Your time is valuable to us. Click HERE to schedule your Software Support call.

The latest Trojan Today is HERE!

Trojan Today Classic: “The Path to Living Fully” by David E. Nelson

The Path to Living Fully By David E. Nelson | Trojan Today Classic

Originally published April 2005 in Trojan Today.

In my coaching practice, I partner with people who are tired of just getting by. In the past, they have lived with “tolerations” and have considered themselves “survivors.” However, as they are living their lives, they discover that the human agenda, written in their hearts and minds, invites something more. They decide to seek to discover just what “more” might be. I am able to partner with people as they discover what living fully can mean for them.

To live fully means to complete the past. Notice I use the word “complete” and do not suggest we can ignore, deny, or forget the past. To complete means to do whatever emotional, relational, legal, medical, spiritual, or other work that needs to be done in order to live in the present without past events interfering. Whatever has happened in the past can be finished. Many people have been hurt by others; what happened was wrong. Most of us have made mistakes and have regrets. To complete the past means to do whatever is necessary for those hurts and mistakes to remain back there rather than be present here and now. No matter what has happened in the past, no matter how much we have suffered, it is never too late to claim our birthright to live fully.

To live fully means to unhook from the future. It is possible to spend many hours and days planning for the future. I know some people (and I used to be one of them) who had long-range goals, short-range goals, monthly objectives, daily to-do lists, etc. There are some organizing systems and calendars that demand a good chunk of each day just to plan the day. There is nothing wrong with planning and preparing for the future. In fact, some planning is essential. Unhooking from the future, however, means that plans are in place and therefore one can live free of the planning process. Attraction works in the present, not in the future.

To live fully means to get your personal needs met once and for all. Unmet needs have over-whelming power. To be human is to have needs. A need must be met; it’s not optional. When needs are met, we can be fully ourselves. If needs are not met, a person’s development slows down and the quality of life diminishes. People are tempted to substitute unmet needs with food, work, rose-colored glasses, addictions, or compulsions. Needy people attract other needy people. Having your needs met is very attractive. 

To live fully means to perfect the present. When needs are met, we can live fully in the moment. We can step into the flow of the universe and enjoy life instead of striving to make something else happen. The decision to stop complaining and to begin living in a more positive space can change both the internal and external environment. When the past is complete and you have unhooked from the future, the present becomes very large. There is a gift in every moment; that is why it is called “present.” To assert that the present is perfect is not to suggest it is fair, desirable, just, or preferred. Rather, “perfect” refers to the idea that, in the bigger scheme of things, this is the way it is, and the universe is on our side.

To live fully means to recognize and tell the truth. The truth is the most attractive thing of all, but it requires skills and awareness. Truth evolves. What was truth for someone a century ago may not be regarded as truth today. Your truth may not be your neighbor’s truth. But recognizing, telling, and living from your truth is very attractive. The truth is not a club to swing at others but a bridge to connect with others, even those whose truth might be different. “The truth will set you free” makes sense if we recognize there is often a cost in telling it. There is fallout when truth is told, but it is a more risky path to live when you must cover up for not recognizing and telling the truth.

To live fully means to tolerate nothing. Most people have dozens of little and big things they are tolerating. “Clean Sweep” is a Coach U program that helps you to have more natural energy by identifying and eliminating tolerance in your physical environment, your well-being, your relationship with money, and your relationships with others. My clients work on raising their score by eliminating “tolerations.” It is possible to live “toleration” free. There are messages that tell us otherwise, but we can create a space that is “toleration” free. You will be able to be fully expressed, and others will learn what you won’t put up with, and they’ll go out of the way to eliminate “tolerations” for you.

To “live fully” is very attractive, very human, and very possible. I want for you, the reader, to not merely survive, but to live every day and every moment.

Dr. David Nelson is an “Appreciative Inquiry” coach.

FMI: David Nelson (

Read more from David:

Trojan Today Classic: “What We Appreciate Appreciates” by David Nelson – Trojan Professional Services (

Trojan Today Classic: “The Importance of Candor” by David E. Nelson – Trojan Professional Services (

Trojan Today Classic: “Success Or Failure? You Choose!” by David Nelson – Trojan Professional Services (

Trojan Today Classic: “The Importance of Our Stories” by David E. Nelson – Trojan Professional Services (


Recent Articles