Live Life as a Banquet
How is one to live in such a way that the greatest enjoyment is experienced. In the wonderfully written self-help advise one can discover how to live Life as a Banquet.
We want more out of our lives. We want success and happiness. We do not want to live a life of quiet desperation. None of us knows how long we have on this planet. To quote Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, “It’s what you make of the time that is given to you that counts.”
When you think of it, your existence consists of many people, activities and actions. You are constantly given opportunities to experience new things. For a truly successful, fulfilling, satisfying life, I recommend the following:
TASTE EVERYTHING with the idea of learning what you like and what you do not like.
Do not be afraid of change or experiencing new things. Think of your life as a banquet table. There may be food you never knew existed. Consider things that take you out of your comfort zone.
Try a new experience with an open mind. Don’t judge before you’ve experienced it.
BE AWARE. Notice the taste, smell, texture of each thing. Is this something you like or not? As you experience a situation, ask yourself how you feel and what you think. What am I enjoying about this experience and what am I not enjoying? Ask yourself: Am I happy, satisfied, and fulfilled or does my life lack something? The objective is to understand so you can duplicate the experience. Then refine it so you eliminate or reduce the negative aspects and enhance or enlarge the positive.
ASK FOR THAT FOR WHICH YOU ARE HUNGRY. Is my life meeting any of my needs? What are my needs? Your fulfilled needs give happiness to your life. They are the difference between living a life of quiet desperation and a happy, fulfilling life. They are filling and satisfying. Your needs are exclusively yours. It is not necessary to make excuses for your needs. The banquet table may be full of filling things, but do they satisfy you? Broccoli is filling, but you can be full and still be unsatisfied.
UNDERSTAND YOUR NEEDS. They will differ from another person. Add your needs to your plate. The partial list below may give you a starting point. Some of them will apply to you. Some will not. This is not complete. Add your own personal needs to your list.
Love from others A calm environment Work
A busy social life Solitude Autonomy
Creativity Money Control of my life
Freedom from conflict High self-esteem Fun
Appreciation from others Fairness, justice Health
Friends A relationship with God Security
LOOK FOR PATTERNS. What information do you enjoy and what information is boring to you? Which types of people do you like and not like? What do the people you like have in common? What do the people you don’t like have in common? Fill your plate with people, ideas and things that add to your life. See Toxic Friends in Develop a Support Group, page 46.
CREATE GOALS. Your plate is full. The banquet table has so many good things to offer, how can you add more? By eliminating what is not working for you. Your plate is filled with many time-consuming things. Once you have tasted them and decided whether you like them or not, you create a goal to get more of what you like and less of what you do not like.
Some people plan goals naturally. Others do not. Without a specific plan, life becomes easy and comfortable, but then you realize the things you spent time on did not make you happy. Time goes by quickly no matter how you spend it. If you don’t intentionally plan your life, you will not achieve your goals. It is not automatic. Don’t waste your life.
- Develop strategies for achieving the goals, a plan of action.
Example: My goal is to be healthier. My strategy is to exercise.
- Apply these strategies continually until you achieve your goals.
Example: I will ride my bicycle each day for twenty minutes.
- Create habits from the strategies that create successful goals.
Example: I will develop the habit of riding my bicycle so that every day I don’t have to convince myself to exercise. It will become a habit that I will do automatically.
Being busy does not mean accomplishing your goal. You must be busy about the things that lead to that goal.
WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS? People who taste everything on the banquet table, who live life to the fullest, are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. To enjoying the banquet they are aware of who they are and have an accurate view of themselves.
Get to know yourself. Understand your personality and get a clear idea of what you like. Understand your shortcomings and your strong points. See DISC Personality Styles, page 7.
NOW YOU HAVE A FULL PLATE OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS. How will you manage everything? Take little bites at a time. Plan. Plan. Plan. Don’t try to do everything. Maybe you will have one goal. When that is accomplished, move to the next item.
DO NOT GET OVERWHELMED Your plate is full. Use your time wisely. Add or change a little at a time, but keep refining your life to be the most satisfying it can be.
“If you really want to be happy, nobody can stop you.” ― Sister Mary Tricky
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
- Do you want to experience all that life has to offer or are you happy with your life as it is now?
- If you do want more, how will you begin?
- Do you know your needs? What are they?
- Do you know your strengths? What are they?
- What do you want to add to your life?
- What do you want to reduce or eliminate from your life?
- How will you do this?
- When will you begin?