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Living With Vitality


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by Dan Gabbert -

Recently the idea of "vitality" was being tossed around in a conversation I took part in. It was interesting to hear different points of view about what vitality is and more importantly, what it means to live with vitality.

Vitality. 

It seems like a good thing, doesn't it? Like the energy of a puppy inspecting new things, bounding from place to place, a fun-loving, almost contagious attitude.

For our purposes let's define vitality as "Living life to your fullest extent possible in the present moment and being fully engaged." Does that bring up a sense of positive energy, of engagement and involvement? It does for me.

Notice that the definition is "living to your fullest extent". Like so many things in life, you get to decide what that means. Your version is not the same as your neighbor's or even your spouse's. That doesn't mean that you can't both live with vitality. In fact, it means that you can do it differently. A key part of the definition is that you are empowered to live with vitality however you want.

Some of the things that empower vitality are curiosity, thirst for knowledge, love of self and others and finding humor in every day events.

There's a power in child-like curiosity that is energizing. 

Think about a child you know and the countless questions they ask about the seemingly simplest things! Or the energy they have in playing with a toy or a cardboard box - just playing and being creative and curious. Somewhere along the way many adults lose that curiosity and, with it, some of their vitality.

Spiritual, intellectual and emotional growth are part of that thirst for knowledge.

Do you take time each day to learn something new, question an existing "rule", search for clarity or calmness? Each of these ties to and creates a continuing "newness" that improves our quality of life and vitality.

Consider your support system or network. 

Is it big or small, close or distant? Are you connected to these people or do you simply "know" them? Do you seek connection to others - maybe even just 1 or two people - or are you distant and private?

Different people energize differently, but everyone needs the contact and connection of others.

There is something fundamentally humorous about the human condition. 

Keeping a light-hearted attitude about life and easing up on the criticisms not only engages those around you more, it also lessens your stress. Finding ways to reduce internal tension will automatically lighten the external tension. And, it tends to work the other way, too.

So what can you do to live with more vitality? 

First, rate your level of vitality from 1 to 10.

Now consider this: 

What can you start doing in one or two of the four areas that will move your "vitality rating" up just one point? Pick a couple tactical things you can do and start doing them this week. Are you curious to see what happens?


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