Get Busy Livin’ or Get Busy Dyin’
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.
One of my favorite all time movies is The Shawshank Redemption. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. It’s about a man (Andy), who has been in a Maine prison for twenty years, unjustly convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. My favorite line in the movie is when Andy is sitting against one of the prison walls. He had just spent two months “in the hole”, for rocking the boat after finding out a prisoner from another jail had confessed to Andy’s murders to a guy who was now at Andy’s prison. He had gone to the warden in the hopes of getting justice only to have the crooked man place him in solitary. Andy is talking with another prisoner about life and hope. He says, “It comes down to a simple choice really. Get busy living or get busy dying.” That pretty much sums life up, doesn’t it?
Either we are moving forward or falling behind. Life is like a treadmill. You have to keep walking on it in order not to fall off. If you stop, if you stay stationary, it will take you backward. Which way are you headed?
What are we doing in our everyday lives? Does it even matter? I’d like to think that I’m always going forward, never looking behind. Living as best as I can. But I don’t always. Why is that? Because sometimes in life it’s easier to go with the path of least resistance. At the end of a long work day, my choices are to spend time with my kids or sit down in front of the TV and zone out. Which will I choose? Most of the time it’s the kids, but not always.
It’s only when I stop myself and think about the value of these kinds of decisions does it seem easy to choose. When I slow down and think about my choices, it is much easier to develop a system of behavior. When I rush into something, I’m more apt to choose unwisely. This sounds obvious, I know. But if I can keep slowing myself down and not get caught up in the moment, it makes life better. If I’m going to live the best life I can, I need to do this.
Today I will make great decisions. Like Andy, I choose living.