“Being undead is not the same as being alive.” ~ E. E. Cummings
Life changing events are a bit of a mystery to me. I call them “triggers” because a life-changing event often triggers a person into taking significant action in their life that before the event occurred would have been unthinkable. For example, a young woman may have never had the thought of having children until she found out she was unable to conceive. Suddenly she becomes consumed with the notion of adopting a child. I once read of the story of a young man, I believe in his late thirties or early forties, who thought he would die in a plane crash. There was a problem crossing the Atlantic and the Captain had warned the passengers of the severity of the situation. The man took out pen and paper and wrote down a list (or bucket list) of things he would do with his life if God would just spare his life. Miraculously, the plane did make it to land and landed safely. The man used his list and the experience to go on to accomplish each and every item on the list before he eventually died.
Why does it so often take a dramatic, often life threatening event to trigger us into becoming truly alive and living our lives to the fullest? We’ve seen over and over that we each possess an incredible ability to accomplish far more than we ever thought possible, so why does it so often take near tragedy to muster up the intestinal fortitude to actually take the necessary steps to begin accomplishing those things? Is it really necessary for us to experience such tragedy to trigger such a reaction? I believe the answer is “no”. But that means you have to make your own trigger. You have to find a way to set in motion the change within yourself to trigger living life to the fullest.
Unfortunately there is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. If there were, everyone would be living a full life. For example, probably the most notable book ever written (other than the Bible) on achieving success in life is Napoleon Hill’s classic book, Think and Grow Rich. Many people have read the book and gone on achieve tremendous success in life. But for every one of those readers whose life was triggered by reading Hill’s book, there are thousands others who have read it and, though they may have benefitted from it, failed to be triggered into taking the necessary action. Some of these same people may have gone on to find their inspirational trigger from watching a movie or from hearing a personal story of overcoming adversity.
The point I want to make is we have to continue searching for those triggers in life. It reminds me of a rather hideous country song that was popular many years ago about “looking for love in all the wrong places”. To find the right triggers for your life, you must look in the right places. Sitting on the sofa waiting to see who gets voted off the island is probably not the right place to find the inspirational trigger you need. Nor is it likely to appear while playing shuffleboard at your local pub.
I believe at the end of life, the most common regret most people have is the time they wasted. Time is a very precious gift and although it is important from time to time to watch some mindless TV program to “re-charge the batteries” of life, too many in today’s society have taken this to the extreme and now have lives that revolve completely around doing nothing of significance. They are in desperate need of a trigger to activate their lives.
We are each personally accountable for our actions. It’s up to us to at the very least, put ourselves into positions where triggers are more likely to occur. We have to make a conscious effort to actively involve ourselves in situations where we might be inspired such as spending time with wounded vets, actively seeking spiritual guidance, spending time in the presence of people who might inspire us, reading the right books and blogs, and yes, even watching movies that might inspire us into action.
The internet is a fabulous resource for inspiration if used correctly. Go to Youtube and type in the word “inspiration”. You will find an awesome way to spend an hour or two on a rainy afternoon. Search out inspirational blogs about things you are passionate about. Join online forums where you might be inspired by others. Mainly, just become active in your own personal development and who knows, there might be a trigger waiting right around the corner.
We really don’t need to have a heart attack or have a doctor to tell us we have six months to live before activating the triggers that lay dormant within us all. What other ideas do you have about finding triggers to activate your life?
- Don’t Just Plan….Follow Through! (emdfx.wordpress.com)
- 3 Triggers To Exceptional Leadership (markmathia.com)
- Triggers, Choices and Inspiration (peaksofinspiration.wordpress.com)
- Uncover and Manipulate Your Triggers to Optimize Your Work and Life [Mind Hacks] (lifehacker.com)