Living Life to the Fullest in 2011

Another year under your belt. Thoughts of change and new beginnings arise as the end of December looms ahead. What are you thinking? Where are you going in 2011? May I suggest that it really doesn’t matter. I mean it really doesn’t matter at all!

What does matter is not what you do, where you go or what you might achieve. What matters is how you get there. How will you travel the days of 2011? How will you feel at this time a year from now after you’ve traveled those days? How can you change your thinking to literally suck the marrow out of 2011? How will you live; I mean really live in the coming year? Dennis Volz offers these considerations for you.

Slow Down

Remember when you wrote papers in school? You’d try to use the largest font, the widest line spacing and the biggest margins you could get away with to fill up the pages required. That didn’t really accomplish what the professor might have wanted, but it got you through the assignment. Well, now is the time for all of that!

Margins in our papers left lots of white space. Learn to create white space in your day. Plan your day with the biggest margins possible. Allow 2 hours for a lunch with a friend instead of one. Figure your drive time and then add 15 minutes. Leave the whole afternoon completely blank. Quit cramming your day with more than you can possibly do in order to be more efficient and get more done.

Opportunities for real living cross our path every day. When we’re crammed too tightly with Things To Do, we’ll waltz right past them and miss the very richest and sweetest parts of living. You’ll miss the lady at the store who needs a little help with her bags. You’ll gloss right over your friend who needs to talk about her faltering marriage or frustration raising her children. You’ll not have time to spend that extra 15 minutes with your spouse in the morning to talk about your weekend or the best way to handle some situation with a bothersome friend. Margin in your day gives you the time to stop and enjoy the best parts of life.

Keep the Big Picture

Life is a long and wonderful journey. If you can keep your eyes at the horizon while you are aware of each and every step you’re taking, you’ll never forget that there’s a big picture to everything you’re doing.

Years ago a friend of mine had a near death experience resulting from an auto accident. His long recovery gave him time to reflect on the magnitude of being given another chance at living. He no longer sweated the small stuff. To him it was all small stuff. He had what he called, “The Big Picture.” That is that people, relationships and feelings always trumped the momentary frustration of the car not starting or a pot of chili spilled all over the kitchen floor. These are not detours from your life, these are the events of your life. Live them. Enjoy them. Use them to grow, learn and explore yourself and the people around you.

Soak Up The Moment

Become the person that, no matter what you’re doing, it’s the most important thing. Period. The other day I walked out to my car and noticed that unsettling lean to one side. Sure enough as I walked to the other side of the car the right rear tire was flat. I was intending to drive to home, but was offered a momentary alternative scenario. I knew I’d get home eventually, but first I had to change the tire. So my thought was, “OK, now I’m changing the tire on my car.” It became the most important thing I was doing. I shut out everything else that might distract me. Left my cell phone in the car and really got into changing my tire. I unloaded the trunk seeing all the junk that was there, noting it’s heaviness as I set it on the pavement. I felt the cold steel of the jack as I extracted it from the little storage compartment. I soaked in the smell of the rubber of the tire, felt the dirt on my hands, really got into the burn in my arm muscles as I cranked the jack to raise the car, and just generally became a sponge to that experience. Almost before I realized it, I was done and on my way home. I felt completely relaxed and content at the task I’d just performed. It wasn’t a detour, it was my life so why not soak it all in!

Live Each Day

Live each day with these three perspectives in mind and 2011 will be full, rich, pleasant, enjoyable and satisfying. You’ll reach the end of December with an abundance of amazing experiences that you’ll remember for years to come.

About the Author

Dennis Volz is the writer for and He lives in San Diego, CA where he has been the owner of a local State Farm Insurance agency for the last 30+ years.

Married for 36 years, the father of three and Grampa to two, Dennis enjoys spending time with the family, running his insurance business and writing.