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06/13/2024 AGEIST Magazine 395

What do we fear most? That we are inadequate and should ratchet down our expectation? Or is it achieving our excellence? As the brilliant Harvard psychologist William James has said, “most of us live far below our maximum, and possess powers of various sorts which we never chose to use.” Fear of greatness may not be an actual expressed fear; it seems, though, for many of us to be lurking in the background ready to come out of the weeds when opportunities arise, getting us to play safe rather than seeing how far we could really go. We are all stronger, braver, and more capable than we know. For each of us, the definition of excellence varies; maybe to be the very best parent, maybe the most healthy version of ourselves, maybe to start an organization to take on a huge global crisis. Capacity varies, as does ambition; whatever it may look like to each of us, there is within us a super power which may be far beyond our imagination.

We don’t really know how the math of our lives will add up until the very end. Our roads may very well be quite twisty, and with our life objective being hard to discern. There is no shame in pulling back and coasting. It is a personal choice and, just as ambitions vary, so do definitions of coasting. Aristotle wrote that if a person succeeded in realizing their potential, they had a happy life. This is one of those wisdoms that sits in the back of my mind, giving me pause. Do I want to reach an end point not having fulfilled my potential? Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront saying, “I coulda been a contender” — this is not what I want to be ruminating on in my last hours.

We all at this point have probably figured out 2 or 3 main values or drives that have been red threads pulling us, pushing through life. These don’t have to be spoken, but on a gut level we know them. Having a sense of these, and maybe writing them down, we can focus and filter how we use our time going forward. For myself, it is to stay as healthy, educated, and strong as possible, to bring the vision of greater capacity to people of all ages, and to make the world a better place for our flora and fauna. It is not that I am some sort of monk who micro decides each action I take to align with these; I really like to have fun, spend time with my family and friends, and am obsessed with watching Ted Lasso (Note: I always end up crying). Using these meta values as an umbrella over the whole of a life and reaching for the best I can be, while at the same time enjoying a warm hug, a nice meal, and feeling the sun on my face — this seems like a pretty good path today.

Onward and upward,

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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Taylor Marks
Taylor Marks is a certified holistic health coach and professionally trained chef from The Institute of Culinary Education. Her passions include the latest research in health science, culinary arts, holistic wellness, and guiding others towards feeling their best.


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