Start Living….

Do you ever feel like life is spinning out of control? That the harder you try to get ahead the more you just barely get by?  If so, maybe it’s time for you to think about quitting life — that elusive thing that we chase after and strive for — and, instead, start living.

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It can be a difficult distinction to understand, I know, but making the distinction can make all the difference in the world.  So if you’re tired of suffering through and truly want to live, here are 10 tips to get you started!

1.  Recognize that life is what you get when you’re born. . .

. . . Living is what you do with it!

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You can sit back and wait for life to happen to you or you can make it happen yourself.  As Maya Angelou once said, “Life likes to be taken by the lapel and told, “I’m with you kid.  Let’s go!”

2.  Define life. . . It leads to the fine life.

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Life is not a slogan, no matter what Nike, McDonald’s, ABC, NBC, or any other media giant might have you believe.  While those “Life is. . .” t-shirts are often witty, the philosophy they propose, like the shirt itself, are rarely “one size fits all.”  Define life and living on your own terms and you’ve a better chance of getting both.

3.  Make up your own rules.

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Many people believe that “life is a game.”  Maybe so, but most games have rules and clear-cut definitions of winning and losing.  We didn’t get rule books when we were born, and that leaves us free to make up our own rules about life, living, losing, and winning.

4.  Take charge of your life.

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Once you’ve made up your rules you can start taking charge of your life.  And when you take charge of your life, as Geoffrey Abert said, “There is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large.  When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life.”

5.  Little things mean a lot.

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No matter how we live, life throws a lot of little negative things in our way that must be dealt with or else they will greatly diminish how we enjoy our days.  Stephen Vincent Benet said it best:  “Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.”

6.  Employ the power of positive quitting.

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Most of us view quitting as a negative thing to do, but it’s not.  “Winners never quit,” we’re told.  In reality, winners quit all the time by choosing to stop doing things that aren’t creating the results they desire.

7.  Create your personal quit list.

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Examine your life closely and you’ll find all sorts of things you do and/or tolerate that hold you back, slow you down, or effect you negatively in some other way.  Decide which ones you really want to be rid of and write them down.

8.  On your mark, get set, QUIT!

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Now start quitting the things you listed.  Doing so will immediately create a positive “charge” in your life as you rid yourself of these negatives and create the room in your life for new, more positive experiences.

9.  Charge into your future!

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As you recreate this positive force in your life, take big, massive leaps into your future.  Be imaginative, bold, and brave!  The results may surprise you.

10.  Use everything.

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You are blessed with a particular set of skills and talents that no one else has.  Use every skill and talent to live your life as joyfully and abundantly as possible.  Leave this life as Erma Bombeck wished to:  “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.'”

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