“Living my best life”
The amount of times I have seen this in someone’s post or heard it casually used in conversation is almost funny. What does it even mean? I’ve seen it associated with people on the beach. I’ve seen it under pictures of a particularly delicious looking meal. I’ve even seen it while people party and consume vast amounts of alcohol. What is this, “best life”?
I’ve actually thought about this quite a bit. My thought is that, while certainly fun, tacos, margaritas and vacations are probably not a deep enough examination. These things are distractions and not at all what life is about. Do not misinterpret what I’m saying. I have nothing against tacos and I think you should enjoy them! But let’s not confuse temporary pleasure with living your “best life” or even more importantly, being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.
Becoming the best, you that you can, is what life is about. Personally, I am predisposed to using martial arts as a tool and practice to aid self-discovery, but I have to admit that it is not the only way. We are all on the same path and it’s unique by design. We all have the exact same duty however. That duty is to do our best in whatever endeavors we pursue. To not do this is a sin. And I do not mean this with the weighty religious overtones the word “sin” often evokes. I mean it in its earliest translations meaning “to miss the mark”.
We’ve discussed that where you aim often determines what you see. Wouldn’t living your “best life” then, be a life that is aimed at the highest possible good? Missing the mark is not good but it is inevitable. You all intuitively know this, even if it isn’t a conscious thought. Why else do we all accept as fact that it, “is not often what you say, as much as how you say it”? We understand that intent matters, regardless of the outcome. We praise good sportsmanship. We revere those who try. We honor those who give it their all.
I’ve told you that you are not “ok”. I know that some people took offense to this and fell back into our now dogmatic, “I am fine just the way I am, don’t judge me” routine. Like the quest for a better understanding of your “best life”, I would suggest a deeper reading. It is not a “judgment” to say you are not ok. What I am saying is that you are not being the very best version of yourself every moment of every day. In that sense, you are not ok because you could be way more than you are. That is a POSITIVE thing! Perhaps it is my blunt nature but apparently, I am doubling down on that statement. So be it.
I think you should live your life in such a manner that you at least don’t contribute to the inevitable suffering that accompanies all life. If, on my deathbed, I can say that I made the suffering at least a little more tolerable for someone, then I think that’s maybe good enough. What if everyone took this attitude? It isn’t reasonable to think that you can alleviate all of the bad things in the world with your actions, but it certainly is not obvious that you are obliged to make them any worse. If we all truly aimed at the good, if we aimed at being our best versions, the world would have no choice but to be a happier and healthier place. THAT is living your best life. That is possible through meditation, introspection and a serious quest for self-discovery.
Don’t get so caught up in your own ego that you think you have it all figured out already. I know for a fact that I do not. I have never met anyone who does, although many people claim to.
We are walking a path on which there is no guarantee that we will reach the destination, but there IS a proper way to walk it.
If you’re willing to accept that not all life is suffering and take the position that “being” is good, then you are doing the right thing. In my estimation, that’s how you live your best life. Now go live it.