Confused between living with 'acceptance' and making the most of life?

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    This is my first forum post, I have been a subscriber for a long while and regularly feel many of the blogs could be written about how I see life and approaches to living. This I find comforting as it can be sometimes a challenge to feel you are not following ‘the norm’ script of life..

    I have always been a deep thinker, sensitive and well tuned to my emotions. Im a 37 year old male living alone in my own apartment and have a professional reasonably paid career. I don’t have a partner or any children. This is a conscious choice, I enjoy my own company and am generally content with a simple life and don’t feel the drive to be surrounded by material objects and ‘connected’ to the local social scene. I have a very grateful outlook.

    Having read many books and articles about the power of acceptance and living in the moment I see it as a very peaceful approach to life. It certainly helped me through some body issues and worrys about ‘what other people think of me’. I am somewhat confused as to where the line between simply accepting your situation and life as it is and becoming complacent and not making the most of all that’s out there?

    Im so grateful for good health and the family and friends around me, living in a ‘free’ society and having opportunity. But im very aware of how short life is and a fear of mine is where will I be when im old and frail, will I be alone, will I regret not making the most of life?

    Sorry Im probably not being very specific with my question, I just feel that I could quite easily tick along with things as they are and be content and ACCEPT things but at the same time a part of me feels I should be finding a partner and having some children before I get older, do some more travelling and experience as much as life has to offer so not to have regrets later…Sometimes Acceptance feels like guilt-free laziness and “whats the point if its okay as it is”?

    RF (Sitting on the sofa not doing a lot but ‘ok’ with it).


    This is something that is easily confusing for people. I have helped a lot of people live a better life and this is something that comes up often, and the wrong definition or view of acceptance can cause us to get stuck in a life of mediocrity. Acceptance is about recognizing where you are, and where you want to be.

    There are two points of life that guide us to making the most of our life.

    The first one is your future self. Where do you see yourself in 10, 15, or 20 years from now? We all have dreams and vision of how we want our life to turn out, and it’s our future self that provides our drive for that better life and helps guide us down certain paths. Regret usually comes from not listening or paying attention to your future self, as you’ve mentioned about your fear.

    The second point of life is where you are right now. Are you in a place to go after some of your dreams or visions? If you are great! Go for it. However, sometimes we aren’t in the best position to go after our dreams, whether it be because of finances, health, or maybe we just aren’t ready to take that next step. This is where acceptance is important. You have to accept where you are now, mentally, physically, and emotionally, to be able to work towards some of those dreams you have.

    Without acceptance of where you are, you can start to feel hopeless of ever having the chance to reach your dreams. But by acknowledging where you are and where you want to be, and accepting your circumstances, you can start to work towards solutions to achieve the dreams and life you want.


    Thanks for your reply, I certainly agree with your view of acceptance can lead to mediocrity, I think perhaps that is where I am stuck right now. My intuition is telling me to move forwards and go after my visions as I am in the perfect position in life to do that! Im Lucky that health, financial and typical restraints aren’t barriers to me at this time.

    Its the drive, excitement and passion to make goals and work towards them Im finding lacking which Im associating to an overdose of living in the now thinking. I feel intuition telling me to push beyond my current way of living, that there is more out there, yet find that conflicting against the principles of contentment and the wisdom of being comfortable with things being ‘good enough’ as they are?..

    Id like some intuition exercises to dig down to what I really want, but struggle to feel strong ‘light bulb moment’ convictions with what I want, which dampens any motivation..?


    What drives me is to fulfill the purpose of my life, the reason why I’m on this planet. What is your passion? What is something that you love to do, that you lose track of time when you are doing it? What speaks to your heart? It can be a “little” thing or not. If you are totally clueless then get out in the world and try different things. Service work, volunteer, acting classes, travel to a developing country, try out different places of worship, whatever… find out what you find yourself engaged in.

    Gandhi said, “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”


    Thanks Joshua and am so glad that you have helped heaps of people live a more full life 🙂

    Hey hey Mark, welcome back. You were MIA for quite sometime and I was missing your contributions. So glad you are back 🙂

    Hi RF

    It is a very high level and deep question that you have asked and I would like to share my perspective.

    I would like to use the example of a Mount Everest to illustrate this. There are broadly 2 types of people in this world – one who are at the bottom of the Everest looking for ways to climb the mountain or work around it and then there is another group, who have achieved more or less everything they need to bring acceptance, comfort and happiness in their current lives. I think you belong to the latter group and you may be wondering, what’s next ? Is there a next step beyond the Everest ? Is there an actual need to do more than climb the Everest (assuming it is the tallest mountain you can get to) ?

    Goal setting and achieving them is a very important phenomenon for people who are in the first category as they don’t know what it is like to be at the top. They can only imagine the scenarios, smell, temperature but if they have not made it to the top, they won’t be able to appreciate the vibes of being there. Goals do not mean as much to the second group of people as life is great as is and there is contentment. There is difficulty finding the motivation to do more. What value do we put on Contentment ? Some people never get to experience this and most of us will spend our entire lives trying to even get a sniff of it.

    You are in a very blessed state and space. This is the time when a person can seriously begin their spiritual journey and do a a lot for the world and it’s people. I sense that you are itching to do something but not sure what. Could it be that you want to contribute to this world in some way ? Do you want to share your joy with others ? Do you want to share your acceptance and learnings with others ?

    Your fears about being alone in your old age are not without a valid reason. If you think about it, We are all in the same boat regardless of having a partner or kid or not. You will be surprised at how many old people spend their time alone in hostels or nursing homes despite having families. They crave love and attention and many die without their families by their bedside. However, you are unique – you are happy in your own skin. You are happy as you are. You have a grateful outlook. You are happy sitting on your couch and just be. How awesome is that ? Cheers for that 🙂

    I think what you need to find out is – what do you want ? Like Mark said, what makes your heart sing ? Just keep doing that and you will have contentment in life. Mother Teresa spent her entire life looking after orphaned kids. She didn’t need to do anything else as that kept her going until the day she left this body. Gandhi spent most of his life teaching people about non-violence. He died preaching same.

    We don’t have to achieve it ALL in this life. What we do need is peace, contentment and unconditional love in our hearts and soul. Do you have that ? If not, maybe it is the right time to go looking for it 🙂

    May you begin your spiritual journey and find out what is it that YOU want and not what this society feels that you should achieve! The want has to fulfil a purpose – a deep purpose, which resonates with your being, which makes your heart sing and dance, which makes you flow with life. That purpose can’t be a materialistic purpose as anyone can achieve that but I think your inner being is craving for much more. Finding that purpose could be your ultimate purpose and my experience tells me that it is often to do with personally contributing to society in any way from your higher self.

    Sending you loads of positive energy,



    Jasmine that was a great reply. Thanks for the view. I liked it!


    I can understand your lack of drive. Although it may seem like it’s an overdose of living in the now, I believe it is more likely that you don’t have a strong enough “why”. Whenever we think of our future and goals there is always a reason why we want to achieve them.

    If your why is not strong enough, your energy to achieve the goal will not be there. You have to find the “why that makes you cry.” When we think about our goals and dreams our initial why will usually be something very general. But as we continue to ask why that initial answer is important you will drill deeper into what you are really after. Keep asking yourself why until you hit those deep emotions, the ones that get you passionate about your change.

    Once that happens, you can successfully start to work on creating a goal statement to help you get there. There are 5 parts to a goal statement, and meditating on these will help with getting the answers you are looking for. They are:

    1. Decide what you want and state it in detail and in a positive tense. Avoid negative words. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” rephrase it to, “I want to have 2% body fat within 9 months.”

    2. Imagine your life as you have already achieved your goal. Depending on your goal, you might be able to do some research, and if not, you can use your imagination. What will you be like? Who will you be with? What will you be doing?

    3. Plan goals that you can achieve on your own. Although help may come, it should really be a bonus. By creating goals you can achieve on your own, you are more able to accomplish them without an excuse of someone else dropping the ball.

    4. Savor the best of your current situation. Take all of the good moments in your current life, and add them to what you are looking for in your goal. This makes sure you don’t lose parts of your life that you currently enjoy and continues to keep you in a positive mindset while you are working towards your goal.

    5. Check for potential dangers. Will your goal create any consequences? Are you a better person? Is your goal healthy and balanced? Does it empower you or create limitations?

    This may take some time, but after you do this exercise you may find that some goals you thought were worthwhile to pursue may not fit with where you actually want your life to go. You may even have to start working towards your goal before this becomes apparent. But if you continue to do this exercise on a regular basis you will start to feel empowered and motivated.


    Thanks for all your words, from each of you I have gained something positive.

    Reading your comments has given me a slight shift in my insight to acceptance. That by accepting things such as my current situation in all its manifestations does not mean that it is wrong to think of there being another way and importantly looking for what drives me is not a distraction from the now but a way to look at how to use my core strengths for a better purpose.

    If Im honest, although accepting of my situation, I am treading water at this time and not being truly congruent which probably led me to write this post.

    The challenge for me is to find out my passions, something which I have struggled with. I can make a list of my strengths, such as kindness, patience, the ability to be open and objective, creative and honourable. But I cant easily list what makes my heart sing, gets me so excited I lose track of time or moves me to have to pursue it. Its almost a real challenge to get excited easily!


    Hey RF

    Life is all about evolving so no stress.

    I read a nice article today, which differentiates contentment from complacency well. Contentment encourages you to continue your creativity and self growth as teachings in life school never end. Complacency makes you arrogant and stunts your personal or professional growth as it makes you feel that you have done it all and their is nothing more to learn. Hmmmmmmm.

    So the trick is to keep growing lifelong in either direction, it seems. Lol

    Have a great week ahead and loads of smiles.



    No one knows what the future may be. Just take one day at a time.

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