My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops? – Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
What is your defining moment?
Can you think back to a time when your life took a major turn? When you decided to strive for the things you really wanted and reach for the dreams you never dared to actualize? Do you remember where you were when the muse struck you, when the spark ignited and you decided to push forward, past naysayers, past obstacles and truly live the life of your dreams. But what if you aren’t a dreamer, what if you’re a realist, what if you don’t know what you really want out of life? Are you searching for success? Recognition? Happiness? Joy? What is your pursuit and why do you even need to have one?
The thing about life is that it’s a journey.
It has a start date and it certainly has an end date, although unknown and sometimes tragically too soon. You probably don’t want to be the kind of person who mindlessly rolls through each day doing absolutely nothing. You probably want to spend your time and energy on a meaningful project that can be challenging yet has its rewards. You probably want to accomplish something you can be proud of and add to your list of achievements. You probably want to make a difference no matter how you spin it. Life is the most valuable, the most priceless gift in all the world, and the way you spend each moment of your life matters.
One weekend I spent the night at my cousin’s house.
We watched a movie about a man who could travel back in time like his father and grandfather before him. He used his gift curiously at first, going back in time to events and reliving them. Then he would try to fix them, going back to the moment where it all went wrong and changing the action. At last the man’s father, on his deathbed, passed on to his son the true secret of time travel. Being able to go back in time gives you an opportunity, a rare gift to live your life twice. At the beginning of each day the time traveler would wake and live, then each night he would go back to the beginning of that day and re-live it to the best of his ability, improving upon it. Finally, he realized you don’t have to travel back in time to live a full life, all you need to do each day is wake up with the mindset to live a full, meaningful life. Cheer up someone who is having a bad day, pay for another’s coffee, give up your seat on the bus. All those tiny actions add up and make life full and beautiful. Although you may not have the ability to go back in time and re-live each day, you have the same thing the time traveler had: time. What will you do with it?
I don’t believe there is just one defining moment in your life, there are many.
Yes, there are times when you may look back and see why you choose the road you did, or the interaction that gave you the courage to take a risky step. Growing up I’ve always been fascinated by nature and the idea of traveling. My parents encouraged me to start small and see if traveling was really something I enjoyed. My first international trip was a ten day mission trip to Panama. Eyes popping out of my head, I could not get over how beautiful the land was, how easy it was to interact with the natives, and how much fun I had being away from all I knew, wild and free. It was then a defining moment struck me and I knew, to live is to travel, to explore, to learn about different cultures, to breathe the air they breathe. To truly live is to matter to people, to impact their lives for the better whether it’s a hug, advice or just spending time talking to them. These days it seems everyone is looking for a solution and if I can be part of that solution, I count myself lucky. There have been several defining moments in my life that have shaped and changed it.
What is one of your defining moments? What inspires you?