Experiencing Life

Experience Life, Don’t Manage It


Last night, during a Hazelden Treatment Center Alumni Meeting, I heard the facilitator of the meeting make a great comment about experiencing life, instead of managing life.  “Remain open to the concept of experiencing life, rather than managing it” is a summary of the insight he shared.

I keep the approach of “coach during practice and manage during the game” in reference to a part of my career as a high school baseball coach and it has worked seamlessly over the seven years of coaching. Using this approach on the field, while working with high school players, I find myself calmer and in-turn, I’m able to experience the practice or games, instead of being caught in my own emotions.  Players respond to me and the environment with more confidence and composure as well.

I share this experience as a reference to the approach I am fulfilling in my personal life in recovery with a bipolar and ADD disorder.  There is work that is required on a daily basis to apply this philosophy to events in my life that I insist on trying to manage instead of experience.  Worry and anxiousness are present in my life when I attempt to manage situations and my environment.  I continue to have to keep order in my life by doing things to stay in active recovery, have a successful career and be a great husband, father, son, brother, but experiencing life, instead of trying to manage life is a key to my continued success.  There are certain things a person has to manage in life to be able to experience it, such as a calendar and organization.  A person must stay organized and present in their life by doing things to prepare for the day, but when unexpected events or changes occur, experience those things and learn from them, instead of trying to manage them.

Are you a manager in your life or do you take the opportunity to experience life?

What are you able to do differently so that you can experience life with more calmness, serenity and tranquility?

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