Armenian-American writer William Saroyan wrote in The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze a piece of advice that reads like a rallying cry to live life to its fullest: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste the food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive.
Sometimes I find myself “just going through the motions” as my coach used to say. I will do the things I needed to do during the day, but do so without feeling or joy. I wonder if you have such days?
When I was on the practice field just going through the motions, my coach would find ways to eliminate the fog. He might change the routine, introduce a new drill, or get my attention in an unusual way. He taught me to like Saroyan says to be “wholly alive.” There are times I have to adjust my routine, wake up a different time, eat an unusual dish, find a way to stimulate my nerve endings just to remember what its like to be wholly alive.
Routine, boredom, and simply doing the same thing every day are killers. How do you become wholly alive?