Don’t Contemplate. Have a Drink and Ask Your Neighbor.

“Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.”
– Chamfort

Too often, we’ve been stagnant in life because of contemplation. Our need to take a long length of time to ponder something, can sometimes just lead us further to indecision.

The roots of our contemplation can stem from many things.

In my own personal experience with indecision, which comes quite frequently unfortunately, I’ve realized most of my hesitation is because of fear. Ok, probably all of it is because of fear. But admit my indecisive nature, I’ve decided this year…to be done with it. And like this quote, I expect myself to act more, think less and just simply live. When I feel the fear bubbling up in my throat to stop me from saying something, I’m just going to say it. When I’m scared to try something because of a bad past experience, I’m going to remind myself that was the past and this is now. When it comes to my future, I’m going to do something everyday to get me closer to where I want to be.

So kiss, or kick, contemplation goodbye. Because you won’t be needing him anymore.

My first opportunity to do this came last Friday night. El Senor and I had decided to leave the house in search of a little adventure downtown. After an art exhibit at our favorite Naked Lounge, some checkers, scrabble, good people watching, and coffee, we decided it was time for a real drink. We strolled through the cold to find a warm atmosphere bustling inside Johnnie’s, full of young professionals and an upscale  yet friendly bar. Great place to have a chilled Stella Artois, glass of wine, or really good whisky on the rocks.

Well, el Senor and I started talking about my blog and what it meant to live an authentic life.

I realized, novice-ly, that I had never asked anyone directly what living an authentic life meant to them. I know what it means, what the word “authentic” means to me, but to everyone else, it could mean something entirely different! As I soon found out when el Senor told me he had a bad connotation of the word. I thought to myself, wow Al, umm, you haven’t actually explained yourself to anyone…

So, instead of contemplating what I was going to do about it, I acted! I turned to the couple sitting next to me and asked if they would entertain me by answering a somewhat personal question. They merrily agreed and I proceeded.

“What does living an authentic life mean to you?” I asked.

Here are their answers…

  • The gentleman, who I later found out his name was Eddie, was very prompt and had a conviction and passion behind his answer that was refreshing, said, “Living by your morals, staying true to who you are and true to your family, living for your passions, and doing what you love.
  • The woman, whose name was Brenda, was a bit more quiet, but I could tell she had a heart and personality that was genuine and kind. She said initially, “How can I answer after an answer like his!?” But she believed an authentic life meant staying true to yourself and not letting life get in the way of your passions.

I loved their answers. They were really engaging people and it was so incredible to hear what they had to say about life. I even ventured to ask if they were living their most authentic life, and both of them gave me a heartening “yes.” Conversation endured the rest of the night and it was such a pleasant surprise to meet a couple like that. Those are some of my favorite moments. When you go out of your comfort zone, when you act, and the consequences are so pleasing and unexpected.

I do hope to see them again. They have helped me more than they know, giving me hope and knowledge that people out there are really living their most authentic lives!

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