I just celebrated my birthday; I will have been on the planet for a little more than 20,850 days (that’s 57 years if you don’t have a calculator). Seems like a lot of days. I am still planning for a lot more days (living more wisely and healthy), but the realization that our time isn’t limitless reminds me to be more intentional about appreciating, seeing, experiencing, exploring and just being. Not that I always do these well, but birthdays are a good reminder to look at our lives and connect to right now.
One of the greatest things that has happened to me is my discovery of my late in life career of coach, speaker, professor and writer (goodbye CPA and CFO). I regularly tell my classes at the college and my audiences that it took me so many years to find my fit, that I now commit all of my time to helping others find theirs sooner in life. Not that any day of life is wasted, but think about the impact we each could make if we were more aware sooner of who we are, what we are good at, passionate about and what in today’s world fits us.
So, it got me asking some questions (we overly analytical and philosophical people do this)…
- What if we were better at trusting and valuing our own voice more than the voices directives and expectations of others?
- What if we actually allowed ourselves to live our dreams and have our adventures?
- What if we allowed ourselves to love who really matters to us, work in fields that inspire us and show up to our lives with courage, commitment and clarity?
- What if we took the time to see that happiness comes from the inside out, not the outside in; it’s never our stuff that makes us happy?
- What if we could look in the mirror, and be impressed with who we are – not about what we look like, but who we are down deep?
- What if we could let life show up as it is and live what comes without judgment or complaints – imaging how much happier we could be?
- What if we focused on seeing the good, the greatness and the divinity in others instead of their faults and failures – how would our relationships be different?
- What if we could look at others and be impressed with their progress, learning and living, rather than be jealous or judgmental of them?
- What if we developed beliefs that encouraged us to appreciate, accept and support others in their search for their roads in life, instead of expecting them to follow ours?
- What if, as parents, we could see the uniqueness of each of our kids and commit to helping them find their way, and not insist that it be our way?
- What if we could see that we don’t need to own, possess or have anything to know that we are valuable, worth it and lovable?
- What if we could see that life is truly amazing and we should show up to as many of its moments as possible with our greatest focus, energy and effort, believing that each moment is valuable?
I ask these because they have finally all come into view for me. It took me a lot of years of trying to figure out that who I am is who I am supposed to be. Life is big, and great, and amazing – and it takes big courage to show up to it. Knowing our intrinsic greatness – our built-in strengths and passions – shares with us that we have the tools to not just make it through life, but to soar in it. We can make our ‘now’ amazing.
Start early knowing yourself. Make it a priority. And if you never did it, start today; start now. That way you can show up braver, more capable and more connected to your purpose. You benefit. We all benefit. This is how we create a greater world.