To Yourself…And What That Means
Let’s talk about coming home, shall we 🙂 .
“Seize Your Passion,” as an ethos and as a philosophy, is largely about coming home to yourself.
So what does that really mean?
Well, if seizing your passion is about doing what you love and being who you love in a way that empowers you to go after your dreams, become the best version of you, and literally create your most magnificent, joyful, meaningful, and successful life, then first – you have to know what it is that you truly love, you have to know what your dreams really are, and you have to know how you define, for yourself, what that magnificent, joyful, meaningful, and successful life looks like.
It sounds obvious. It sounds simple. But, how many of us really, and I mean really – honestly, vulnerably, and truly – do that?!
Even when we’re so sure that we do, but we’re not even aware that we really don’t. (That was me for a long time).
Here’s the thing – in order to truly know what you want and why you want it, which is the starting point for going after whatever “it” is, before you can even do that in any true and authentic way, you first need to understand your truth: your values, your beliefs, your desires, your standards.
But they have to be your own. They can’t be the ones that were put on you, even if you openly embraced them. Being aware, questioning, and then discovering for yourself whether they really are your own or not is paramount.
Live Your Truth! I can’t say it enough, and I won’t ever stop. Because living your truth is such a foundational, fundamental piece of what it means to truly seize your passion, to realize your dreams, and to become your best self!
What it means to truly know and understand yourself, your desires, your goals, your values, your beliefs, and what you really want out of life – how you define your success, your happiness, and your dreams. It’s truly the foundational and fundamental piece for literally creating and actually living your life.
“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”
– Thomas Merton
One way to explore that is doing more of what you love NOT for the outwardly rewards it will bring you, NOT for the end results it may produce, BUT RATHER for the love of it itself. Plain and simple.
That’s not meant to say that you shouldn’t or can’t seek or want outwardly rewards too. We live in this world, and we’re human, and like everything else – it’s not one or the other. It’s both.
But, if we’re talking about truly seizing your passion, realizing your dreams, and becoming your best self, then maybe we should also consider thinking about “success” and “happiness” not always as the end goal, the way we’ve been cultivated and taught to think about it.
Maybe we should consider thinking about the real end goal as fulfilling your personal legend, as living your truth, as expressing yourself in the world in the way you were meant to do, as realizing your dreams, your purpose, and attaining meaning and fulfillment in this one life we were given!!!
It so happens that the by-product of those end goals inevitably bring success and happiness with them. You know this, we all do. And yet we forget to live by it, and act accordingly.
“Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue…as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
– Viktor Frankl
I challenge you to think of something you love to do simply because you love doing it. Not because it will bring you success, approval, recognition, praise, or status.
“How may activities can you count in your life that you engage in simply because they delight in and grip your soul? Find them out, cultivate them, for they are your passport to freedom and love.“
– Anthony DeMello
We pursue intrinsic values when we do something solely because we love it. We pursue extrinsic values when we chase status, recognition, approval, and material gains.
And even all of us who aren’t money-chasing, greedy, shallow bastards- if we’re being completely honest with ourselves, we’re all pretty extrinsically motivated, to some degree or another.
We all care about what other people think of us, we care about societal norms, and what’s considered “good” or “smart” or “impressive” according to our culture. And that’s normal, that’s ok, and it’s also what makes us human.
But it’s not ok when it’s out of balance, and completely overpowers and overrides our intrinsic values and motivations. (It’s no secret, by the way, that the prevalence of social media in our lives today only exacerbates our extrinsic motivations and dampens our intrinsic ones with its current direction and focus on competition, comparison, and winning approval – but that’s an entirely different conversation).
And we’re smart. We’re deep. We know that none of those extrinsic goals bring lasting fulfillment or even lasting happiness. We know that when we pursue intrinsic goals – the pursuits and activities that bring us inner joy, laughter, peace, love, energy, and yes- that light up our passion- that’s the stuff that life is meant to be made of!!! Right?! We know this.
And we’re grounded too. We get it. No one’s saying- ignore your responsibilities, don’t work hard, forget about money, or disregard your ego-centric desires to become successful. No.
But, what I am saying is that maybe we should start paying as much attention, devoting as much time, energy, and strategy into all the pursuits and activities that serve those intrinsic values too, just as we do our extrinsic ones.
Maybe we should start doing more of what we love, what makes us smile, laugh, and cry (the good kind of crying), spend more time with people that lift us up, play more, dance more, sing more, whatever it may be that you love doing just because you love doing it.
More doing what you love because you love it.
And again, the irony here is that once we do start doing that – we discover that our extrinsic goals actually come along with it too.
Partly because how you do anything affects how you do everything; and because every aspect of your life affects every aspect of your life. Because we are holistic beings. Just like when you change any one part, however small, of a system, organism, or an organization, you change the whole at the same time. Because you can’t compartmentalize and separate one part from another, as much as we like to do that.
And partly because our daily, on their own seemingly innocuous, behaviors and thoughts actually create our life over time.
“Every pebble of thought — no matter how inconsequential — creates endless ripples of consequence. This idea, coined the butterfly effect by Edward Lorenz came from the metaphorical example of a hurricane being influenced by minor signals – such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly – several weeks earlier. Little things become big things. When one area of your life is out of alignment, every area of your life suffers….Conversely, when you improve one area of your life, all other areas are positively influenced.”
– Benjamin Hardy
“Our hourly thoughts and acts, each in itself apparently of no moment, in time build our foundations and erect thereon our life’s structure.”
– B.C. Forbes
And it shouldn’t be work versus play. Dreams versus reality. idealism versus practicality. Those are all false opposing constructs we’ve all bought into. It’s both! It’s always both!!! Work hard, yes. But play hard too. Dream huge, and make those dreams fit into your reality and make them real. Stay true to your ideals, and strategize them so they become useful and practical. Do what you love and also pay the price of pain and suffering that will come with that. All these things lead to lasting and true meaning and fulfillment.
“The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. he hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.”
– Zen Buddhist Text
For me, all of that (and still so much more) is what it really means to come home to yourself.
Do more of what you love and be more of who you love!!!
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