Saturday, 18 April 2009

Just do it.

Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
Howard Thurman

I find it interesting that as a person that has had a 29 year career in altruistic positions that I would love such a self-serving quote as much as I love this one.  I have found this a wonderfully inspiring quote that has meant different things to me at different stages of my life.

Currently what this quote automatically brings to my mind is our four eldest children.  We have two daughters in their 3rd year of college, a son in his first year and a son heading off to college in the fall. As a group they are unique because they all have one thing in common: they have not decided on an ideal career.

I think this generation of college attendees has been told "the world is your oyster" and "reach for the stars"  in contrast to the message given to previous generations: "go for job security" and "make sure you can provide for your family."  That presents a lot of choice and a lot of pressure.

We have talks with our kids about finding something that "makes them come alive" and I'm certain those conversations may only compound their dilemma.  At least that's what their perplexity tells me; initially you see their full alignment with those words followed by a a puzzled look, "hmmm, how do I know what makes me come alive in a 40+ hour/week work setting at this stage of my life . . ."  

I have frequently encouraged clients by asking them to reflect-- if so many hours of our living must go into a career, wouldn't  it be wonderful if we could choose something we enjoy so much that we "lose time" while doing it?  In other words, time flies while we work because we enjoy it so much it doesn't feel like work.  Another term that describes this is "being in the flow." 

Fortunately, I landed in a career where I have found myself "in the flow" much of the time, but that was after many years of struggling during the hours I was living making my living (and paying for my education).  It was the assumption that when I reached my final educational goal "the flow" would be waiting that made the mundane bearable.  

I encourage you to ponder today's quote for yourself and your own situation.  

Is there something more you could be doing that would make you come alive?  

What can you let go of that stands in your way of coming alive?  

Are there passions or pastimes, or creative endeavors you continue to put off that you know would feed your spirit?  

No matter what your career or stage of life: choose to come alive.

Be the change you want to see . . .  

Just do it.

1 comment:

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    "Rewards for Life's Journey"