet industry if you need a side job, you aren’t doing something right.
And further conversation revealed that she wasn’t really trying. Was reaching for the low clients. The ones with less enthusiastic business plans. The one site and done clients.
Stay with me here, I do have a point!
She, and consequently her business, were just existing. Making just enough to live off. Unhappily, maybe, having a humdrum life.
We chatted for a bit and she told me that my zest for life inspires her. That I do everything with enthusiasm and reach for the high-hanging fruit.
Because we don’t know how long we have to live our lives. Tomorrow, we could be in completely different and unexpected circumstances.
The future and the someday you wish for may never come. Or may come but in a way you never planned for.
We have now. Right fucking now.
So I told this web developer that she should not need a side job, she needs to re-evaluate her business. Is she aiming for clients she can serve well and in an ongoing way? Is she targeting industries that need her services? Is she simply existing, accepting her fate running a mediocre business, or is she living and taking the risks and really living life?
I’ve always approached things with perhaps more enthusiasm than I should; there’s definitely personality involved in that. But actually LIVING my life? Claiming my place and living a meaningful life? No.
We could ascribe this change to my certain death experience. To a midlife crisis. To hitting the point where I looked around and asked, “Is this all there is?”
Any and all of the above. No matter what the cause, I call it a waking up.
Living, really living, takes energy and effort but the rewards are incredible. New things happen, new opportunities come by. There’s a lot of fear but consequently there’s a lot of exhilaration.
My friends coined the term “excitrified” which covers both excited and terrified.
Really living is not accepting what’s right in front of you because it’s there. It’s reaching for the thing you really want and making it happen.
It’s running towards the things that scare you the most because true growth and true living comes when you step outside your comfort zone.
Whether you run a business and want to add energy, or whether you look around you and realise the life you’re living isn’t the life you want, no matter what, don’t accept the same old same old just because it’s familiar.
You have the power to change things up. And sometimes it’s good to start small. Rearrange the furniture. Bring plants into your home or office. Take a new route to work.
And my very favourite: how about some new art for your walls? Hit reply and let’s talk.
Did you know?
Even when my heart isn’t in it, I still keep moving forward. The alternative, is to go back to sleep. Letting my life slip through my fingers. That’s a big no right there.
And starting small? It’s the only way. I started by painting three nights per week. And then I started sharing my work. And then I painted more and shared more. Bit by bit.
You don’t need to quit your job, get a motorcycle and wear leather all the time. You don’t. But if you do, come by and get me. I’ve always wanted to ride a motorcycle!