The Guide to An Amazing Life

There are so many things that you can do in a lifetime. There are endless opportunities. You can be anyone or anything. No one can put a limit on your potential. Only you can decide how far you go in life. Life is what you make it. You can make it a wild and fun adventure or you can fly under the radar and settle for “just making it through”. I personally prefer the first option. In order to live an amazing life you must at least do these three things. Number one, just keep swimming. Number two, close your eyes and jump. Number three, remember and laugh.

Life is not always a piece of cake. Whether it is the death of a family member, turmoil in the family, your love life, lack of money, stupid and annoying people, or last minute speeches, there will always something being thrown at you. But, this is where the word “choice” comes in. Are you going to whine and feel sorry for yourself or are you going to get up and realize that it’s all part of life? Everyone has problems. They may not be as rough as yours or as traumatic as yours, but they are in the same boat as you. No one here is alone. Eventually you will pull through and see the light. Just take our favorite little fish’s advice and “just keep swimming”.

Water skiing, snow boarding, cliff diving, hot air ballooning, bungee jumping, sky diving, traveling across the world, learning six different languages, running a marathon, trying out for American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, going to college, shooting for Harvard, going on a blind date, finding love, settling down, having a family… these are just the things that I’d love to do in my life. There are so many possibilities and adventures that are just waiting to be lived by you. What’s holding you back? The one thing that usually holds people back is fear. There is fear of the unknown, fear of death, and fear of failure. But, here’s how I look at it. Everything is unknown. Nothing is certain. But, I’d rather know than not. I’d rather experience every earthly experience possible so that I know for certain that I have lived my life to the fullest. The fear of death is a silly fear to me. As Mitchell says, “You are going to die eventually anyway.” Everyone is going to die. It is expected. There can be no beginning or middle if there is no end. You never know when your time will come. So, why not take advantage of every possible moment you have here on this earth? Everyone has experienced the fear of failure, whether it be failing your boss, friend, loved one, parents, or even yourself. But, just like in football: It takes a loss to appreciate a win. You are going to fail. It is what makes us human. No one in this room is perfect and even though some of us act the part, in our hearts we know that we are all imperfect. Being imperfect is actually perfectly normal. Don’t be afraid of failure. When you fall, just pick yourself back up again. Facing your fears is like bungee jumping. Just close your eyes and jump.

There are so many joys in life. There are so many funny stories, inside jokes with friends, special memories, and beautiful people in your life. Even when life seems like it sucks, I guarantee one day you can look back and smile. I remember on my fourteenth birthday I went to the beach with my best friend Shawn and we decided that we were going to learn how to skim board. I have never felt so uncoordinated in my whole entire life. I fell too many times to count, I got sand in places that it never should have been, and I got beat up pretty badly. Eventually, I got so wore out that I fell asleep on my towel and slept for three hours straight. Meanwhile, my friend Shawn, instead of kindly waking me up and stopping me from baking in the sun, made a birthday girl sign out of seaweed with an arrow pointing at me. He then took pictures of me slowly being cooked and people walking by, pointing and laughing. The next day, I looked like a lobster. My face was peeling off, I still had sand in mysterious places, and I looked like I had been severely beaten. Now, it took me a good two weeks to look at the pictures and laugh at myself. But, I will always look back on that and smile. One of my church leaders, who passed away not too long ago, told us a funny story about his family. He said, “I remember when one of our daughters went on a blind date. She was all dressed up and waiting for her date to arrive when the doorbell rang. In walked a man who seemed a little old, but she tried to be polite. She introduced him to me and my wife and the other children; then she put on her coat and went out the door. We watched as she got into the car, but the car didn’t move. Eventually our daughter got out of the car and, red faced, ran back into the house. The man that she thought was her blind date had actually come to pick up another one of our daughters who had agreed to be a babysitter for him and his wife. We all had a good laugh over that. In fact, we couldn’t stop laughing. Later, when our daughter’s real blind date showed up, I couldn’t come out to meet him because I was still in the kitchen laughing. Now I realize that our daughter could have felt humiliated and embarrassed. But she laughed with us, and as a result, we still laugh about it today.” Even the most embarrassing things can be the funniest. Your life will seem so much brighter if you just remember to laugh.

So, go ahead. Live your life. Never give up, no matter how hard it gets. Take advantage of ever opportunity and door that is opened to you. Be able to look back on your life in ten years, twenty years, thirty years, etc, and laugh. Live your life no matter what comes your way. Just like Forrest Gump’s mother says, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.”





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