Are You Making a Living or Are You Making a Life?

I pose that question because I have seen many people choosing their career over personal fulfilment. Of course, not everyone does that. There are many people that have careers they love and they are living a very fulfilled and joy-filled life. I dare to say, there is a larger percentage of people working to live.  

My son was a foreign exchange student in Spain one semester, and I told him to tell his family that if they ever visited the United States, they could stay with us. He advised me, “Mom, they have no desire to come to the States. They think we are all crazy because we live to work, whereas they only work to live.”  

Ask yourself, “Is that true for me?” If the answer is “Yes,” then the next question is “Why?”

I ran across this quote which may help answer that question: 

“Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”
– Charles Bokowski 

I’ll tell you who you were if you don’t remember—a divine being of infinite possibilities! That is still who you are, and it’s time to remember and ask yourself if you are really living, really enjoying your life, or are you just doing what you do to survive. 

What has happened to so many of us is that we were taught lessons of limitations. Many received messages that life is difficult. How many of us heard that we better study hard, get good grades, so you can get into a good college, so you can get a good job making lots of money? You have to work hard because money doesn’t grow on trees. I’m sure you can think of other messages that you were taught.

I could go on and on about what you may believe about life and challenges. If you want to change your life, begin today to start focusing on the beauty of living, the power to create a life that is not merely to survive but to enjoy and prosper. It may be time to reprogram deep-seated beliefs.  

Start remembering who you were as a child before the world taught you to be afraid. I watch my granddaughters make demands on the universe, which to them are their parents! Every one of their demands are usually answered. But stop and think about even that. The Universe or God, if you prefer, is working through their parents or whoever is there that loves them and wants to make them happy. The Universe is always with us answering our every demand.  We have just forgotten who we are and how to make demands on life and tap into that power that actually is within each of us. There are no victims in life. Whether we realize it or not, we have created it all by believing messages we have learned and now are part of our thinking process. We possess a powerful creative energy, so let’s use it to our advantage versus our disadvantage. 

As the Bible says, we are made in the image and likeness of God. It doesn’t say God is made in our image and likeness. To be made in the image and likeness of God, we have the power to create. In fact, we are the power that creates. God doesn’t punish us for our sins; we are punished by our sins, which are just choices with consequences. All our choices have an outcome. There is no power in the universe that is out to get us. 

Here is the formula to get started to create a fulfilled life, filled to the brim with everything you may want:  

  1. Clean out the clutter (your false beliefs) in your subconscious. Start by reading and/or taking spiritual classes that empower you, remind you of the power of your mind to create.  A simple, but powerful book I would recommend is “This Thing Called You” by Ernest Holmes.

  2. There are beautiful affirmations in the book that I suggest you incorporate in your daily life. Affirmations are powerful.  Say them out loud with conviction. Create your own. When you consistently implement the use of affirmations, you are eradicating the negative beliefs and replacing them with powerful truths that become the way you actually think and believe. Watch how your life improves as you do so.

  3. Follow your inspirations.  Fill your life with things you love to do. Have the courage to follow your passions. If you need to make a career change, do it. When you are open and trust the Divine Intelligence within you, Spirit will guide you to make the right choices.

  4. The final step that I suggest is to be Love, be kind, be generous, look around at all the blessings you do have because what you appreciate multiplies. Also, the more acts of kindness you do, the more good that comes back into your life because the universe abhors a vacuum.

When you do those steps, you will own your inner power because you have remembered who you truly are, not the negative limiting beliefs you were taught. You are in total control to have the best life ever. You will go from merely surviving to thriving.

Rev. Dr. Laura Shackelford

Rev. Dr. Laura Shackelford is an ordained Religious Science Minister. She has been at the Palm Desert Spiritual Center as a minister over 20 years and has served as the Assistant Minister for 10 years. For 18 years she served as the recording secretary for Religious Science International and then for Centers for Spiritual Living. She can be reached at