That’s Just the Way Life is

Why are we so quick to accept challenges or norms as facts of life?

And yet, what we don’t take much time to deliberate in our daily decision making is the fact of life that each and every one of us is going to die — no matter what we choose or choose not to do.

It’s amazing to me how many times I’ve said and have heard, that’s just the way life is.

Beyond birth and death, it’s as if we are living in this predefined box void of choice in the matter. To me, anymore I find the statement to be naïve and dismissive of a chance to observe and acknowledge the type of life we have been living. Who we choose to spend our time with. What we teach others about how to treat us. What we convince ourselves, about ourselves.

There are most certainly universal facts of life, again, birth and death. However, there is an infinite spectrum of potential experience in between, with more choice in regards to how we experience life, than often believed.

I was speaking with a man yesterday about changes he is making in his life because he came to an inflection point where he is seeing how the life he had created up to this point didn’t reflect how he wanted to spend his remaining years. He was and is quite aware of the fact that is often avoided, we are going to die one day.

We will leave this body we inhabit. Lights out. Good night. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, nor is something I would categorize as good. That is just the way life is.

What about everything that occurs between the moment of our first breath and our last?

What are we chalking up as facts of life that is really our own fear of perceiving a life different than the one we have become accustom?

Be it a life we celebrate or hold in disdain.

When I’m honest with myself, I can see how my entire life and the point at which I am now has been a series of conscious and unconscious choices. I say this with no blindness to the fact that I live in a society impacted by governing body’s and so forth. However, even with the existence of these social systems, I still am solely responsible for the choices I make in each moment of every day.

As I pose the questions above, let’s take this a step further and deeper. On a piece of paper, or on your computer, consider…

What am I tolerating right now as a perceived fact of life?

This question, when considered seriously requires me to stop. To slow down and look at each expression of my life I see around me. My career, relationships, finances, physical health, emotions, and so forth.

It may not be often that we pause long enough to ask such a question. Five years ago the thought never even crossed my mind.

If you were to take a microscope to my life at the time you would have seen how I was in a relationship that should have ended long before it did. You would also see the main reason I worked so hard in my career was because I thought that would somehow prove to myself and the world that I was worth more than a couple of pennies.

This is a great moment to say hindsight is 20:20. It most certainly is.

Yet that doesn’t change the fact of life that we can at any given moment choose to do something different.

I’m not going to debate about responsibilities that we uphold. Or about systems that are outside of our direct control. What I will say, though, pause long enough to see how the appeasement of those responsibilities and social norms require a series of daily choices.

Seeing that we are constantly making those choices, is a wonderful starting point, because it becomes apparent that we make 100’s of choices throughout our day.

Consider this…

What is one thing you are tolerating in your life that you would like to change?

What is the overall impact on your life (good and bad)

What do you want instead of what is currently occurring?


Now, what’s one doable choice you can make and act upon today that will start to change the course of this for you?

And finally….

How might consistently choosing to make doable steps overtime in a different or new direction, benefit your life?


I encourage you to put down your phone, your coffee, and whatever else, and go do that while it’s fresh on your mind. The rest of this will be here waiting for you.

Are you back? Exceptional.

I pose these questions because sometimes, and this was my experience, I believed for anything to change in my life that it always required Herculean efforts.

I proved this inaccurate when I realized I was tolerating a career I no longer wanted three years ago, and started making doable choices to plan my departure.

I started making these choices a year in advance, before I actually left.

I say that because I often found myself living a life a dualistic extremes. No grey area. Yes or no. Stay or go. Deal with it or don’t. I’ve found that to be completely false. There are moments of both small steps and leaps. In terms of my career, it started with the decision that I am going to leave.

Then for a year I made doable choices that moved me towards that goal. Upon reaching the point at which I needed to inform my manager, that was the point of leaping.

Experience shows me that change in life can and does occur through small doable steps, and then, depending on where you are headed, a leap may be involved.

What I do know is that leap is often easier after a series of choices being acted upon that proved to myself that I was serious about this and it is truly important to me and my commitment to my life.

Wherever you are on this Saturday morning, I encourage you to not skim this article with stopping to truly consider the question:

What am I tolerating right now as a perceived fact of life?

What is one doable choice I can act upon right now that will start to change everything?

In world that is craving change — BE Loving. BE Sincere. BE Bold.

Love, Matt

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