Full Life Requires Full Effort

“Kinda” is not your friend.

Recently one of those auto-play videos embedded in a newsfeed on my phone began to play. Nine times out of 10, no make that 99 out of 100, I find these annoying and intrusive. I simply dismiss and scroll past.

But something hooked me.

The speaker, standing in a wide-open space at the foot of a mountain range, told everyone on the other end of the message that “kinda” was not their friend. As a matter of fact, the behavior actually contributed to people’s unhappiness or dissatisfaction in life.

“If you kinda do anything, you’ll only kinda get results,” he said.

He mentioned if you only “kinda” stick to your diet, you’ll only “kinda” get results. If you only “kinda” show up at the gym, you’ll only “kinda” see changes from the time invested.

“Kinda” is not your friend, he reiterated.

I thought about this and how, at the beginning of a new year, many people make resolutions to change their lives. Lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with family seem to be perennial favorites. But as the speaker said, pointing to the mountain behind him, if you only kinda try to reach the summit, your results will only kinda be successful. You have to commit and not only prepare to sacrifice but fight meaningless distractions from getting in the way of you perusing your goals. If not, you are only kinda working towards your goals.

Researchers say that the most common pain people experience at the end of their life is the regret for the things they did not do. Rarely do people, when faced with time running off the clock, do they focus on the things they did, but rather the trips they didn’t take, the people they didn’t fully love, or how they could’ve more meaningfully committed to the truly important things to them in life.

They simply “kinda” lived.

I don’t know about you, but “kinda” living does not sound appealing.

Today I am at the age where I can look both forward and back at the time my life should cover. And I can see both opportunities and moments in life when I let “kinda” steal away joy and reward from me. And I also know, I let it happen – as easily as grabbing a handful of sand on the beach and watching it slip through my fingers, never really valuing the grains falling away. After all, there was always another handful of sand to grab by simply bending down to the ground.

But today I know different. And like others, brushes with death or other life-changing events served as the wakeup call I needed. I clearly remember when I realized “kinda” was not good enough – and I’m better for the experience.

The speaker continued to jump around the small screen in the palm of my hand, his voice moving melodically. But in the end, I knew what he meant – and his words were beautiful music to my ears.





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