Do you remember this line from the movie Shawshank Redemption? It's one of my favorites. Isn't that what we're doing every day--getting busy living or dying? Of course, from the day we were born we've been on the path to dying. That's a fact. But it's what we're doing on the way that's most important.

There was a time in my life when I was on life's treadmill, going nowhere fast. Just going through the motions. Busy dying. Living every day as if "life was too long"*. Although I was surrounded by love, had an active social life, and had accomplished my professional goals and many of my personal dreams, I had no joy. And my challenges were bringing me down. I had established residency in the land of the walking dead. But I knew I had to move to the land of the living and joy.

And I did move. But it required some housecleaning--of my soul. A move into the land of the living and joy was impossible without getting rid of some junk. Stuff on the inside that had to die so I could live. And there was plenty of that. But afterwards, there was enough room in my soul for the lesson(s) I needed to learn from my challenges. I learned that my life had to serve a greater purpose than me and what I wanted. My quest for joy taught me to think of "JOY" as an acronym for "Jumping Outside of Yourself".

The house of my soul still needs cleaning on a regular basis, but I'm now a long-term resident in the land of the living and joy. And if my life does not include serving others, I'm not living it to the fullest. As it turns out, after all of that work, to some extent I'm still busy dying. How ironic is that? Well, it's different this time. Now, I'm busy dying to live.

What about you?

*A line from the movie "16 Blocks", which accurately described my thinking many years ago.


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