Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Is Life Worth Living?

The other day, I received an email from a recent visitor to this blog and my video site . I get my share of comments and feedback and welcome them in any form, especially from those seeking my advice or requesting a special video just for them. This particular email was from a young man in his late teens, a difficult time in a young man’s life, for sure, often fraught with confusion and questions. In his email, he questioned the purpose of living a healthy life, while denying oneself many of the excessive vices that we all are tempted by, when, in the end, we all are going to die anyway. I was so impressed with this young man’s letter, while equally moved emotionally by his confusion and need for some guidance, that I created this video:

Ask Mike: Is Life Worth Living?



My teenaged friend offers up a good point: Why, indeed, should we exercise, maintain a healthy weight, eschew excess, when we are all stamped with a termination date? The answer seems obvious, but it is not. I should know, for I have, in the past, abused alcohol, drugs, food, tobacco, and life. I have lived that unfulfilled life, that life with little or no purpose other than to sate one’s desires, to grab as much gusto as possible without care for the repercussions. And you know what? I didn’t like it, wasn't productive, and, most certainly, was not enjoying my life, nor living up to my potential.

Why? Because we are put here for a reason. I firmly believe that each one of us has a specific purpose that we must pursue throughout our lifetimes, be it a few years or ten decades. I also feel that to not do this is in essence wasting one’s life. It is not only vital to live your life to its fullest every day, seeking your true reason for being, but it is your obligation as a human being. It is what separates us from all other species that inhabit this planet.

Bringing me back to the letter that inspired this post:

Is Life Worth Living?

I say, yes, of course, it has to be, right? But for too many it just may not be. One of the motivating reasons behind livelife365.com , was the prospect of being able to reach as many people as possible, many of them questioning their purpose in life or needing assistance with weight loss or nutritional advice, and then being able to help them change their lives. Helping them see that their time on earth is valuable and precious. Helping them live life every day in every way.

I like to say that Your Life is a Novel; Make it a Good One. We all know the difference between reading a good book and a bad one. Our life, like a good novel, should be filled with so much purpose on every page that you can’t wait to see what happens next, while savoring what just transpired.

The French have an expression: Raison d‘etre. It simply means: Reason For Being.

Once you find your reason for being, whatever it is, you will find your answer to the question: Is Life Worth Living?

I look at the young man who wrote to me questioning his own reason for being as an inspiration, a reminder of what my raison d’etre is. I feel that I have been put on this earth to assist as many people as possible, helping them achieve their life goals along the road to self-development and self improvement. Whether with a laugh or a pat on the back, a self-deprecating anecdote or inspired moment from my past, I feel that it is my duty as a human being, my purpose, to help others improve their lives.

We only have one life, one chance to do something with our short time on earth, one opportunity that should never, ever be taken for granted or wasted. Am I saying life is all hard work and no fun? No, not at all, but life takes a lot of effort and sacrifice to be successful and fulfilled. The key is moderation and finding the balance, along with continuous self-study and research; oh, and don't forget to have some fun along the way. No one said it was easy, but I will say that if you work hard each day the benefits will far outweigh the effort.

Is Life Worth Living?


I hope I have answered that question in the most positive fashion. For more inspired self-help please continue to drop by this blog and visit my video site, livelife365.com. And also keep living your life, every day in every way.

Until next time…

peace,

Mike

31 comments:

Eric S. said...

Wow, that's great to get emails like that. It means the young man is at least questioning, and by that open for alternatives. You are right, the teenage years are tough for everyone, some more-so than others because of specific obstacles that have been placed in their path.

I also love that you take the time to answer specific emails. I think you did a great job with this one, and your video is right on the mark.

Faisal Admar said...

mike, sorry because i will comment something out of the topic.

i found that your house (old and new) is very nice. and i can't deny that it will cost you a fortune to have this great house.

actually what are you doing for living? maybe some tips on your success can make this topic "is life worth living" more solid?

:)

i wonder.

kRiZ cPEc said...

nice post, will come back to read it again.

Barbara Swafford said...

Hi Mike,

Needless to say, I was intrigued by the title of this post.

The advice you're offering to your young reader is spot on. I especially like the part where you said, "Our life, like a good novel, should be filled with so much purpose on every page that you can’t wait to see what happens next, while savoring what just transpired."

When we're young it's hard to determine what our purpose is, but as I've aged, it became obvious to me that I'm here to serve - in one fashion or another. I can only hope when I enter those pearly gates, I'll be told I did a good job.

Dori said...

Mike, you did SO WELL with this post...wow! :) What an extraordinary opportunity to be able to give this insight to this young man and to anyone else who visits you. I believe we all come here with a purpose too and we should do just what you did in this case with this young man...tell those who are coming behind us that life is worth living, so hang in there through the tough times and enjoy the journey. Wonderful post!

Mike Foster said...

eric: sometimes we as adults forget the torment and confusion confronting those just starting out in the world...it's helpful to be reminded

faisal: i have worked in the same industry for almost 30 years. my motto is: work hard, listen to your boss, and always make yourself a valuable employee. When this fails, marry money (which, by the way, i did not do)

kriz: thanks for stopping by...

barbara: i agree that finding that one thing, that purpose, is one of the biggest challenges, and then once we do find it...alas, the challenges continue...but at least they continue with purpose

dori: that email got to me, especially considering that it, no doubt, reflects scores of other young people's ideals about life. life is confusing at times, but it is, after all, the only one we have so we gotta make the most of it...



thanks for all the wonderful, insightful comments...

peace,

mike

Sagan said...

Word hard and play hard. Life is totally worth living- and that means figuring out our passions and following them. Do what we love!

redkathy said...

"Our life, like a good novel, should be filled with so much purpose on every page that you can’t wait to see what happens next, while savoring what just transpired."...

Boy I could have used that when I was working with the local youth. Sometimes I didn't have the right words... this is just beautifully stated. Your charge of excitement would have done it. I know first hand and for sure that is what get's their attention!

Farty Girl said...

You are sweet to give such a detailed and heartfelt response to that email. If it had been me, I would've shook my head, thought, "Dumb-ass," and went about my day. Obviously, I've got a lot of growing up to do too!

To add to what you said in your blog: Doesn't a healthy lifestyle make growing older so much easier? That's what I've read. Tell me it's true! :)

Rod said...

Good feedback on an email Mike. What is the point of life? Hmmm...for me personally its to learn all you can about what makes your heart sing, be a good person, and to love truly and with all of yourself. Being a teenager is hard, I think we all have been through that faze of "live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse."

Mike Foster said...

sagan: yes, discovering passions is a key to living life to its fullest, every day...

redkathy: it's one of my favorite quotes because i am such a big reader...and i dislike reading bad books...another one i like is: life's too short to read bad books...

farty girl:it is true; the better you take care of yourself today, the better you will feel tomorrow...

rod: not enough can be said about being a good person--one of the keys to a happy, healthy life...thanks for stoppy by, rod...


peace,

mike

Treatment Shop said...

Nice Post! I also read some of your postings. Thanks for sharing-- I learned a lot of things. ;)

Jackie said...

Excellent reply to the young man Mike.

AznHisoka said...

Feeling joyful and happy is a much better feeling than nonexistence. That alone means life is worth living. We're here to have experiences.. to feel good..

Mama Zen said...

I wish that someone had given me this advice at that age!

betchai said...

it is great you were able to offer your thoughts and enlightened the confused kid.

Mike Foster said...

treatment shop: thanks for dropping by...

jackie: there's nothing i like better than receiving feedback and helping others...

aznhisoka: it's all about experiences...

mama zen: i wish it for me too...

betchai: there is a lot of confusion out there, happy to help...


peace,

mike

lina yuliana said...

nice post, will come back to read it again.

Barry said...

As someone whose battle against cancer has involved a host of difficult and painful treatments and is facing a life changing five hour surgery in a month's time, the answer to your question would seem to be axiomatic.

The idea of youth contemplating throwing away such a precious gift is sadness beyond belief.

I very much enjoyed your response and hope the message got through.

suZen said...

FABULOUS - and yep, we were sure in sync with our keys/purpose themes on our blogs, weren't we? I feel I have much the same motivation for my blog as you do, and several others I know. We all want to help people - to think, to change, to become inspired and wow, live LIFE 365!

You're awesome - I'm a fan for life!

Anna said...

Thank you Mike! This needed to be heard, not only by that young man, but as a reminder to those of us older, but still wondering. I wonder the point of the pain, not the actual living of life. Everything happens for a reason and I have come to the conclusion that the painful points can only make us stronger. It isn't about what happens to us but about how we handle what happens to us.

your "Health Assistant" said...

of course life is worth living? specially if you have a loving family and friends nice post sir.

Mike Foster said...

lina: thanks for stopping by...

barry: you said a mouthful, barry. as i get older, i appreciate life more than when i was a kid...but, not to sound like a really old guy: these kids today!

suzen: thanks so much. i thought your post was spot on and i think it's wonderful that we are on the same wavelength and both are focused on reaching, and helping, as many people as possible...

anna: it is up to the individual to learn from adversity, from pain, rather than using mistakes and loss as excuses that only will get in the way of succeeding in life...

health asst: family and friends sure help, for sure...


thanks for all the wonderful comments...

peace,

mike

PaulsHealthBlog.com said...

Mike,

Great post, as usual.

"If I had known I was going to live so long, I would have taken better care of myself." - Mickey Mantle

My father died of cancer after being on oxygen for eight years.

He had smoked since he was a teenager and drank on a regular basis too.

He also never exercised, and ate whatever he wanted. It was a recipe for poor health.

During the last year of his life, we were visiting my father and mother, who live in another state. I took him to an out-of-town doctor's appointment. While driving, we saw tobacco fields on the side of the highway. My father blurted out, "I wish it could all go to hell!"

What a way to live out your Gold Years, eh?

We've all heard the saying, "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die."

The problem is, as in the case of my father, some of don't die. We live out our remaining years wishing we had taken better care of ourselves.

Paul Maurice Martin said...

And on a practical level – don’t know as you mentioned this on your clip, my disability keeps me from being able to tune in – I think that when young people think along these lines they often make the mistake of supposing it's necessarily a matter of all or nothing, life or death.

Very often abusing your body can lead to decades of chronic disease and not immediate death, and that’s nothing anybody wants...

Mike, tried to add myself to your roll as you invite on your page, but don't see how to do it - might be because a certain fragment of your site isn't loading for me.

Anyway, I've added you to my roll and if you can get me onto yours I like your blog and would appreciate a crosslink -Paul

Mike Foster said...

paul I: love the mantle quote; just read an interesting book about the mick and, man, he did abuse his body. sadly, my dad was a lot like yours and ended dying way too young. cigarettes are poison, that's for sure...the key, to me, is, of course, moderation, but more to the point it is all about what's more important: a little too much fun now, or a long, healthy, happy, and purposeful life?

paul II: you bring up an excellent point, being: this generation looks at things from an all or nothing standpoint, when there is so much middle ground to explore...i will check out your site...



peace,

mike

Health Tips and Tricks! said...

True enough, teenage years can be very tough and stessful at times. But none the less, life is always worth living. You never know what life has in store for you. Whether it be for better or worse, in the end, it's all just an experience!

Mike Foster said...

health tips and tricks: so true, we exist to live the experience of each day, which, eventually equal your life...don't waste any of them...


peace,

mike

Robin said...

Hi Mike - I think you having given him great advice by saying finding our life purpose is what is at the heart of finding life worth living.

I think it is a very understandable thing to ask what's the point of looking after our health etc when we are going to die anyway. That's why am doing a blog about physical immortality - an understanding of how death is unnecessary makes everything become much more worthwhile (and healthier).

Mike Foster said...

robin: i agree, we all ask, at some time, about the point of life, and sometimes even ask, like that old song, "Is that all there is?"


peace,

mike

jesminnahar said...

This post is very informative, you share this that why we learn like this .
I am an ordinary accessories and
I am thankful to you for this kind of nice post.
thanks for sharing