One of the learning experiences that has caused me to readopt my college nickname of “Slam” is realizing the crucial importance of realness, to life happiness and fulfillment. I was called that nickname in college, because I was an enthusiastic Southern fireball, in a college on the west coast. When something was really incredible to me “it flipped me ‘Slam’ Out!”
These memories are funny but the nickname stuck, as being very fitting. I remember liking the feeling of being known as someone, who was passionately expressive and energetically explosive. So the old nickname seems to fit a lifestyle statement, I have learned to live. Life is meant to be lived from the inside out.
Circumstances, trials, and needs of provision & daily obligations can so overwhelm our thinking that they actually control us. This unfortunate malady is outside in – living. We all have to face it and are influenced by it.
Early in life, I read the words of Dr Nido Qubein that life should be approached like a river and not a swamp. that one should purpose and focus his direction singularly, instead of spreading out in many undefined directions. I understood his words and got the concept, Or so I thought.
But honestly, I only really applied the gist of what he was saying four and a half years ago. Because of what Stephen Covey would have called a paradigm shift, I learned to focus my life and thoughts in a stream, towards what I really believe. I became convinced that I had to live my values, even if I had to take my primary focus off of external conditions. This has been the most radical change of my entire life.
This inside out living, as I like to call it helps me to take what I really believe on the inside and live it, on the outside. For the last 5 years, this kind of thinking has transformed how I perform and act. The previous years in my life were filled with an uncertain outlook, (though sometimes masked by a puffed up ego). Now however, I am really deeply & peacefully confident in my direction. I have the peace of knowing, that the rest of my life will be very personally fulfilling and full of things really important to me.
I am in no way proposing that you be out of touch with reality, unaware of your current living situations and not responsible for your duties. What I am proposing is that the primary thrust of your life should not be what is forced on you from the outside. But the deep passionate wholehearted, vigorous energy of your life should be invested in matters of the heart that will make you feel like you have really lived, at the end of your days.
If we learn to live this way, then our bucket list will be very small, because we will invest each day in what we truly believe is the greatest substance of our life, inside out.