Over the past month or so, I’ve done a lot of thinking about the trajectory of my life. This tends to happen each year as my birthday approaches. I naturally do a sort of “year-end-review” and this year I was deeply motivated to make a real shift in my life.
I’ve often heard from others that you reach a certain point in life where your truth can no longer be denied. I recently told a friend that I seem to have come to a place where I have zero tolerance for bullsh**, pardon my French. ;)
We spend so much of our early years trying to please others and fit in, be it conscious or unconscious. I think everyone does this to some extent. It’s a survival tactic. Deviate too much from the pack and you’ll be rejected. And in the wild, this can mean the difference between life and death. So it’s simply primal. And completely normal for us to want to fit in.
Parker Palmer talks about this in A Hidden Wholeness, as do countless other writers and philosophers. But there comes a time in life when certain things just no longer work. You realize what you can and can’t tolerate and staying true to your inner integrity becomes more important than pleasing the outside world.
Not that this means we become cold, heartless individuals only after our own agenda. Quite the opposite. Being true to who we are at the core and sharing that with those around us only makes us that much more accessible and respected by others because we’re all wired to respond to truth.
Others may not agree with us but they don’t have to. That’s the beauty of it. We can agree to disagree but still maintain a respect for the other.
I think this naturally comes with age. As we get older we start to realize our time here is finite and that we need not concern ourselves with things that don’t matter.
As for me, I’ve set the intention beginning today, to live this year as though it were my last. An old acting friend of mine made this proclamation last fall and I’ve witnessed as her life has blossomed over the last year so it’s inspired me to do the same.
What does this mean?
This mainly means finding enjoyment in my everyday life with the people I’m with and the things I do. It means branching out and taking risks on projects that have been calling to me for quite some time. And not holding back but really going for whatever calls to me. Making pleasure and enjoyment the main priority.
And overall, just living life to the fullest!
You see, for years I’ve supported my art doing jobs I came to loathe.
Yes. I know. It’s a strong word but it’s true. And having reached this level in my life where I can’t do anything I don’t enjoy anymore , I made the bold move this month to quit my job and solely do what brings me joy. Or at the very least, is enjoyable on some level.
I know even the best jobs aren’t always enjoyable but it’s about setting the intention that matters.
I believe it was Steve Jobs that said he asked himself every morning upon waking, “If this were my last day on earth, would I be doing what I’m about to do today?” If he answered “no” too many days in a row, he knew he had to make a change.
Simple yet brilliant advice. And advice I plan on taking to heart every day over the course of the next year.
So how bout you? What would you do if you knew this was your last year on earth? What changes would you make right away? Who would you choose to spend your time with? What would your daily life look like? What legacy would you want to leave behind?
Play with it. Envision it. Have fun with the idea of it. Perhaps it’ll inspire you in some way. :)