Why you should never tell anyone to “live life to the fullest”…

“Live your life to the fullest.”

How can such a simple, idealistic statement be so wrong?

We are being commanded to “live.” It seems as if we are being told which option is the most favorable… like a friend is signing to us — while the teacher is turned away — the correct answer on our multiple choice test.

We haven’t yet realized that this isn’t a multiple choice test though. There is no choice; “live” is the only option we have (suicide aside). Why emphasize something we have no choice over? I would argue this emphasis creates the illusion of choice… “Well, I could live, or I could…” Nothing! There are no other choices!

On top of this, “live” is a verb — we are the subject performing that verb. Life is the subject that verb is acting upon — but life is a condition of living. So, we’re suppose to perform a verb on a condition of the verb itself — we’re supposed to live our activities of living? Wait… what? There has to be a logical fallacy in there somewhere, right?

Now that my head’s spinning, let’s move on…

What about “fullest,” this valuation of life? How exactly do you valuate life? Money? Material possessions? The quantity of experiences? The impact had on other lives? Would a field mouse valuate it’s life at less than yours?

My point is this: We are more than just alive. We are — quite literally — the embodiment of life.

So what do we actually mean when we say “life your life to the fullest”? My interpretation: strive to meet your potential.

Find your calling, your passion that burns you from the inside. Living is realizing your potential. Living is creating. Contribute something that no one else can.

Whether you know it or not… whether you want to or not… you are creating something — you are creating your narrative, you are contributing your verse. So make sure it’s a verse you are actively writing.

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About Nathan Doneen

I'm currently a mid-20s post college grad trying to find my own niche in the world. I studied biology and environmental science when in school and have since started studying philosophy and theory of mind while trying to write in the midst of it all.

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  1. The Meaning of Life | Our Life Inspired - September 3, 2014

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