Don't bother setting a bar.
We're fortunate enough to have been born during the information age. If you're reading this right now, you're doing it on a device that few of us could effectively describe to people who lived even a hundred years ago. Go even further back — can you imagine explaining your iPhone to a farmer in medieval times?
We have the world, literally, at our fingertips. Unlimited access to all the information known to man: Free online seminars, downloadable books, and the ability to connect with the world's most successful people directly on social media. Yet, I feel as though much of this potential is squandered.
We use what's arguably the most powerful tool ever created in order to ... waste time at work and watch cat videos on our phones. We're taking a tool designed for productivity and allowing it to make us less productive.
We have no excuses, and infinite possibilities. We have the resources that we need to live a limitless life full of happiness, and here are twelve reasons why we should take advantage of them.
1. The playing field has been leveled.
Not everyone is born into equal circumstances. Some aren't fortunate enough to make it to college (college isn't the only path to success; this is an example). Some don't have the experience to get a good job. Some need to take on adult responsibilities earlier in life and don't get the education they would've wanted.
The internet and advent of social media have given people the ability to rise from the ashes and educate themselves. You can listen to full Ivy League lectures on YouTube without paying a dime. You can read the blogs of the world's most successful people. You can enter the minds of those you'd never get to communicate with otherwise.
In short: Do it because you can.
2. You have an unprecedented opportunity to be yourself.
Thanks to the internet, no matter who you are or what you're into, you can be connected to someone else like you — someone else with the same interests; someone else with the same passions; someone else with the same challenges.
You can, for the first time ever, be assured that someone, somewhere, will accept and understand you. Before the internet, if there wasn't someone who understood you where you lived, there was no way to reach out and connect to others. Now, you can spread your wings.
3. You don't need to pigeon-hole yourself.
The landscape of the workforce is changing. You have more opportunity to learn and apply more things to the job you work or the business you own, than arguably anyone else in history. You have unlimited access to success stories, educational materials, and tools to help you along the way.
You don't have to just be one thing anymore. If you have the ambition, you can be and do whatever you want.
4. You have the ability to change the world.
You may not change the entire world, but you can change the world for one person. If each of us did that, would the entire world not change by default? We all have this opportunity to create lasting greatness every day, no matter how small the act.
These uncomfortable, sometimes confrontational moments in our lives are the exact times that our destiny is shaped. These are the universe opening the door to greatness and testing your courage to walk through it.
5. You can reject the concept of being average.
The world doesn't need any more average. But don't ask what the world needs — "Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs, is more people who have come alive."
How dare you take the infinitesimally small odds that your birth even occurred, and squander your years here on earth by settling for average? Are you really going to allow your one chance at this beautiful life to be summed up by falling somewhere in the crowd of mediocrity?
6. You'll never have regrets.
Leave all the cards on the table. To look back at a stash of potential that you never used will be to be plagued by the thought of who you could've been — who you could've been if you'd just taken that one chance; if you'd just gone for that job or approached that girl. If, if, if...
By living a limitless life, you'll replace the "I wonder what would have happened if" with "I'm so glad that I did."
7. You can leave a lasting legacy.
The things we do for ourselves in this life will leave the world when we do, but the things we do for others will live on as our legacy. Those whose names live on through kindness and stories told by others become immortal.
8. You can create your own path.
Travel. See the world. Explore the vastness of where we live. Educate yourself. Grow. Learn. Expand your mind. Be great.
Don't just get lost seeking your greatness — create it. Make it, and yourself, whatever you want. There are no great stories written in history about people who followed the crowd.
9. You can build a deeper sense of fulfillment.
Living a limitless life, whatever that means to you as an individual, is the only way to ensure you can be happy and fulfilled. None of us want to live in a box. None of us want to be limited. None of us want to go through life without really figuring out what satisfies us to our very core.
Learning new things and developing yourself is the best way to fill this void, because happiness comes from within.
10. You can break out of your comfort zone.
Everything you've ever wanted is right outside of your comfort zone, and once you're there, you realize that crossing the line wasn't as difficult as you thought it would be. Then, and only then, will you have the freedom and ability to be willing to expand your horizons again. And again. And again.
11. You can open yourself up to new opportunities.
Life seems to following along with the principles of inertia. For those of you who missed high school science class, inertia is the tendency for something to continue doing what it's doing until a greater force acts upon it, in order to change what the object is (or isn't) doing.
For many people, their day-to-day life is an uninspiring routine that never opens any new doors because, well, they never pass by any new doors. The further you expand, grow, and develop yourself, the more doors you'll be able to knock on. Or, maybe people will start knocking on yours.
12. You only get one chance at this life.
The most important reason to live a limitless life is that it's the only life any of us get. We're here for a relatively short amount of time — an amount that differs for all of us. And there's nobody to tell us just how much time we have.
The only thing that remains certain is that, eventually, we'll find out. But by then we'll have made all the decisions we're going to make.
We will have taken all the trips, loved all the people, enjoyed all the time, read all the books, and had all the experiences. We'll have lived the one life we're able to live. Use it to become limitless. Use it to help others. Use it to make an impact.
These are our small chances to become immortal. The small chances, despite not being able to live forever, to create something that does.
In the age of 5-second attention spans and 140 character conversations, there will never be a replacement for the emotional affect an act of kindness can have on a person. When everyone's standing around waiting for somebody else to take action, be that somebody else.
James Michael Sama is an award-winning Boston based blogger on the topics of dating and relationships, having amassed over 30 million readers in just a year and a half. He writes and speaks on the topics of chivalry, romance, and happiness throughout the country and has been featured repeatedly in news segments, talk shows, and mainstream radio.
This article was originally published at jamesmsama.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.