Living an “as-if” life

We all live lives of anticipation, expectation, and hope that the future will fulfill our dreams.

• As children, we lived “as if” our parents would buy us nice toys, take us to fun places on vacation, and buy us great sneakers.

• As teenagers and young adults, we lived “as if” we would get high grades in school, graduate with honors, and wind up with a good job or a rewarding professional career.

• As mature adults, we lived “as if” we would meet the man or woman of our dreams and live a happy, healthy, and purposeful life.

All these things, until this very moment, come without a warranty, guarantee, or owner’s manual.

Reinhold’s “Serenity Prayer” says it all: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Live one day at a time, enjoy the moment, and accept hardships as a lesson and a path to peace and tranquility. Live “as if” good things will come your way and have the ability to recognize and act on promising opportunities.

Living in a highly unpredictable world, the plans we make are not cast in stone. All we can do is live our lives “as if” our karma will be kind and that our companions on this tiny planet will embrace the joys of interpersonal peace and harmony.

It might be wise to live each day “as if” it is your last and embrace each new experience “as if” it is your first. Live your life as a participant, not an observer.

Countless books have been written telling people how to live a better life. Words on a printed page are not enough to make a difference unless readers are willing to convert them into some form of productive behavior.

Living an “as if” life requires that, instead of relinquishing control of it to some invisible metaphysical force, you embrace William Henley’s words as your montra: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

You control your life in countless ways. You can turn left instead of right, open or close a door, take a bus or a train. While these are not life-threatening decisions, they illustrate your power to control your behavior. Mentally, you can change your mind.

While we are subservient to the forces of nature, thousands of historical events were the result of human intervention. Individuals with imagination transformed their ideas into the technological advances that make our lives easier today.

Other than humans, no other creatures on Earth have the capacity or the ability to alter their destiny. Despite having this incredible ability, we are still condemned to live an “as if “ life. Our destiny is not in the stars, but in ourselves.

— Professor Eisenberg was born in New York City and now lives in Belleair Bluffs. His career consisted of teaching interpersonal and intercultural communication, public speaking, organizational and nonverbal communication, group dynamics and persuasion at four major universities including Pace University and Manhattanville College in New York. His publications include 19 textbooks on various aspects of communication. Send comments to aeisenberg3@tampabay.rr.com.

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