A great passage that is echoing in my head this week:

“Great people have a vision of their lives that they practice emulating each and every day.

They go to work on their lives, not just in their lives.

Their lives are spent living out the vision they have of their future, in the present. They compare what they’ve done with what they intended to do. And where there’s a disparity between the two, they don’t wait very long to make up the difference.

The go to work on their lives, not just in their lives.

I believe it’s the difference between great people and everyone else that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next.

The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing.

The difference between the two is living intentionally and living by accident.”

-  Michael E. Gerber, The E-Myth Revisited, page 139

Ready to start designing a life with intention? Here’s a great place to start.


Follow by email and get the
for free

  • The first sentence of that passage reminded me of a Bible passage I heard just last week, that I hadn’t thought of in awhile:

    “Where [there is] no vision, the people perish” – Proverbs 29:18

    There are a bunch of different takes on what that means in context, but I choose to think it means that without positive ideas and actions for the future (even if those ideas are simply to ‘keep the law’), one feels at a loss, and thus lost.

    Thanks for starting my week with purpose 🙂

  • What a great passage! I’m Evernoting this!

  • Hi, Jess! I can’t remember if I’ve ever commented, but I’ve been reading your blog regularly for about 6 months now, and I thank you for your consistently dedicated work on this blog to be a voice of inspiration… especially for those of us trying to figure out what our dreams are and then make them a little closer to coming true. 🙂

    While I agree with the spirit of this passage, I do have to take issue with this sentence, and I feel like that’s ok here, since you’ve recently been a lot more open about your faith…

    “…great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next.”

    There is a truth here that we are ALL created by our lives… everything is an influence on our spirits, minds, and decisions. I think what’s important is how we choose to react to the forces we can’t control. And then there’s the element of Faith. Life happens, and if we ever want to truly succeed—and I’m qualifying success as *thriving* wherever we land–we have to have some faith (in God, karma, what have you) that we will end up where we are supposed to be.

    Yes, we have to work hard in life, no, not everything is handed to us… but we have to have faith that the opportunities are out there waiting for us, if we just look for them. And sometimes waiting patiently for the right moment is a great thing too.

    …ok.. sorry.. just had to get it out there. Thanks again for your words and your blog!

  • This is a great great great great great post. It is entirely true… Thankfully, after much time and only VERY recently, I have finally learned to be the person that works on their life and lives it rather than just existing.

    thank you.

  • Jess, I think you’re reading my mind! I’ve spent the last six weeks concentrating solely on this thought. I love it and am working on some ways to create checks and balances. It’s so easy to start going through the motions, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing.

  • Love the idea behind your website!

  • CB

    I like this passage!

  • Some reflections:

    I think the difference between living fully and just existing is to make peace with the present moment and enjoy it, something that hardly anyone does.

    There’s nothing wrong with having a future vision, what is problematic is measuring the gap between right now and that future vision and hating on the present. It’s almost as if people believe the future won’t come without rejecting the present and being unsatisfied with it. It’s more like the opposite is true. The sooner one is thankful and enjoys the present, the more smooth and rapid the becoming into the future vision.

    Living fully is about creating happiness now, not putting it off until self-employed. Not creating an excuse for unhappiness. So love your 9-5 job. 😉 Be present, love and live fully. Life changes come and go, but happiness is a self-created choice in every moment.

  • I just had a thought about the difference between just existing and living and your post came up. Thank you for writing this 🙂

  • No worries! It is a quote by Michael Gerber, from “The E-Myth Revisited!”