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A sad truth that becomes an everyday norm for millions of people is to go through life without any passion or purpose. They let their age become an excuse as to why they can’t embark on a new dream, they completely neglect their health and they have no sense of direction of what they truly want from life. They stay busy and may even achieve a little bit of success from time to time, but ultimately, they are incredibly unfulfilled.
One of the more powerful books that I have read which clearly and articulately explains why so many suffer from a disengaged and unfulfilled life is The Rhythm of Life by bestselling author Matthew Kelly. This book is full of timeless truths that if followed carefully and then acted upon can drastically change the quality of your life.
In the book, Matthew asks an extremely powerful question that you should take some time to think about and answer yourself. That question is, “Are you satisfied being in the habit of surviving, or are you ready to get into the habit of thriving?” Whether in life or in business, every single one of us is either doing what we need to do in order to just survive, or we are going above and beyond while working to become the best version of ourselves so we can thrive. Sadly, a huge majority of the population settles for right where they currently are in life and has no real desire to change their current situation.
Matthew states that one of the main reasons why so many people go down this road and end up living unfulfilled lives with no passion whatsoever is because they neglect their secondary needs. In the book, Kelly explains that we all have primary needs, the things that are necessary to sustain our existence. We have physical needs, emotional needs, intellectual needs and spiritual needs.
If we don’t have food to eat and water to drink, we will eventually die. Our emotional needs may not be life threatening if we neglect them like food and water, but emotional starvation is not any less important. Kelly says that, “Our emotional needs are in many ways subtler but certainly no less important if we are to thrive.”
From an intellectual standpoint, he says, “We need a diet of the mind just as much as we need a diet of the body. The ideas we feed our mind today tend to form our lives tomorrow.” For an example, are the books you are reading helping you to grow and become the best you can possibly become?
On spiritually, Kelly states, “Our spiritual needs have a tendency to change as the seasons of our lives change. Each of us has a unique spiritual journey. In different stages of the journey, we have different needs. And yet, there are some needs that are unchanging and necessary in all seasons of our lives — silence, solitude and simplicity.” He goes on to say, “The way we seek to experience these habits of the soul may change, but all the same, they remain essential to our spiritual diet if we are to find lasting joy in this changing world.”
I came across this book during a very dark time in my life. I just reached an injury settlement with the Chicago Bears, and I was very uncertain about what was in store for me at the time. After reading the book, I was very eager to put into practice all that I had learned and started to really pay attention to my needs and give them the attention that they needed in order for me to truly thrive.
Every morning when we wake up, we have a choice to make. Are we going to listen to that little voice in our head that is telling us to eat that double cheeseburger for lunch, or are we going to eat a lunch that completely nourishes us and helps us to become the healthiest version of ourselves? Eating that double cheeseburger is a want. You may want to do that, but it’s not a need. When you start to feed your wants more than your needs, a lack of passion and fulfillment will start to build up over time.
I started to eat foods that nourished my entire body and provided me with sustained energy for the day ahead. Emotionally, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and put in the extra work and care that is needed to create thriving relationships. In return, this fulfilled me in enormous ways. Intellectually, I read books that inspired me and constantly looked to fill my mind with ideas to help me be the best I can possibly become. Spiritually, solitude started to become my best friend, and I paid more attention to what my soul yearned for on a daily basis.
I highly suggest you read this book. It can change your life just as it has mine.
Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com