How to Live the Best Possible Life

By: Jim Murphy


How to Live the Best Possible Life

1. Best possible life: A meaningful, fulfilling life with extraordinary experiences, deep enriching relationships where you’re constantly learning and growing, sharing your true self–and your unique purpose–with the world. 

Your true self has infinite eternal worth; you were created for glory, born to make the world a better place.

2. Most of us have, to this point, set our sights far too low, pursuing some external success when it may not even bring happiness, let alone a life of deep contentment, joy and confidence, independent of circumstances. 

3. What if you were to take a moment, right now, and imagine, if anything was possible, what would the rest of your life look like? 

4. Now ask yourself, what would that give you? Why do you want that? On your rocking chair in your 80s, would that be the most meaningful, fulfilling life you can imagine?

5. Chances are, that life you just imagined is just the lollipop when the whole candy store awaits. 

“He swore by all that he ever had loved and reverenced that he would try, try with all his might in the short time that might remain to him… he would forget himself, he would put his own pain and chagrin and disappointment, his own feeling of defeat and uselessness, his own craving for love and intellectual companionship in the background, and he would see if the more than six feet of bone and muscle that contained his being could do any small service that might come his way for God and his fellow man before he went. Maybe if he could accomplish some little thing, something that would ease the ache of even one heart that ached as his was aching at that minute, just maybe that knowledge would be the secret that he might carry in his breast that would set the stamp of an indelible smile on his face, so that even a child could discern the majesty of the impulse and he wouldn’t be ashamed when the end came.” – Gene Stratton-Porter, The Keeper of the Bees

I’m sitting at the table here overlooking Osoyoos Lake (thanks Romeo!) just outside Oroville, Wa. I came to continue narrating the audio version of the Inner Excellence (IX) book (after almost a year break!). It’s a beautiful scene here by the water, quiet and serene. I arrived Sunday night and everything was perfect. Except my mind. 

My life has been nonstop this past year, living out of a suitcase for most of the past eight months since selling my little retreat center in Point Roberts, Wa. I knew it was time to slow things down; less actions to achieve and more presence to perceive. 

That was, after all, part of the reason for selling my home. I wanted to simplify my life and slow it down… break it into more easily understood parts, more manageable, so I could see who I’ve become at this point in my life, and make sure that when it comes time for me to die, that I had fully lived. I needed time to think and feel and ask some important questions:

* Am I on the right path
* How’s my heart?
* Is it filled with deep contentment, joy and confidence, independent of circumstances? 

I was asked by a spiritual mentor on our last call, “How’s your joy meter?” I gave him a number (6.5 out of 10) and began to explain my circumstances and why it wasn’t higher. What he said next stopped me in my tracks. “Joy is not empowered by what’s going on in our lives.” So true! I forgot. I was too busy to remember the real definition of joy (as you read in the glossary of the IX book).

Joy: a deep sense of well-being, freedom and gratitude, independent of circumstances.

Or, if I remembered, I was too busy to change anything. I wasn’t in a hurry, but hurry was in me. So here I’ve been at the lake the last three days, face to face with my reflection in the water, the wind, the waves. And the silence.

Some of you may recall in the IX book I proposed a thought experiment. 

The (10) million dollar question
What would you rather have, if you could only choose one:

A. A $10 million home on the ocean, completely paid off, with all the normal cares and concerns of that person… or…

B. live in an apartment the rest of your life, with no savings, but be guaranteed a life of deep contentment, joy and confidence every day the rest of your life?

Then I asked, if you chose A (which most of my life I would have chosen, although there’s no right or wrong answer), what if no one could ever see the house but you, or even know you had it? Would you still choose it? Is not the reason for the house to have great experiences and deep enriching relationships? What if you had that gorgeous place (which, btw, I wouldn’t mind trying out if you want me to help you make your decision) and all your time and energy was spent maintaining it, and you weren’t filled with peace and joy? 

Inner Excellence is here to help you clarify what you want most and help you get it, whether it’s A or B or both. Whatever it is for you, I want you to deeply examine your heart, where it is in this moment, and help you be sure you’re on the path towards the best possible life, the one only you can live, so you’ll have no regrets. 

Ok back to my audiobook narrating. There’s so many questions in my mind since this is my first time narrating a book… am I going the right speed, is there enough energy, or too much? How’s my rhythm and tempo?  A few years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimotos hypothyroid and so all the travel and suitcase zipping has been a challenge with presence and focus.

Today I realized that I needed to get my mind and heart right. I did the GPS tool (p. 166 in the book) and reminded myself the purpose of my life: to share God’s love, wisdom and courage with athletes and leaders around the world. And that I’m only responsible for my heart and my actions. The rest is up to God. Now it’s time for me to risk failure, to focus on being and not accomplishing, let go of the results, and let God be the judge.  

The best possible life is only possible when you’re wholehearted, willing to face any feeling, risk any failure, so you can be the person you were created to be. This sort of heart (a whole one), is only possible when you devote your life to a purpose beyond self. You can still be a pro athlete (or performance coach!), it just means that your ultimate pursuit is to love others. This is where joy comes from, and from joy, inner strength. Then you’ll do things you never thought you could. You’ll be able to live an extraordinary life, the best possible one. 

Some steps to take right now to make sure you’re on the right path:

1. Set aside a full day in the next six weeks to examine your life. As we approach the season of advent (4 Sundays before Christmas), it’s getting to be time to do your year in review. 

2. Ask yourself, “How’s my joy meter?” and see what comes up for you. 

3. Ask yourself if you’ve been playing it safe, sticking with the same old life when you’re created for so much more, because you’ve been walking in self-protection mode? Has the fear of failure, or more specifically, how you’ll feel when others judge your failure, held you back?

4. Remember: Selfless is fearless. Unconditional love is the main ingredient in an extraordinary life, one with deep contentment, joy and confidence, independent of circumstances.

Let’s get that majestic impulse going in our lives, the one even a child could feel. You with me? 

love Jim

What better Christmas gift than a copy or ten of the Inner Excellence book? You might start thinking of who you can share some love with before the big day gets here. Speaking of, thanks again for those of you who have gone on amazon to review the book. To compete with Amazon’s (33 million?) books, we need book reviews. Last check the IX book had 169 total ratings (147 five-star ratings/62 written reviews). If you found the book helpful, it would help so much if you left a rating and ideally a few words on how it impacted you.  This link takes you directly to the Amazon ratings/review page for the book. Once we get 200 five-star ratings and 100 written reviews (before 12/31??) we can have a party! 🙂
Update on my life: The first ever (world premier!) Inner Excellence retreat open to the public has been postponed until spring. The plan is to combine a YWAM Homes of Hope house build with a full inner excellence retreat in Tijuana, Mexico. If you’re still interested in going this December 27-30, please contact Guy East with Hope Sports at YWAM San Diego/Baja.
The bus: As of this week, the whole bus/rv pursuit has been put to rest for now. We were close to a deal on a specific bus (race car driver Bobby Unser’s bus) but in the end I wanted to make sure I had space for the big plans for Inner Excellence in 2022. Speaking of…
The IX community: We will be launching a membership community in 2022! The idea is to create more ways to integrate Inner Excellence in your lives as well as bring like-minded people together, like you and me! If you would like to be involved in any way, just respond to this email.
What’s next: After finishing the IX audio narration, it looks like I’ll be in Mexico studying Spanish in Playa Del Carmen for a few weeks (Dec. 2 – 21 or so as of today). So as of today the schedule is to go back to Seattle, Wa for Thanksgiving, then fly to Cancun for a couple weeks, then Vancouver, BC for a few days just before Christmas, then back to Seattle for Christmas. 

What I’m listening to
Every Good Endeavor, by Timothy Keller. (audiobook).

How to Change, by Katy Milkman and Angela Duckworth.

Influence, New and Expanded, by Robert Cialdini.

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