I like this simple two-letter word that is used in a myriad of ways. I think it has a deeper more poignant meaning than the other two-letter words like it, of, on, or, at. While necessary words, they are lazy words compared to if. For example, people substitute the word it instead of explaining something in detail.
If, like my friend said the other day, “is an active word.” It, the word if that is, is often used in mathematical equations, one of my least favorite school subjects by the way. For example, if 5 is added to 3 what is the answer? Of course 8. If can also be used in much more complicated math problems, but the problem is the moment I start to get into those types of problems I break out in a sweat and my breathing becomes shallow. In short, the beginnings of a panic attack. So I will leave it here with the simple example.
The real reason I wanted to bring the word if to your attention is that if is related to life. In fact, as I typed it I noticed the two letters I and F are in the middle of the word life. How cool is that? Much like a math problem, there is also an IF equation in life. And each person has their own individual equation for what I call a life of well-being. What does this possibly mean you might ask? Well I will answer that question for you in the form of an IF example that pertains to my life.
If I make health, creativity, community and spirituality a priority in my life I will live a balanced life of well-being. Now on the surface the equation seems quite simple, but like life it is more complicated than that. Let’s break each one down. If I want to live a life of balance and well-being and if I make health a priority then I need to eat healthy food, exercise daily and get a decent amount of sleep. Let’s go even further. If I want food to be part of the equation then I would eat less carbs, more natural foods such as veggies and cut out any form of processed foods and refined sugar. If I want exercise to be part of my equation, then I need to ride my bike, run and go to the gym or any other form of exercise. If sleep is part of the equation of health then that is at least 6 hours or more.
If I want to make creativity a part of my life equation, then I dedicate a certain amount of time everyday to writing. But not just that, also I find that listening to music, reading books, watching good TV inspires my creativity.
Let’s add the if equation to spirituality. This part of the equation is very personal and can be in the form of organized religion, meditation or just a personal philosophy and relationship with the world. My equation consists of daily meditation and a few interesting readings related to Zen and other thought provoking books that continue to help and remind me to maintain balance.
The final equation to if is community and friends. Recently I wrote about community and counted the number of communities that I am connected to and the total is 14. I will not list them here, but the point is that community is very important for many reasons besides just well-being. And of course nothing more need be said really about friends and how that fits in the equation.
Now I have laid out a simple IF equation. The main word here is simple. It, there’s that word again, is really that straightforward. Seriously, it is not rocket science. And yet so many of us complicate it or put obstacles in the way, myself included. Our ego is a tough problem and solving that equation is the key to well-being. And that key is to not listen to it or listen to it less than we do.
I hope you find or have found your equation. That is IF you want to.