Recipe for a Significant Life – Steven A. Long

Since I’m asking others for this, here’s my preliminary “recipe for a significant life”**

  • Make family a priority — spend focused time with family members, whether on the phone, at dinner every evening, at family reunions, double digit days (time with 10 year-old nieces and nephews) or however it works given proximity and time
  • Whatever your religious “persuasion,” spend good time with God and others in your religious community. Here is my Christian Playbook effort
  • Where possible, allow your gifts to express themselves in helping others. As an example, my love of music has been shared through contributions in MWPC worship leadership, jail ministry worship, New England Club worship and sing-alongs; Joyful Noise Boys plus singing weekly in the halls of the East IPU for Hospice of Cincinnati. [The phrase “altruistic egoism” fits so well here — when you help someone else it so frequently helps you]
  • Find a vocation that you love, and spend time getting better at your craft through education, experiences or ??? so you can support yourself financially
  • Assure you stay physically-fit — if you are in good shape physically, it helps with so many aspects of life, including your mental health
  • Have several hobbies including one that you can “lose yourself in” — engage in that hobby with others, as logically possible
  • Find a group of friends that keep you honest, but also keep you grinning, thinking and/or laughing. Kim and I have made some wonderful friends and it’s a joy to be in their company for weekly coffee gatherings, a meal, discussing books or just enjoying life
  • Minimize administrative aspects of life, but make sure they get done! There are certain things that I don’t appreciate doing and it’s far better to consider alternative approaches. As an example, for many years I’ve contracted with a CPA to file my taxes rather than doing them myself as I did earlier in life

And here it is, in a little more creative, “recipe format”

  • Get the biggest pot you can find because there’s a lot that you want to fit into this mixture
  • Assure all ingredients are available, and if not, be prepared to improvise with something else!
  • Create a hearty roux (thickener for soups, for those unfamiliar with the term: not cooks or fans of cooking shows) of family and friends blended carefully together
  • Add a healthy amount of spiritual and religious influences, allowing the appropriate amount of time to let it simmer
  • sprinkle in hobbies and athletic activity, for physical and mental stimulation and relaxation
  • find an ingredient you’re passionate about that “works” well with all of the critical items and doesn’t detract from the others
  • heat this mixture up to a good boil, to assure mixture of all ingredients
  • don’t serve this right away — let it settle so all of the senses get a chance to enjoy the mixture
  • add hot sauce, to taste. Not all will want it as spicy
  • make plenty so you can share it with others, especially those people without enough already

 And, my motto: “Make a suitable number of mistakes!”

** using the Wheel of Life focus listed elsewhere on this website

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