The Secret To Life

the secret to lifeWhat is the secret to life? After all, isn’t that the million-dollar question with the billion-dollar answer that eludes most of us? What is it all really all about and why are we all here anyway?

The Secret To Life

When I was in high school, I almost discovered the secret to life… yes, back then. It was early in the morning before school and I was still sleeping and dreaming. I dreamt that I had literally climbed to the top of some mountain and found a wise old sage just sitting there. I know it sounds cliché but I am not kidding you, I actually had this dream.

Being aware that I was in the presence of someone with great knowledge, I asked him… what is the secret to life?

And right at that moment that he began to open his mouth and speak and TELL ME what the secret to life is, my stepmother came into the room, turned on my light and told me it was time to get up.

Dream over… no answers… and as harsh as it might sound I was a little upset with her for a few days afterwards. I swear… all of this really happened.

But even as a young man, and really all of my life I have been a seeker in pursuit of such answers and understanding.

One of the things that I learned early on is that there are those amongst us who just “get it” and they understand it all when it comes to life; they just came out that way from birth.

One of my best friends when I was in the military was certainly of that mold as no matter what ever was happening around him, or even to him, it affected him as much as water affects a duck’s back… everything rolled off of him.

Of course, I also realized back then that I was not so gifted, not so resilient, not so understanding of it (all)… but I vowed to make that part of my life mission… to be someone who gets it… someone who eventually may come to understand the secret to life.

Therefore, it makes perfect sense that I often found myself in self-inflicted crisis, both large and small, as I suspect it was my way of getting myself my own education in the real workings of the world, and ultimately the real workings of myself as well.

And it makes perfect sense that I spent a lot of time and money pursuing my post-graduate degree studying psychology and counseling… it was all part of the same path of learning. Trying to learn the secret to life…

If you are still reading, I will tell you right now that I don’t know the answer… I might know my answer but your answer might be different. But I will tell you these things that I have learned and that I believe that while they might not be the all-conclusive answer to the secret of life – I am highly confident that they are a large part of it.

  • Life is simple. – It really is… you get up in the morning, you do your best and you have the best day that you can. Life is hard mostly because we do it to ourselves.
  • You create your own life. – Both the good and bad… Even if you have fouled your life up in your early years, it is always possible to turn things around. Unfortunately, the opposite is true and that is you always have the opportunity to blow it all as well. You make your own life… there are no victims, except maybe those who are victims of their own doing.
  • Give more than you receive. – My grandfather Wooten modeled this for me and now I get it… Unless you are total jerk, I believe most of us are happiest when we are giving or are helping others.
  • What you say matters. – What you say matters not only in using your voice to ask for what you want but also when it comes to how you treat others and yourself as well. Always choose your words wisely.
  • You can change. – Of course I believe that you can change otherwise I would not be in the business of helping others to change and to transform their lives. I once read that we really don’t change throughout life and that we ultimately just become more of what we are… i.e. if you are loner as a young person you might just end up a hermit in your older years… I call BS on this one… If you want to change, you can change.
  • Do good and get good. – All of the good that you do and put out into the world comes back to you in one way or another. Same as with the bad stuff… regardless of if you believe in Karma or not… wouldn’t you rather prefer to hedge you bets, just in-case?
  • Worrying is useless. – You can worry about something all you want but it won’t change anything. Worrying is just wallowing in negative energy and if you believe that like attracts like, then worrying is like praying for what you do not want.
  • Do what you love. – This is a tough one but here it is… maybe your job isn’t fulfilling and you don’t love it and you are not in the position to change that just yet… fine. Work only takes up a portion of the day… make sure the other 16 hours or so are spent doing what you love. If you get the chance to do what you love and can do that instead of making a paycheck… you’d best go for it.
  • Have fun. – If whatever you are doing is not fun then quit and walk away. Career, marriage, all of it. I am not saying to be irresponsible and break your commitments but life is not a “life sentence” of misery just to be endured. Sure things are not fun all of the time but the sweetness of life should outweigh the sourness MOST OF THE TIME.
  • Be happy. – Learn how to be happy, truly happy and share that stuff! People will remember you if you are an ass to them but they will remember you a lot better and more fondly if you share your happiness with them. The world needs so much more of this!
  • Be yourself. – Be yourself and do what it is that you want to do. Whatever it is that your authentic-self desires… do that. Even if you know it might not work out, wouldn’t you rather know than not? After all, in the end, you are going to be the only one on your deathbed harboring your regrets.

The secret to life… who knows what it really is. If I had to sum it up in two sentences, I’d say it all comes to:

  1. Don’t be a butt-head to yourself or anyone else.
  2. Do no harm and strive to leave this world a better place than the one you found.

That might be all there is… trust me though… if and when I ever get a definitive answer on what the secret to life is…  I will be letting everyone know!

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo By Rob Timko 31 December 2015

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