You have already punched your ticket for this ride called “life.” The journey started many years ago, and it will end at some point. Even if you believe that date is far in the future, you might recognize it seems to move forward faster as time passes.
Your life is your own. It doesn’t belong to anyone else. They have their own life to do with—or not do with—what they will. Because this is true, your imperative is to accept your life and live it now, knowing that at some point, it ends and that you are right now choosing your future regrets or success.
Be Who You Want to Be
It starts when you are born to parents who instill in you their beliefs, values, and ideals. Much of those beliefs show up as expectations of who you should be and how you can live a good life. Your society and your culture further infect you with ideas, some positive, and much more detrimental to living your own life.
You were programmed to be the person you are now, and from time to time, you may have had a longing to be someone else, someone more authentic to what you are.
There is no time to spare. Be who you want to be now.
If you “chose” the wrong vocation, change it. If the circumstances of your birth located you in the wrong place, maybe the wrong hemisphere, move. Any part of you that you recognize as not being who you are is a disguise you wear to meet the expectations of others. With high intention, be who you want to be now.
Do What You Want to Do
In 2009, I decided to be a writer and speaker. I wanted to do these things ten years earlier than I started, but I was too busy living a life that was not of my design or intention. Like yours, it was in many ways a perfectly good life, and I quite enjoyed it. There was just more that I had to become and more that I wanted to achieve with my time here.
If you are not doing what you want to do, you are choosing a future regret that is far too consequential. Any part of you that feels a strong desire or a pull towards something is evidence of what you want. The longer it takes you to start doing what it is that you want to do, the less time you will have available to do it.
When we are not who we are, we believe that doing the thing we want to do is impossible, which is why your identity comes first. You don’t start with “why,” you start with “who?” The person you indeed are is the person who could—and would—do what you want to do.
Have What You Want to Have
The idea of minimalism has been all the rage over the last decade. You might find yourself attracted to the idea. You might also be attracted to the concept of a new iPhone, a new house, and a vacation home somewhere close to a part of the ocean where it is warm year-round. We have different definitions of health and happiness.
Marie Kondo loses me as soon as she suggests that one should own thirty-five books, about the same number of books I buy in three months. The books I don’t own are books I will never have. There are some pleasures you might deny yourself, as they are detrimental to your health and well-being. But recognizing that your time here is short and that your life is yours alone, you can reject other people’s beliefs about what you should—or should not—have for happiness.
There is nothing wrong with wanting what you want and what makes you feel good. What you want may not be what your parents wanted, what your culture or society says is desirable, or what other people want who choose to deny you.
Contribute What You Want to Contribute
Your life has a purpose. You were not born with an operating manual that disclosed your purpose. Instead, you have to discover or decide what that purpose is for yourself. The only discernible directions I have been able to find strongly suggest that creating your purpose is your purpose.
We all want to have a meaningful life.
One of the criticisms of the main idea here is that it is self-oriented, a wholly incorrect critique, because it assumes a mutual-exclusivity, that one may be self-oriented or other-oriented, but not both. You can be a healthy combination of both. To make the contribution you want to make, you first have to become the person who could make it.
You can right now start contributing to the change you want to see in the world. The contribution you make might be less than you wish it were and far less than what others contribute. Tiny drops of water make up the ocean, all contributing to the whole. One is always more than zero.
A Form of Liberation
As I was preparing to publish this post, I serendipitously received a text from an old acquaintance to tell me that something I shared with him liberated him from the limitations installed in his belief systems. Living your best life now is the work of liberation. Living your best life now leads to life satisfaction.
You don’t want to die with regrets when there is nothing you can do about them. Which means you should not live with regrets now. The gift of life is that it is yours alone.
Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Have what you want to have. And contribute what you are here to contribute.
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Filed under: Success