A good friend had this as one of his tag lines for his company, and I always always loved it. But what does it mean? Well, I think the definition can vary depending on the individual, but for me it simply means to live your life honestly, in full throttle, and with integrity. To be authentic, and to go after what you want honestly. And do it with 100% of your soul. Simply put – don’t half-ass life.
But let’s break it down even further. You cannot get what you want if you are not willing to be honest about whatever that is. And go after it unapologetically, with passion and fire. Because we only have this one life and today is not a dress rehearsal. There are no do overs, so while you do not have to do everything perfectly, you should do your best because you may not get another chance to travel that road.
And whatever you do, have the discipline to be dedicated. If you want to travel, travel and enjoy every moment. Balance that out with quiet nights on the couch, snuggling with the one you love. Be present and not distracted. Laugh with your whole body, love with your whole heart, have fun, be loud sometimes, be quiet, but give yourself completely to the mystery, the adventure, the magic of this life.
But the most important thing, I think, is to be honest and have integrity. There are so many who keep secrets, or to try to run a parallel life. And I don’t understand that mentality, because it takes so much energy to run that many secrets and keep all of the lies straight. My memory is not good enough and surely it would lead to a lot of stress. Think of the wonderful things that could be done with all of that energy?
And what happens to all of those secrets when they die, if they pass away before it’s all sorted? Loved ones are left shocked and further traumatized by learning things that they didn’t know. And it makes you doubt who that person was to you, to their life, to your life, makes you doubt everything they ever said to you, makes you wonder what else you don’t know, and can even make you suspicious of other people. It is a terrible legacy to leave behind. I’ve know people that found out about siblings, spouses, property, tax issues, houses, cars, bank accounts, businesses. And it’s beyond unfair because those left behind have no way to question or confront their loved one. That leaves a mark. And if you are going to have an impact on the lives of others, it should be a positive one.
We have all done things for which we are not proud and all of us have chapters in our lives we would rather read alone. We all have things we keep to ourselves. But there are normal things, and then things that hurt others. And if we live our lives out loud, honestly, authentically, and with integrity, we will hurt a lot less people.
I also think that living out loud means celebrating who you are – faults, scars, and all. It is our faults that make us our most human, and it is our scars that make us our most beautiful. I once had someone tell me that they hated getting older, they hated how their body looked at it aged and how it felt. I told him that yes, getting old is hard, but it is a privilege denied to many. So while we may not like getting older, there is nothing we can do about it, so we might as well make peace with it and celebrate it. Yes, celebrate that wrinkle or that bum that is drooping with gravity. Why not? It is better than the alternative, and hating it isn’t going to stop it. Even having a aging body is a gift, because so many never get the chance to grow old. So celebrate it, out loud.
Life is short, so live it out loud. Laugh, run, play, work, love. Do all of it, and celebrate all of it. Because you are here, we are here, and that is is gift. So even if life isn’t perfect, and it rarely is, that’s OK. It doesn’t have to be perfect to celebrate it, love it, live, and be happy with it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, we don’t have to be perfect, to live life out loud.