I’ve joked that you can take the English teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the English teacher out of the person. In a meeting recently with some colleagues, we were revising the word choice, construction, and punctuation in a document. There was an exclamation point at the end of a sentence, and we were debating whether or not that was appropriate.
Exclamation points are commonly used to express excitement, surprise, astonishment, or other strong emotions. Grammarians would caution against overuse of the mark. But a wise friend in our meeting asked, “Shouldn’t life be filled with more exclamation points, not less?”
Our lives should be filled with excitement, surprise, and astonishment! We should seek those opportunities.
Every day, every moment, life presents us with opportunities. Say yes to them! An invitation to an event can feel like an obligation, but it could be the experience of a lifetime. A new professional opportunity can feel overwhelming, but it could help you grow in ways you’ve never imagined.
Trying something new can be scary, but I agree with the advice that we should do something everyday that scares us. There is a thrilling exhilaration in doing something new. Your heart beats faster. Your adrenaline spikes. Your emotions go into overload. It’s fun.
Risk-taking is part of a well-lived life. Now I’m not suggesting you jump out of an airplane without a parachute, but I am suggesting you be willing to say yes to an opportunity even though it scares you. It may feel safer to maintain the status quo, but the best things in life are almost always a result of challenging it.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” (Ferris Bueller) We have to do more than just say yes to those opportunities; we have to be present enough to enjoy them when they are happening. Noticing the best moments when they are happening is a skill we should all cultivate.
Two of our football teams had the opportunity to play in the state championship game in Memorial Stadium last week. As they were leaving the field at halftime, a player’s dad said to me, “I hope they are taking a few minutes to look around and really soak this all in.” The experiences of a lifetime are always worth savoring.
Extend Opportunities to Others
Everyone deserves a life filled with exclamation points. When you have the chance to invite someone else to join you in an adventure, extend the offer.
If you read the blog a couple of weeks ago, you know that I have a new niece. There is something miraculous about a baby. Holding Logan this weekend has been priceless, and I have tried to enjoy every minute of it.
Our world is full of awe-inspiring miracles. I could watch a mountain stream flowing over rocks for hours. Vacations are alive with opportunities to enjoy the beauty of nature, but if we take the time to look around, we’d see that beauty everyday. The autumn leaves have only now fallen from the trees. The first frost has left a shimmer on the grass. The colors of the sunset as I drive home from work this time of year take my breath away.
Our lives need more exclamation points! Be intentional about looking for them!