by Stephen Lau
Healthy living is living with life passion.
What is life passion?
Life passion is passion for healthy living. Essentially, it means you are passionate about your health: why you want to be healthy, and how you can be healthy. In particular, life passion makes you passionate about yourself, and your role in this world.
- Who are you?
- Why do you want to live? Why do you want a healthier life?
- What is the meaning of life? What is the life purpose for you?
Life passion is empowering: it enables you to take new challenges as well as to overcome all obstacles in life. Life’s journey is forever bumpy. Only life passion can help you deal with your everyday problems.
How to cherish your life passion
Essentially, living is searching for the meaning of life, and it is this ongoing search for the purpose of life that gives you life passion to live yet another day and to get the most out of each day that you live.
Different people may have different perceptions of the meaning of life. But this is irrelevant to you. What really matters is the meaning of life to you. Only you have the answer. Once you know what you want out of life, then you know what you should do with your life. However, the problem with most people is that they may know what they want out of their lives, but they do not know what they should do with their lives, or how to get what they want out of their lives. What they lack is life passion: they just drift along unfulfilled, feeling deprived, and forever complaining about the hardship and unfairness of life.
This is how you can cherish your life passion:
First and foremost, find your life purpose. What do you love to do the most? It should be in tune with who you really are. Identify your life purpose first. Only you have the answer: nobody can tell you what your life purpose is. Only you know the meaning of life.
Having identified your life purpose, set your life goals. A purposeful life has well-defined life goals. Setting life goals keeps you more focused, more efficient, more motivated, and more determined to get what you want out of your life. Different people have different life goals, and some of the more common life goals are as follows:
- Having a successful career
- Getting married and having a family
- Making a difference in others’ lives
- Starting a business
- Earning more money
Your life goals have to be your own. For example, it is not one of your life goals to become Tiger Woods, because Tiger Woods can only be a role model for you, but not one of your life goals. Instead, to become an outstanding professional golfer may be one of your life goals. All your life goals have to be personal, really coming from you. You don’t want to become Tiger Woods, you just want to be uniquely YOU!
External life goals and internal life goals
First, set your life goals. There are two types of life goals: external life goals and internal life goals.
External life goals are impermanent: they vary with circumstances. For example, one of your life goals (external life goals) may be to earn more money, and you may become very rich one day (your external life goal accomplished), but some day you may also lose everything in a financial crisis. External life goals are only the end results of your efforts and endeavors, which are essentially your internal life goals. As with many other things in life, all external life goals are evasive and impermanent because we are living in an impermanent and ever-changing world.
Internal life goals, on the other hand, are what is inside you: your belief in what is important to you in life (your core values in life); your confidence that you can do what is necessary to accomplish what you want to accomplish, and your determination to make your life goals materialize.
Does spirituality help with setting your internal life goals? It certainly does, if you believe there is a Creator who presides over all things.
Remember, internal life goals are always achievable if you put your time and effort on them, but external life goals may be subject to limitations that can be beyond your control.
The way of Zen (an ancient Chinese philosophy of Dao or Tao) best illustrates the differences between external life goals and internal life goals. Zen focuses on the present moment, and hence only on the efforts and the processes (the internal life goals), not the results (the external life goals). The essence of Zen is spontaneity, which precludes all stress in the process of achieving both your external life goals and internal life goals.
To illustrate, your purpose in life is to be healthy, and the meaning of life for you is to live your life to the fullest as given by your Creator, while your external life goal maybe is to live to a hundred. To accomplish that external life goal, you need to set your own internal life goals first:
- Know your true self. Shakespeare said: “To thine own self be true.“ Charles M. Schwab once said: “The best place to succeed is where you are, with what you have.” Know your own positive strengthens as well as your negative weaknesses. In other words, do you have what-it-takes to accomplish that life goal you intend to pursue?
- Be knowledgeable about all health-related issues. Knowledge is empowering.
- Be determined to change your lifestyle. Albert Einstein once said: “Insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing, and yet expecting a different result.” You need to make meaningful changes in order to reach your long-term life goals, and that requires discipline and determination.
- Be persistent. In the process of pursuing your external life goals, you will inevitably encounter many difficulties and hurdles. Never give up on your internal life goals.
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You may not live to a hundred because there are external circumstances that are beyond your control. You may also encounter setbacks in your health as you continue to age. No matter what, your internal life goals have become your life passion; they have become your beacon in your life’s journey, giving you a firm direction. You are pursuing your own life passion, and you are living your life on your own terms. If you are really passionate about your health, you will not lose sight of your priorities, and you will get yourself excited about what you do — this excitement has become your life passion!
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Copyright© by Stephen Lau
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