The pond of life? Hmmm.
There we were, young fry, swimming in the calm waters of life. In the middle of the school, we felt safe. As we grew, we were pushed outside where we were tempted until many of us swallowed hook, line, and sinker. Since then we’ve been fighting, jostling, and beating our heads against the rocks, trying to spit out the attachments so we can swim freely.
No, this is not a fishing story, although it appears that many of us have been suckers. We’ve been bamboozled by our misinterpretation of the purpose of life.
Many of us went through our early years, searching for, and becoming married to a job or business. Over time, we unconsciously allowed this vocation to dictate our lives. We chose to live close to our work, not necessarily where we wanted to live. We fit our lifestyle to the timeframe and demands of our profession, not necessarily how we wanted to live. We accepted this as a way to pay for our needs and for those “doodads” we thought would make us happy.
We put up with this, because we saw a light, way off in the distance. If we could “just get by” or “do our time” for the next 30, 40, or 50 years, then we’d be able to retire and have the lifestyle we really want.
I was stuck in this “fish fight for future freedom” for much of my life. I believed if I could get my financial and material pond together, then I’d have an easy time creating harmony, happiness, and my ideal life – sometime. It was backwards stinkin’-thinkin’ and led to lots of backache, headache, and heartache.
I believe we need to identify and focus on our ideal lifestyle according to our passions, and a profession that fits that lifestyle will reveal itself.
The biggest problem with this ideology is that most people aren’t consciously aware of how they want to live. The ideal “how” is an understanding of internal purpose and passion. It is an understanding of how we can serve others in a way that allows us to feel hopeful, joyful and worthful (spell-check doesn’t like that word but I do).
This “how” is much different than “what” we want. There is nothing wrong with having fine houses, cars, clothes, and food. There is an abundance of those things in our world and we can choose to access these when our purpose is to serve others in a way that gives immense value to humanity, rather than working hard to acquire things. It may be the same result but a very significant difference in our approach – giving vs. getting.
What is your purpose in life? How can you create your “ideal lifestyle”?
My challenge for you, if you choose to accept it, is to go somewhere quiet and alone, and think deeply about the following questions. Record your thoughts on a piece of paper. Don’t worry about punctuation, order, right or wrong – just write what you think and feel.
– What are your greatest interests? What do you like/love to read, learn, and talk about? These interests may house your greatest passions.
– What have been your greatest lessons in life? Look beyond your formal education and career experiences. Reflect deeply on your most memorable experiences, beyond your judgements of positive or negative. What valuable, life-changing insights did you discover and how can they help others?
– What qualities of life do you intend to model for others? If you have children (or if you had children), who do you want them to be and how do you want them to live? They grow up to be very much like their parents and other influential people in their lives.
– Reflect on your thoughts and notes and look for patterns and insights. Notice your feelings and sensations in your guts. What gets you jazzed and excited? What would you do everyday for free, if money were not a consideration?
– How and where could you live that would allow you to give value to humanity by sharing these passions – to live an ideal lifestyle?
You may have fears and obstacles to creating this ideal lifestyle. Avoid thinking about them because you get what you focus on. Instead, focus your thoughts on your passion and your desire to serve. As you focus on this, you will attract to you exactly what you need to create your ideal lifestyle. Be willing to accept your results.
It is in alignment with a natural law that works every single time: As you sow, so shall you reap.
It works for me and I know it works for you. Your current relationships and lifestyle (personally and professionally) are exactly what you have created by the seeds you have sown.
The past is past and the future isn’t here yet. All we have is now. I have learned that loving, forgiving, and creating joy and abundance now is a much better use of my time than struggling to “get by”. As I give congruently with my passion, I have fewer needs for material stuff. I am happy about who I am rather than because of what I have.
Sow good seeds (thoughts of your ideal) and nurture them (focussed action). Your harvest will be joy, happiness, and abundance.
Swim with the sharks? I’ll joyfully scratch their dorsals and I’m sure they will scratch mine. Are you coming along?