They say that life is for living, but we all know that when the going gets tough it’s hard to keep that enthusiasm and passion going.  It takes real guts, determination and confidence to live a full and rich life, but it becomes a whole lot easier if you jump into your life in the right ways.

The very best way to live a rich life that I know of is through what I call ‘Inspired Participation’.  A couple of quick definitions for you -

in-spired

1. To stimulate to action; motivate

2. To breathe life into.

3. To be the cause or source of; bring about.

par-tic-i-pa-tion

1. The act of taking part or sharing in something.

2. To share in something.

Participation is an active process of engaging with your own life. Inspiration is doing what you do knowing that’s it’s a positive choice and means something to you. So Inspired Participation is about plugging into everything in your life, finding value in it all and letting yourself do what comes naturally.

Here are 4 big reasons to make inspired participation happen in your own life.

1. Inspired Participation in Your Game

Make a choice about which game you want to play and play it.  You can’t play a decent game of tennis unless you get a pair of tennis shoes, a racket and get yourself onto the court.  To play a great game of tennis you’ll need to practice, you’ll need to work on your serve or backhand and you’ll need to capitalise on your strengths.  Even if the game gets hard and you’re not sure when you’ll win your next game, you keep on playing because you value the experience and it means something to you.

Inspired Participation in your game is choosing to engage in something that matters to you, playing it fully and enjoying it .  It could be a relationship, an entrepreneurial idea, a creative project, contributing to your community, a friendship, changing your career or a million other things.

It’s only by making a choice to become a great player in a game that matters that you become a great player and get success that means something.

2. Inspired Participation in Your Feelings

Emotions go up and down and yes, sometimes they’re confusing, unpredictable and downright painful. That’s part of the deal with being human I’m afraid.

But your feelings are where you experience your life and everything in it – they’re your connection with what’s happening in your life and the impact that everything has on you.  Cut yourself off from your feelings and you’re cutting yourself off from your own life and you’ll feel disconnected from everything.

Inspired Participation in your own feelings is knowing that your feelings are there to serve a purpose and they’re all equally valid.  This is about allowing yourself to feel what you’re feeling, not necessarily doing anything with those feelings.

3. Inspired Participation in the World

No man’s an island, and you can’t live in a vacuum.  Everything you do has an impact on the world around you – - friends, family, colleagues, finances, home, relationships, community, health, career, etc. – and nothing can happen in your life without having an impact somewhere.

Inspired Participation in the world is about plugging into what’s around you and being aware of what’s working and what isn’t working.  This is about looking at how you can create a congruent environment that contributes to what’s important to you and helps you honour those things.

It’s about being more than just one person.

4. Inspired Participation in Action

I’ll bet that you sometimes get an idea that seems odd, crazy or just plain brilliant, and I’ll also bet that you often filter these thoughts out and take a more established or safer route.  Inspired Participation in action is making it okay for you to do out of the ordinary things that somehow feel incredibly right.

This doesn’t necessarily have to involve full-on, life changing, epic events.  Not at all.  Inspired participation in action can be a lot more subtle or gentle than that, like getting in touch with an old friend, signing up for that fun evening class or finding a quiet sense of comfort with who you are, where you are and what you’re doing.

Inspired participation in action is knowing that you can take the road less traveled.

With these 4 strategies in mind – and the massive benefits that spring from them – life switches from something that you struggle or fight through into something that gives you incomparable richness.

And that’s something we all deserve.

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