The Art of Being Alive | Inspirational Podcast

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of wearable inspiration for a better world. Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from the book The Art of Being Alive by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, published in 1914…

Stop wondering why you were born into this world. Stop looking for faults and flaws. Rise up today with joy and say, “I am going to be alive!” In every thousand people who are living on this earth, not more than one is alive. To be really alive means more than to be a moving, breathing, eating, drinking, and talking human being. Those who are actually alive find the days too short to pursue all the wonderful explorations which life offers them. They find life itself a continual adventure, an unfolding panorama, with opportunities for pleasure and achievement at every turn.

Those who are alive find themselves an object of interesting study, however dissatisfied they may be, for they know that they are a part of Eternity, and that in themselves lie all the powers and possibilities latent in the Universe.

Those who are fully alive enjoy the earth and all its pleasures. They love the slap of the wind upon their cheek, the dash of the waves upon their breast, the motion of their limbs in a swift walk; the ecstasy of rhythm in the dance; the vibrant chill of the morning.

They love labor, and the fatigue which follows. In their harmoniously developed body there is not one lazy or unused muscle. But being alive does not stop there. Those who practice the art of being alive to its fullest extent have an alert, receptive brain and an awakened spirit. Without these you would simply be a splendid animal. But with these you are the highest expression of the Creative Power visible to human sight. And with these, your opportunities for happiness and usefulness grow exponentially.

To be alive means knowing the pleasures of the three planes: the physical plane, for which your body is fashioned, as well as the pleasures of the mental and spiritual plane. The soul who is alive in all these ways radiates light, cheer, sympathy, and helpfulness to all who come within its circle.

The individual who is truly alive realizes that they must use their own position in the world, and their own environment, as the first field of action if they hope to reach success in any venture. You must not wait for luck or a miracle to give you a change of location and surroundings better suited to your tastes. You must make the conditions which you desire from whatever environment destiny has provided you. For out of every earth day, you are called make a little bit of heaven.

No difficulty can discourage, no obstacle dismay, no trouble dishearten the person who has acquired the art of being alive. Difficulties are but dares of fate, obstacles but hurdles to try your skill, troubles but bitter tonics to give you strength; so that you might rise higher and greater after each encounter with adversity.

Those who are wholly alive find pleasure in the simplest things; and to them nothing is commonplace, nothing is menial. And they are never bored, for nature, human nature, and themselves are ever interesting subjects of contemplation and study. The future is thus a radiant vision, growing ever more and more wonderful…..

Read The Entire Essay in Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons

Motivational Books

You can also gain access to the full transcript and essay by becoming a patron of the Inspirational Living podcast. For more information, please visit:

The Living Hour