Life is a test. And you’ll be graded not on how much wealth you’ve accumulated. It is not on how many diplomas you have on your wall or the number of medals you’ve accumulated over the years. Neither the position you have on your resume nor the number of skills you have at your arsenal.
Life is a test. And who you become is the basis of your grades.
Finding Joy Is Part Of The Curricula
Joy doesn’t mean being happy in the meantime while you are giving away your life and suffering in the long run. Joy means happiness with peace of mind. It means being fully appreciative in your life. That you are grateful for whatever it is that you are going through, whether you are on the mountains or the valleys of life.
Joy is not affected by the circumstances. Not only because you know that your circumstances – however dire – do not define you. It’s what you do about it. Besides, you’ve been through a lot and you’re still here. This too shall pass. And when you get over your lows, when you’ve overcome your challenges, you become stronger than you are now.
Everything In Life Is A Test
Who you become is the ultimate test of life. If you have become very rich financially, but in turn have become too greedy, you lose the meaning of true wealth. Money only accentuates the cash flow pattern in your mind. It only makes you become more of what you already are.
You see, money is neutral. Think about it: if the person who owns it is giving, generous, and is happy he or she will be more of it. They’ll be more giving, generous, and happier. Money given to someone who’s greedy and who cuts corners makes them greedier. It makes them more of who they already are. What we have in our life amplifies who we are inside.
The same goes with your relationships, material possessions, career, and so on. Your life isn’t graded based on what you have but who you become. Ask yourself, “are you letting the things you own refine your character or take over who you are?”
Do you have a car? Good! How well do you drive? Do you drive with care or do you drive irresponsibly? Without concern with your environment and without regard to those who might be in danger?
I Was A Reckless Driver
I knew this lesson very well because I love speed. And I love doing and finishing things fast. Being a person who loves speed, a car only accentuated who I am. I drive fast. I used to drive recklessly, changing lanes fast without firing my signal lights. Speeding on narrow roads even though I didn’t have the proper driver’s license yet.
In hindsight, I was calling for disaster. There were times when I was nearly in an accident. I thank God for giving me the awareness at those times so I can hit the break at the right moment. Any second later would’ve meant disaster for me and the person I collided with.
From then on, I learned and continue to learn that driving must be defensive. I must drive with care especially when I drive for people I love. Driving for them is a service, an act of love. It is, at least for me, an art. And for my art to be expressed, it must be made with love and care.
I don’t want the people I love to get hurt just because I love speed. Today I know that speed is good, but being reckless isn’t. And there are contexts and situations where speed must be applied with proper planning and care.
Life Is A Test And Essentialism Is A Reviewer
As you know, Essentialism speaks about being intentional in focusing on the critical few rather than the trivial many. It’s about pruning away the things that distract you from what’s important in life.
Since life is a test, essentialism acts like a reviewer. The reason is that it forces you to sit down and reflect on your life. It’s like holding a mirror in front of you and it forces you to reflect on what’s happening in your life. It forces you to ask yourself the hard questions people rarely ask.
- What is the main focus of your life right now? Is it where you want it to be?
- If this was the last day of your life, would you still do the same things that you did today?
- Is there anything that you should’ve let go of a long time ago but are still holding onto?
- How many friends do you have that you can trust with your life?
- What type of legacy do you want to leave behind?
Now, being an essentialist won’t make the test any easier. But it will make it more enjoyable since you’re checking yourself now and then. You remember what you reviewed and it helps you decide on what to answer in the test.
Who You Become Is The Only Thing That Remains
Who you become affects the lives of other people. You may not intentionally do it, but who you are influences other people. We can’t not influence other people. We always do. As one of my favorite authors, Robert Fulghum once said:
“Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away. Most of this “something” cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours. Memory. The census doesn’t count it. Nothing counts without it.”Robert Fulghum
If you’re a parent, you influence your child in every possible way. They may listen to your words but how they see you become the model in their minds. You may say all the right things and give good advice. But if you’re not applying your own advice, then in their eyes, you’re not a credible source. And what you show them is what they remember.
Do you have a job? You are influencing your co-workers and bosses. Do you have a business? You certainly are an influence on your customers. Are you in a relationship? Do you have friends? Who you are inevitably influences their life. It’s not a matter of if or when. It’s a matter of how.
Life Is A Test In The Bible
The Scripture says that we are in constant testing. In 1 Peter 1:6-7, it says:
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
God is constantly putting your faith to a test because He wants you to learn and grow. You see, our character isn’t built; it’s shaped. It’s not like a painting where we need to add more to it. Shaping our character is like a sculpture. God is chiseling away the things we don’t need to form us to His likeness.
As you know, every chisel hurts. Yet it’s comforting to know that the sculptor, God, has a plan for you. He has your end in mind. No chisel is done at random since everything is in order.
You see, God loves you and me so much that He removes every imperfection in our life. He does it through testing and giving us challenges. Through these, we grow as a person. In the end, we become who He wants us to be.
Final Thoughts On Life Is A Test
Life is a test and who you become is the basis of your grades. That’s why you must be aware of who you become. You must be intentional in shaping your life.
Would you choose to be someone who inspires other people? Or would you decide to become someone who destroys the spirit of others?
As you know, the world is suffering because of too much pain, frustration, and struggles. Stress is at an all-time high. And the world needs someone who can inspire it to live in such a remarkable way. Why not decide that it will be you?
Live an inspired life,