‘Live your life to the fullest’ is an injunction to make the most of the relatively short time to be alive on earth. The logic in the injunction is that since everyone has only a single lifespan on earth so it should logically be lived to its utmost.
The essence of the challenge behind the injunction is that we are not born equal, nor do we have equal opportunities. The individual born in the street gutter faces a significantly different scenario to the one born at the same instant to highly qualified professionals in a upmarket American hospital.
People who are born into lives with every advantage are said to be born with silver spoons in their mouths. They may have doting parents, many servants, high quality education and sound advice about what to do with their lives. Unfortunately some such people end up squandering all or most of the opportunities that they have inherited.
The inequality of birth circumstances have led many political theorists to propose societies in which wealth is equally shared. As Marx propounded such theories he was waited on by his female slave who had been given to him when she was eight. When his theories were applied a few bullies grew very rich and the numbers of poor rose even further.
If it is accepted that birth circumstances do not necessarily guarantee fulfillment then one may turn to ways of finding meaning. Many lifestyle experts suggest goal setting as a method that can secure a sense of purpose and satisfaction. A poor shepherd who starts with nothing dies with two hundred sheep in his fold may die happy. A prince who has made a break through in farming on his inherited lands may feel equally satisfied.
Many writers and speakers in the English literary canon have addressed the question of how to live your life to the fullest. There seems to be a general consensus that the answer does not really lie in power or material gain. The small bird that bursts into song on a gray Winter’s day seems to know something important without the aid of books, speeches or online resources. Instinctively it affirms its being in its song.
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