Life is Not a Practice Run
A few weeks ago I was handed a copy of Paulo Coelho’s, The Alchemist. I’ve heard this book finds you when you need it the most and so I set about reading it with intention. There were many lessons and thought-provoking ideas scattered throughout the text, but perhaps one of the most striking to me was this: “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.”
Here’s the thing: your life isn’t a practice run. You only get one go at it and it’s your responsibility to make the most of it, to live it fully and make it count. So few people ever give much more than a fleeting thought to their destiny or purpose and even fewer people take a deliberate path to find theirs and live it. I’m not an expert in purpose but here’s what I’ve observed: when you meet someone who is authentically living their purpose, they’re magnetic. They live their life on fire.
So why is it that we waste so much time living default setting lives that are not aligned with our destinies? Again, I’m no expert, but I think it’s because in the madness of daily living so many of us have stopped listening to our inner voice. We’ve collectively buried our hopes and dreams under responsibilities and fears and one by one when we emerge from under the weight of these things, we don’t even know where to start looking for our purpose. There is no key on Earth that will unlock the door to instant happiness and purpose, but there are three key things you could do right now to start taking the first steps on a journey to realizing your destiny.
Stop looking for purpose and start living on purpose. Desperately overthinking your purpose turns your focus inwards. Living on purpose turns this on its head because it moves us from overanalyzing every detail of our lives to being an active participant in our lives. Nothing ever happens to us, but everything happens for us. When we develop an attitude independent of circumstance and when we cultivate gratitude in our lives daily, we will find that our capacity increases and our focus changes
Ask where you are needed. Purpose is focused outwards and meaning is found in serving others. Just look around you and I’m sure it won’t take you long to identify a need that your talents and skills could help solve. What we often take for granted in ourselves can be an enormous blessing to other people if we are open to sharing our own knowledge, skills and talents without expectation or desire for any return action.
Move, damn it! Actions speak louder than words every day of the week and no amount of reading and researching is going to move you any closer to your destiny. If you’re afraid, you don’t need to make big moves. Small consistent steps repeated over time produce profound results, but you’ve got to get started. Craft a plan, get a coach or mentor and set a goal. Without structured support and a clear plan of action, it’s easy to give up when the first tough day comes, but when we’re focused on the end goal it’s incredible how much more we can endure than when we focus on right now.
Perhaps the great Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius summed up the brevity of life in this quote: “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” My question to you is this – are you making the most of this one life that you’ve been given to live and are you chasing your destiny with all your heart or are you living your life on autopilot, waiting for the next thing to happen to you? Whether you realize it or not, you’re in control. This isn’t a rehearsal so get busy living.
#LIVELIFELOVELIFE #liveinthemoment #bebetteratbeingbetter #payitforwards
#ShiftHappens #WinAtLife #YouOnlyGetThisOneLife