Do You Make the Most of an Experience?
Make the most of every experience. Donít obsess over right and wrong decisions. Stop defending your self-image. Go beyond risks. Make no decision when in doubt. See the possibilities in whatever happens. Find the stream of joy.
Living fully is extolled everywhere in popular culture. Instead of looking for sensory overload that lasts forever, youíll find that the experiences need to be engaged at the level of meaning and emotion.
Meaning is essential. If this moment truly matters to you, you will experience it fully. Emotion brings in the dimension of bonding or tuning in: An experience that touches your heart makes the meaning that much more personal.
Pure physical sensation, social status, sexual attraction, and feeling like a winner are generally superficial, which is why people hunger for them repeatedly.
To experience this moment, or any moment, fully means to engage fully. Meeting a stranger can be totally fleeting and meaningless, for example, unless you enter the individualís world by finding out at least one thing that is meaningful to his or her life and exchange at least one genuine feeling.
Tuning in to others is a circular flow: You send yourself out toward people; you receive them as they respond to you. Notice how often you donít do that. You stand back and insulate yourself, sending out only the most superficial signals and receive little or nothing back.
The same circle must be present even when someone else isnít involved. If you want to fully experience life, you must close the circle.
Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).