Friday, June 8, 2012


If, like me, you've so far missed this acronym of modern language YOLO means You Only Live Once.  It's the impetus, and sometimes excuse, being tossed around for many adventures and personal discoveries of late.  And it has great value if you are seeking out things to enhance your life and not just a way to assuage your conscience for bad behavior and choices.

Our founding fathers went to quite the effort to promise each of us "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  Note we are not guaranteed happiness, just the ability to pursue it.  And 'pursue' is a verb; an action word; implied is getting off your butt and doing something.

Now and then we see this idea repeated by other bright thinkers, eloquent and not, with phrases like "carpe the heck out of that diem" and "life is for the living."  Today, reading the 2012 Wellesley High School Commencement Address by David McCullough Jr. these sentences stood out to me.  "The point is the same: get busy, have at it. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands."

He went on to explain further, "None of this day-seizing, though, this [YOLO]ing, should be interpreted as license for self-indulgence. Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you."

The fulfilled life is a consequence.  Now that's something to think about.

Over the last year, I think it's fair to say I've given myself license for a lot of self-indulgence.  Yes, I've done some hard things and learned a great deal but I'm not really any closer to the life I would call fulfilled and gratifying now than I was then.  I also think it's fair to say that in large part this stems from lack of direction, lack of tangible goals, and lack of discipline to do the hard things to bring them about.

I need a big goal and someone or something that will help me by following through with holding me accountable.

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