Dancing through life
Skimming the surface
Gliding where turf is smooth
Life’s more painless
For the brainless
Why think too hard?
When it’s so soothing
I chuckle every time I hear those lyrics in the song Dancing Through Life from the hit Broadway show Wicked. It’s sung by a rather glib and cocky young man who proudly proclaims that he’s “not afraid to live the unexamined life”!
He goes on to sing…
Dancing through life
Swaying and sweeping
And always keeping cool
Life is fraught-less
When you’re thoughtless
Those who don’t try
Never look foolish
That line “life is fraught-less when you’re thoughtless” is brilliant! Very clever writing! The idea, though, is of course absurd. Being head-in-the-sand clueless sounds tempting right about now, but it is dangerously naïve. Regardless of whether you’re going through awful times or enjoying a season of ease, you’ll never outgrow the need to live the examined life.
What is the examined life?
It is a posture of personal reflection. It is the habit of paying attention. Paying attention to who you’ve become and where you’ve come from. It is paying attention to what’s happening in and around you in the moment. And it’s paying attention to the road ahead of you – what comes next.
Why is the examined life important?
There are more reasons than these, but I can think of two that stand out. Two value-adds of the examined life.
First, living the examined life helps you build integrity. You know, truthfulness, patience, sincerity, long-suffering, grit, courage, etc. All the good stuff. Paying attention to your life helps you stop making stupid choices and ultimately allows you to have a much more significant impact on others. It leads you to grow into becoming a person with mystical spiritual authority. I wrote about that back in November on the topic of The Ladder of Influence.
Then there is the matter of your purpose. Pausing to examine your life story, your personality, your gifts and skills along with your passions goes a long way to help identify that thing you were made for – your purpose, your “why”, your calling. The examined life is a complete game changer when it comes to your future! If you pay attention to all of your life story and connect the dots with all of how you are made and all of what you’ve become, a destiny will emerge that is a powerful injection of hope and clarity!
If you follow me on social media or read these blogs regularly, you’ll know that I am all about guiding people into the examined life. I’ve crafted a process whereby you can pay attention to your life in ways you never have before. Right now, on the verge of leaving what might be the worst year of our lives behind and launching into a new year of potential renewal, may I suggest this might be just the ticket for you and your loved ones.
Seriously, let me know how I can help!
If you learn to live the examined life…you’ll have a better chance of dancing through life, but it will come from a heart that’s alive and full of purpose!