I am really happy in this picture. I am at peace, in the zone and making her shoulder happy.
This place is where I belong. It is where I am supposed to be, right now. What you probably don’t know is how long it took me to get to this place.
I know, I know, you’re thinking – “but Summer, you’re so young.” You’re right. I am. But this thing, this dream, had been chasing me for 14 years now. I spent a lot of time running from it.
And even once I took those first steps, there were a lot of lazy missteps along the way. A dream, a purpose is a big ol’ demanding undertaking and I wasn’t sure I wanted it. So, I resisted.
My theory is that everyone has one of these inside of them. Yours may not have been as loud, demanding and obnoxious as mine was, but I suspect it’s in there and always has been.
So how do you find it? And once you do, how do you stop fighting it?
Learn to listen to yourself.
The summer after my freshman year in college, I spent the entire month of July, pretty much, with myself, aside from working. I had a split shift job at the local pizza place (lunch & dinner) getting paid almost nothing under the table. It was enough to pay for food, my negligible rent and lots of coffee from the local coffee shop – where I basically lived.
I gave up distractions like boys & television, and wrote in my journal and thought a lot about what I wanted from my life. I actively examined the difference between what I believed (or thought I believed) and how I acted. I worked through which things needed to change – either give up the false belief or change my behavior to reflect my belief.
I highly recommend this practice, and I try to continue to do it. It really clarified for me what I really believed, because I was able to identify what was really important to me, what could change and what needed to change. If you stop and listen and look, honestly, at yourself – your actions will tell you what you really believe about yourself and your life.
Find your inner Truth.
This sounds crazy & woo-woo. Maybe it is. But still, you need to do it.
I don’t care how you do it. Hide from the world on a retreat. Journal for hours. Travel Europe and have long talks with people about the universe, life and everything. Open yourself up to what will make you happiest, then keep an eye out for it. The magic words may come from a stranger, or your mother, just be ready to hear them.
You’ll know it when you hear it. It’s like a clicking noise in your soul. You have to be willing to hear it… and then you’ll hear it from everywhere, every day.
Mine is to “facilitate community happiness.” Surprised? I have a friend who wants to “share ideas”. Another who wants to “create beauty.” Just listen – it’ll find you.
Then embrace it.
This is the hard part. This is where you stop being all talk, and start doing. Doing is the only thing that’s gonna make your dream happen. It’s the only path to happiness – you’ve gotta do something. Grab on, suck up your fear and DO it.
I even suggest a mission statement. I’ve got one – check out my about page. This way you can pin it up somewhere or just know it’s written down, and you have something to be accountable to. Then make sure you do something, anything really, towards that mission everyday.
Take little steps. Celebrate each step. Each step will get easier then the last. If it’s really your purpose – then it will become easier as time passes.
And here, my friends, is the real secret:
Be what makes you happy.
Stop for a minute, and think. Are you happy? What is it about your dream that you think will make you happy?
Then ask a better question: What is keeping you from being happy now?
Go ahead. Ask yourself this question right now. I’ll wait.
* * * * *
Got answers? Good.
(For the rest of you who cheated and kept reading… you’re missing out. At least think about it as your driving to work or walking the dog, okay?)
Now. Change it. Change yourself. This will change your world. This, my lovely boys and girls, is the hardest part. I know. I know deeply how painfully, wildly hard it is. Hell, I drug my feet for years before I fully embraced it.
It’s a process, but I suggest you do it. You’ll be happier for it.
Be what makes you happy.
Because that – and that alone – will make you happy. Stop thinking about what would make you happy. Stop talking about what would make you happy. Wake up, right here, right now, and BE what makes you happy.
This moment you have a choice – be cynical, angry, pissed or frustrated, keep giving up your personal power over your life OR you can take a full breath, choose to see the best in the world around you, embrace your fear and be the person you want to be.
Stop fighting. Stop telling yourself the lie that “this is just the way things are” or “I wish I knew what I wanted to do.” Nothing is just the way it is. You know what you want – stop & listen, and then start doing it. Stop fighting who you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to do.
This is the hardest and the easiest thing you will ever do in your life. And I promise you that if you do it, you will be happy.
Are you willing to try? Can you afford not to?