Living a Full Life

I don’t care what you’re doing in your life but you’re walking around with a safety net underneath it. Most everyone is. The safety net keeps you from pushing your limits, your comfort, your ability to see consequences.

Don’t be stupid and live like you’re going to die tomorrow. Go to work. Love your family. Be good and do good to others. But don’t spend a lot of time on backup plans or “recovery mechanisms”.

I am finding out that there is nothing more perverse than to speak the truth.

Far too many people do not understand how profound the real honest truth really is, so they make up stories, lies, and other fictions to cover their perceived lack of interesting thoughts and events.

I read once that dumb people talk about people, average people talk about events, smart people talk about concepts and ideas. Geniuses talk about “meaning”.

I have and am becoming far more interested in complete honesty as a form of personal growth. This is having some very strange and bewildering effects. I am turning my life into something I never thought possible. It is beginning to coalesce into “meaning”. My whole life is starting to have real meaning.

I dedicated my life to discovering the hidden things in people, developing a method of observation, and solving the puzzle that humanity presents. It is immensely interesting, entertaining while creating wealth too.

I hope one day to be able to make sense of what I am learning, and sharing this with the rest of humanity.

I have been extremely lucky in this life. I have been all over the world, I have lived some great tragedies, loved some amazing people, and had some amazing adventures..

I hope the next chapter of my life provides the meaning I have sought out for so long….. I am determined to make sure it does.

My basic tips to you:

1. Know Yourself – Forget what your friends, family, neighbors, etc like – Don’t follow them or try to impress them – realize what interests you. What are you fascinated by? Whatever it is, just do it.

2. Never Let Go Of Your Inner Child. When and why do people stop being kids? Kids are the ones that are always running around, laughing, playing, getting scared, hurting themselves. There is no reason why everyone shouldn’t be like this. Society can make people very boring and miserable. Don’t drown your inner voice that says “WOW! That’s soooo cool!!!!”. I’m not being immature, I’m having fun. You should try it sometime too.

3. Forget Fear. What are you scared of? Getting turned down? Being embarrassed? Looking stupid? Failing? C’mon, grow a pair and give it a shot. Whatever you’re nervous of, just stop making excuses and do it. Chances are once “it” is done you’re going to realize how easy it was. This will help you next time you are faced with fear. Always remember, if you give in to your fears you won’t ever be able to talk to your heart.

4. Be Outgoing. Just get out there and talk to people. You don’t have to go out and look for a new best friend or lover, just talk with people. You don’t know who you are going to meet or where it will lead you. People are pretty friendly. There are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met.

5. Be Different. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. No, you don’t have to go out of your way to be that guy that’s dressed absolutely ridiculous, or be the one that hates something just because everyone else likes it. You should not be different just for the sake of being different, you should be “different” because that’s what you want to do. We are all born originals – why is it so many of us die copies?

6. Be Independent. If you’re relying on anyone else you’re only going as far as they are. Are you getting money from parents? Grow up and get a job yourself. Want to travel somewhere or go skydiving and none of your friends are up for it? Go alone. Remember Ghandi? We must become the change we wish to see in the world.

7. Get outside your comfort zone! Take a new route to work! Have a debate with someone you don’t like. Move to another country. Take a cold shower. Break free of your daily routine! You can’t live a fulfilling life on autopilot! When I discovered my cozy Beirut wasn’t for me anymore I took a one way flight to New York City where I knew no one. Comfort zone be gone!

8. Stop caring about what is normal or expected – Sometimes the only thing stopping you from doing something cool is that you’re afraid of looking stupid or weird. The problem is that many things seemed stupid or weird until they didn’t: Traveling for a year after college, dropping out of school to start a tech company, etc…It’s hard to veer off the beaten path and have an exceptional life if you’re always looking of social acceptance.

9. Surround yourself with real great people: Living an interesting life is an admirable goal in itself, but what about meaning? Start with the people you call your family and friends. Are they doing anything worthwhile? Are they lifting you up? Do you add value to them? Do they make you ooze with joy? Your social circle can’t take a back seat. Like it or not, the people you choose define you.

10. Work hard: Being passionate about what you do is the only way to living a meaningful life, but it doesn’t come from looking for it. More and more research is starting to show that passion comes from working hard, not by searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but being the best at who you really are and being totally comfortable in your skin doing it. Don’t sell yourself short, but don’t be afraid to put in the work even when it’s easy to walk away. Get into the habit of working hard at everything you do, meaning will soon knock….much sooner than expected.

11. Try New Things. Think a food looks gross and you wonder how in the world people can eat it? They can probably eat it because it’s damn good. How about you give it a try? Do you think skateboarding is cool? Don’t you wish you could skate around and do tricks…Well get a board and try it out, next time you see someone riding one ask them if you could try for five minutes, you’ve never done it before. If you bust your ass, who cares.. the skateboarder doesn’t care, he was probably expecting that. Your ass hurts for a day or two, big deal. Remember Albert Einstein? A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.

12. Fail often: Some of your greatest experiences will come from when you fall flat on your face. Fail at your first job? Break up with your significant other? Your business idea goes bust? CONGRATULATIONS, your life is fulfilling…. Remember, no one really cares about your success.

13. Travel all over. Cliche no doubt but if you want to have a real fulfilling life you should meet some interesting people! They are all over the place. The norm in America for instance is going to be completely different than the norm in India, or New Zealand. Go see for yourself. Remember St Augustine? The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

14. Share your story: Share your story with the world!! This is easily one of the most impactful things you can do with your time. By sharing both your failures and success you’ll send ripples of change throughout the world. Bottom line… If your life were a book, would anyone want to read it?

Sometimes it actually stresses me out thinking about how many people are “average”, or at least people that are completely cool with sliding by under the radar. I just don’t get it.

I don’t think most people realize how tiny we are. If you don’t do anything about your life, it is going to pass you by, you’ll be dead and gone in no time, with no one remembering much about you. I know that is a dark way to put it, but it’s the brutal truth…and I only speak the truth.

“Today is the youngest you’ll ever be again.”

It’s very hard to grasp that. Everyone always wishes they could experience the past over again, just if they would have taken a picture, or kissed that girl, or bought that stock, or made that call, or said to themselves “Fuck it, what do I have to lose?”

So you might want to step back and ask yourself a few questions…Is your life fulfilling?

1. When was the last time you laughed till you were crying and on the verge of pissing yourself?
2. When was the last time you were really nervous?
3. When was the last time you were lost?
4. What was your last big purchase?
5. When was the last time you broke a sweat?

I can only show you the door. It’s YOU who has to walk through it!

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Written by

Ziad K. Abdelnour, Wall Street financier, trader and author is President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a private family office that backs accomplished operating executives in growing their businesses both organically and through acquisitions and trades physical commodities – mostly oil derivatives – throughout the world.

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