What Kind of Life is Worth Living?

How do you react when you hear that question?
Do you stop, look within, and think about who you want to be, and what you want out of life?

Or do you get defensive, expecting another self-proclaimed expert to tell you how to fix your life?

My life’s not perfect.

I’d like to find/strengthen, or develop new abilities, and do things that seem out of reach.
I want to experience new possibilities in myself, so the world remains new and fresh around me.

There are endless books and methods of personal development that tell us what to become, and how to move along a path from where we are to where we want to be.

A few books are focused on giving us a new vision of life.
These books show us that who we are, what we’re capable of, and the way that we and the world live, is only one possibility among many.

Such books inspire us to rethink what is possible for ourselves, and the world.

I received a copy of a book like this recently, called A Life Worth Living, by Bill Giruzzi.

Typical for me, I try to get an overview of the book before I sit down to read it.
I look at the covers, the introduction, and the table of contents:

  1. Work is a Cultural Phenomenon
  2. It’s All Made Up
  3. Building Blocks
  4. Paradigm of Business
  5. Is this It?
  6. Someday the sun will go out
  7. The Curtain, Please
  8. The New Paradigm
  9. Not of this World
  10. Meet Your Narrator
  11. The future
  12. A New Mind, A New World
  13. The Edge of Language
  14. A Life Worth Living

It’s a small book.
And it doesn’t take long to read it.
But the issues that Bill raises, and the questions he asks us at the end of each chapter will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

I Don’t Know How to Create
The world we face is a result of people not wanting enough

One of the topics that Bill focuses on is our belief that we don’t know how to shape our lives.
There’s this subtle conversation in the background of our minds humming along saying something like, “There must be something wrong with me. If there weren’t something wrong with me, I wouldn’t have this life. ”

We create our lives with the choices that we make.
But we’re often unhappy with the results, so we deny our ability to create.
Why do we deny our lives?

Sometimes it’s because we can’t predict the consequences of our choices, and we’re unhappy with the way we feel about the life we’ve chosen.

We can’t understand how we got to this point.
What’s wrong with us?
How do we fix it?

We often pretend that we live and choose, unbound by any of the influences around us.
But Bill explains that we live and choose within a paradigm.

Our time, our culture, our parents, our life experiences, and beliefs tell us what is possible and appropriate.
The paradigm tells us what the choices us, and forces us to choose between only them.

Whose thoughts do I think?
Whose feelings do I feel?
Are they truly mine, or have I just borrowed them from the world around me?

A paradigm is a structure that binds us and limits us as much as the shape and size of a room that we stand in.

Changing the Paradigm
We’ve settled for what the past tells us is possible and as a result, we continue to be stuck surviving in the world we’ve created.

Whenever you think that you are tired with life as it is, change from the viewpoint that “this is life” to “this is life within this design”

We pretend that there is only one way that the world can be.
We pretend that our beliefs are as solid as the ground beneath us, and the sun in the sky.
But nothing in our lives is permanent.

Bill encourages us to think about our own death, the death of our loved ones, and the end of the earth and sun.
We realize that we treat so many things as permanent and inevitable, even though they can change tomorrow.

We accept the rules and thoughts that everyone lives by, and we assume that we have to fix our problems within this paradigm.

But many of our problems are simply a consequence of the paradigm we live in.

There’s another way.
We can adopt a new paradigm, a new way of thinking, with different rules, different choices, and different results.

Bill says:
I wrote this book to instill in you a desire for discovery…It’s about regaining what has been lost to us – the experience of powerfully and fully participating in our lives.

But how do we find a new way, when we have so much negativity toward our current life?
Most people are dissatisfied with their jobs, letting their lives slip away in pain, always waiting for another time and place to find meaning and satisfaction.

Our pain gives rise to our negativity.
We deny and resist our life.

Our resistance is directed toward our current life and the paradigm that our life is built on.
But we can’t imagine anything outside of that paradigm, so any thoughts of a new life are faced with the same resistance.

Living in Two Worlds
When we want to change, we don’t deny our present life.
We don’t quit our jobs, or ignore the urgent demands of our current world.

But we begin to create another structure.
We build another paradigm which can allow us to live differently, and make different choices.

We want to develop a way of life where it’s natural to experience joy, and find meaning and satisfaction every day.

The great challenge is to be aware of both paradigms, and yet keep them separate.
We have to learn to think and feel in two worlds:

  • The world we are in, which derives from the past.
  • And the world we want to create, which will derive from our actions, derived from our thoughts.

We’re not talking of a purely intellectual awareness of the new world we want to build, and the new paradigm that structures it.
This new world has to be placed in our hearts, and shine with possibility and meaning.

Robert Fritz, in Creating, and other books, speaks of something similar.
When we want to create, we have to hold at once in our minds, both our current reality, as well as the future to be created.

Each must be clear and distinct.
And we must care deeply about what we’re trying to create.

The contrast between the two worlds gives birth to a powerful energy, a creative tension that drives us to find a way to bring that future to life.

14 comments to What Kind of Life is Worth Living?

  • Dear Joel,

    Thank you for sending along your new posting. I too prefer a big picture; I could go on forever piecemeal.

    I am interested in that point where people are “inspired”, jossled, or bumped into rethinking current binding paradigms–metanoia [Just recently, Thomas Moore published Writing in the Sand] and then there are practices or revisions, if you will.

    I have compiled Readings in Being Humantoid, a primer to introduce the restless clueless to quotes, excerpts, and reprints from the Western masters regarding development beyond what basic nature and nurture have provided; I can send you a copy. I am still trying to “inspire” people to take a dip into possibilities, or rather that which tradition says is our natural heritage to experience joy and find meaning. Right now, it seems to me that my best bet is to write articles about what self or personal development is.


  • […] Write Now says the book “poses some thought provoking questions” and Fearless Dreams found that the questions I raise in the book will “stay with you long after you’ve […]

  • That picture on the top of this page is georgeous.

    And yes, it is so amazing when you realize how abundant this earth is. If we have lack, it is because we don’t see the abundance around us. Actually lack is impossible.

    Lack is just us choosing to NOT see what we have.

  • You mentioned building a new paradigm that allows us to live in two worlds: our present reality and the world we really desire.

    One of the keys in moving from the present circumstances in which I live to the future that I want lies in my own self awareness.

    Like many of your readers, I’ve read a lot of self-help success books that typically talk about things like setting goals but offer very little insight about being self aware.

    One of the best techniques I’ve found to develop self awareness was coined in the word “Afformations,” by Noah St. John in his book “The Secret Code of Success.”

    Using Afformations helps me become more self aware in my behavior with therefore better control of the results in my life.

    And because of the excellent results I’ve had after only a few weeks, I’ll be recommending Noah’s book to my own blog subscribers so they can achieve better results in sustaining and growing loving, nurturing marriages.

  • “We create our lives with the choices that we make.” this word will hit anyone in the planet. Expect dispute to come but whether we like it or not this will slap our spirit to fear and drift away, we might not see it coming but if we’re going to hold back in doing the noble work then our dreams will be taken away. If you watch the movie titled “Pursuit to Happiness” that should be the attitude, He didn’t hold back and his “Fearless Dreams” won.

    Great article!

    Life-coaching Tips

  • That sounds like a great book. Travel, I’m sure, plays an important part is the realization that we do live within a paradigm which was evident from the moment of our birth. Where we are born, to what parents, in what culture, and so on, are all elements which serve to frame our beliefs about ourselves and the world in general.

    Travel allows one to discover the world outside that paradigm, to discover different cultures and realize that our previous beliefs can be adapted and changed, thereby widening our opportunities. The impact of ones environment is great.

  • How I react all depends on who asks the question. I assume/think certain people ask me that question, but will not support me in my answer. That makes me feel very uncomfortable.

    Yet, others, I love it when they ask me the question because I have a glorious future awaiting me and my end goal vision is getting closer and closer to me. It’s only a few months away.

    Then the question is, how will I grow this vision.

    Happy Travels


  • Hi Joel,

    Nice interesting post. Very thought provoking. Love the two worlds thoughts where you said

    * The world we are in, which derives from the past.
    * And the world we want to create, which will derive from our actions, derived from our thoughts.

    Great post!


  • “We pretend that there is only one way that the world can be.
    We pretend that our beliefs are as solid as the ground beneath us, and the sun in the sky.
    But nothing in our lives is permanent.”

    So true. To live life fully we must be open-minded, willing to experiment, take risks, try out new ways of doing old things, etc. Else we would be bored of life way too soon! ;)

  • That is true to what you say. We are always in a rush to get some where, Take more time enjoy the stillness that’s around and listen to inner self. Thanks for sharing your life experiences.

  • Having two realities and keeping them separate seems difficult to me. I would think just thinking positively about what you want in the future would erase eventually any negative thoughts that would stop you from getting what you want. Of course you have to believe wholeheartedly that you can change your present situation.

  • There is so much to explore in this world! Yet so many are content to sit and settle in their own little universe.

  • If we just remain passive and not take a step in making our dreams a reality then dreams would remain as dreams. Fear can sometimes hinder us from reaching our full potential. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Inspiring thoughts you have.

  • Justin Mazza

    I use other people’s stories as a catalyst to my own personal growth but ultimately the decisions and choices are mine to make.

    A life worth living sounds like a good book to read and I will have to add that one to my list. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>