During the formative high school years, there is so much emphasis placed on GPA’s, class rankings and PSAT scores; all to gain acceptance into a socially-endorsed university. The same mantra re-emerges during the college (and possibly grad school) years. And the conventional wisdom is that the stakes are much higher because the ultimate prize in this contest is a life-long career that will guarantee financial stability and “success.” Is this what really matters in life?

Upon entering the job market, one soon realizes that there are unfamiliar rules and players in this contest, affectionately referred to as the “rat-race.” In this game the emphasis is placed on how rapidly one can ascend to the top rung of a soul-less corporate ladder. Is this what really matters in life?

While making the corporate climb, society has the additional expectation of “marrying right” and finding the “idyllic” homestead to serve as family point-of-refuge, with one small catch. This picturesque view of life is clouded by constant life comparisons to the mythical Joneses. Is this what really matters in life?

Then, as mid-life approaches, one’s introspective side likely begins to surface, reassessing all aspects of life to date. As this movie of life plays in one’s head, the obvious life question arises: Is this all there is? Or, is this what really matters in life?

This journey through life could have and would have been much more satisfying if at a younger age, more focus and attention had been placed on two key outcomes that are often overlooked. Those are joy and happiness — better known as fun.

The Power of Fun

My prior blogs have touched on themes about life being short and time being precious. This post places an importance on the personal fulfillment aspect of life’s journey. To put it bluntly, if we are not enjoying ourselves or having fun on this journey we call life, what is the point?

I think The Beatles said it best in the closing lyrics of “She’s Leaving Home,” found on side 1 of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album …

She (What did we do that was wrong?) … is having (We didn’t know it was wrong?) … fun (Fun is the one thing that money can’t buy) … something inside that was always denied for (Bye bye) … so many years.

As you read the poem below, think about the question that drives this post: Is this what really matters in life?

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Breathe in, Breathe out

Breathe in-breathe out, breathe in-breathe out. What is life, really about?

When you bow your head at night to pray.

What is the message you are trying to convey?

Are you longing for a special innocence and truth?

Reminiscent of times that once defined your youth.

Are you seeking a greater meaning to life?

One free of material possessions and strife.

Breathe in-breathe out, breathe in-breathe out. What is life, really about?

The answers to life’s many mysteries,

can be found in plain view for all to see.

They’re in a setting sun on a mid-summer night,

or a red-tailed hawk soaring boldly in flight.

So if you’re hoping to one-day find,

an internal calm and peace of mind.

Remember, breathe in and breathe out,

and it will help you tune into what life is about.

Breathe in-breathe out, breathe in-breathe out, breathe in-breathe out.

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Find your fun. Find your peace. Find what life is really about.

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