I speak a lot about abundant living and most times what is meant is misunderstood. For me, abundant living is living in such a way every hour of our day is maximised. We get so caught up in accumulating material things, accolades, certificates and chasing after meaningless that we forget about living. Jamaican musician Ernie Smith did a song “Life is just for living” that captures my thoughts of an abundant life. In it, he makes the salient point that life is best lived with an appreciation for simplicity. Therefore much of my journey to abundant living is focused on rediscovering some of the simple things I used to enjoy, even as a child.
I do enjoy the finer things in life just as much anyone, but more and more I am concluding that these things do not give me real joy. At 45 years old the things I fought so hard to achieve at 24 years old are so important anymore, they seem trivial to what I see lying before me. These days I wake up giving thanks for the opportunity to be alive one more day. I am happy that I can breathe on my own; thankful that I can still taste food as it caresses palate; joyful that I can control my bodily functions; joyful that when I open my eyes, I can even witness the beauty that is all around me. This may seem like a simplistic or minimalist view of life, but to me, this is abundant living.
As we strive for abundant living, there are some things worth considering. How often do we stop to take in our surroundings? Do we take the time to get in tune with regular people? To hear the happy and innocent laughter of children; to witness couples in love and realise that with all that is wrong in the world some things are just right. Do we appreciate the fact that we are among the people in the world who can have fruit in its natural state any time of the year? Have we considered that we have some of the most scenic places on earth? When I think about abundant living, these are some of the things that I think about, and it brings joy to my soul.
Abundant living is intentional living. It is not something that we pick up along the way. We can spend our entire lives hoping to get the point of abundant living, only to wake up one day with disappointment. It is not about planning to enjoy life tomorrow, when we retire or when we have saved enough money. It is all about learning how to live in the moment and make the best of every situation. Wishful thinking will not get us there, neither will not it happen accidentally it will only occur by us giving our best effort every day to live life. It is about embracing change and overcoming obstacles. It is understanding that while we are living for ourselves, we are also living for others. Abundant living is deciding to make the best of what life offers so that when our time comes to depart this earth, we will have no regrets.