“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
I am not one to be competitive. Well, let me backtrack slightly – if I am playing a game or arm wrestling, I want to win, but I am sure that comes from being the youngest of five. Yet, when it comes to my career, “success” has a different meaning to me than for many others who are in this industry. And I do not always agree with their version of it, as opposed to mine. Not that I would tell them this – that is not my place and would be incredibly rude. Yet, for me, if I can make someone’s day, help them out in some way, be of service, that is where my success comes from.
But not the writing one is expected to do in this industry. I think it is obvious from this blog that the words and prose I put on the page are what I am most comfortable with. It is my therapy. It is a way to get rid of the old baggage I carry around with me and try and find the path that I veered off of so many years ago. This is where I find my success. This is where I am able to breathe. This is where I find my flow.
This is my nirvana.
Yet, when it comes to understanding others motives and motivations, I am always surprised at how many people are focused on getting ahead, thriving on the power it gives them. I see this as a negative attribute. Power can be a dangerous thing, if not used well. But there is hunger in it, in what they seek to accomplish. If they are successful, and find it satisfies their lives, I would not dissuade them. But it also makes me wonder what they are missing…in life, in their own personal worlds. What is it about work that is the balm they need, the drug they seek, and why?
Another poignant quote Jobs shared shortly before his death:
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
My answer has been “No” for too many days, weeks, and months. I am highly aware of this. I am attempting to change. It’s an ongoing process, but one I have recently truly tried to embrace, as I see that my negativity and constant bitching get me nowhere, but stuck in the quicksand of where I am. If I can change my thoughts, can I change my life?
The day before my husband died, he took my hand and said “if today were the last day I was alive, I would die the happiest man on the earth, with no regrets”. I am so fortunate that he spoke those words, as neither of us were aware of the fact that the next day he would be dead. For many years, his words were a seesaw for me. At times I felt them to be the most comforting and beautiful thing he could have said. At others, I wanted to burn them from my brain, to block out the pain of the memory, the moment. Ultimately, it was one of the greatest gifts he could have left me with – not only in the years that have followed his sudden death, but today, when I am pondering the meaning of my life and what direction I want it to go in.
Because I no longer want to live someone else’s life, bend to their thinking, their noise about what I should be or do or how to live my life. I want my inner voice to reemerge, and find the courage to follow my own heart and intuition. I am just beginning this journey. I feel I now have some strength to sit with myself and listen. And I am starting, though it is still a simple seed that has yet to grow, to find my self-confidence again and believe that life can be better than it has in a long time. The compass is out there. I am finding my way back to it.
© Sorrow & Kindness