Borders. Chainlink fence breaking in to links and flying away to freedom

Borders

Our life is filled with borders—those lines, both tangible and symbolic, that delineate our lives. Some of these are real, while others are imagined. Some are immovable; others are flexible. Some are imposed upon us, while others are self-imposed. How we behave in relation to these borders can have a great impact on what kind of lives we lead and how successful we are in achieving our goals.

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Connections. Female friends having fun on the sea shore.

Connections

The connections we make to people throughout our lives are our doors into the world.

Depending on the nature of our connections, we can have many doors leading to interesting and exciting places, or we can have only a few doors, but all leading to places where we love to be and where we want to spend our time.

As we live our lives we will always interact with people. We make friends in school, we talk to neighbors, we work with people, and we develop relationships. Some of those relationships are perfunctory or just a matter of convenience; others are deep and long lasting.

Connections can be developed and maintained in an ad hoc way, or they can be based on our needs and desires. Do you find yourself spending time with people because of obligations or because these people make you happy? How we define our connections to people can help us get the most out of our relationships. And like any of the factors that define our lives, the more we understand our connections, the better we will be at making and maintaining those connections that are meaningful and helpful.

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Exist. Enjoying beauty in nature

Exist

You exist, every second of every day.

What does that mean to you?

What is the nature of your existence? What is the impact of your presence in the world?

We are an inherent part of whatever situation we find ourselves in and are responsible for how interesting (or uninteresting) it is. We can make life exciting, inspiring, and fun—we just have to remember to exist, in a meaningful way, wherever we are.

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Intentional. Woman shooting with the longbow.

Intentional

Do you lead an intentional life?

In your life, are you the pilot or a passenger?

When thinking about our lives, it can be helpful to think about what “intentional” means. For me, leading an intentional life is about choice—making our own decisions about what we do, think, and feel. It means charting a path for ourselves and navigating that path effectively.

Many people go through their lives engaging in only those experiences that pop up. Something comes across their path—a job, an experience, a friend—and those things become their life. They aren’t proactive in creating their lives—their lives just happen. Others only live the life that is expected of them. Expected by their parents, their teachers, or their circumstances. They do what is expected of them, not what would give them a sense of happiness or meaning according to their values and passions.

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Reflect. Person watching a sunset.

Reflect

It is important to make some time for reflection in our lives.

If we can make the time to think deeply about what we do, how we interact with others, and what direction our lives are heading, we can make each of these aspects of our lives more meaningful and give ourselves the peace of mind that comes from living intentionally.

It is important to understand not just what is happening in our lives but why it is happening and what the consequences will be. Sometimes it may feel like we’re going through life like a pinball—being bounced around with little control over our direction. Why does it feel this way? Are we not taking charge of our direction? Are we trying to take charge but can’t for some reason? Are our lives really out of control, or does it just seem that way? If we reflect on our direction in life and gain a better understanding of the forces that influence that direction, we will be much more likely to move in the direction that we want and will feel more confident in our path.

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