This idea is taken from the pages of the beautiful and inspirational book, ‘Seven: How many days of the week can I make extraordinary?’ This gorgeous book sits on my coffee table for me to glance at day by day. Every page offers a new pearl of wisdom for the day ahead.
Today’s pearl was too good not to share: “Live Backwards.”
Many people set about their lives, trying to have more things and earn more money, so that they can do more of what they want, relax more and of course, be happy.
Actually, as author Margaret Young points out, “The way this actually works is in reverse. You first must be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.”
I spent most of my twenties with the former mindset, desperate for a lottery win or a life-changing holiday experience; waiting to be happy when I had or did something. When I’ve won the lottery, I’ll become a world-renowned children’s book author. Or something equally creative and amazing! Looking back at this decade of my life, I now see that I wasted much of it longing for happiness and purpose that was actually there for the taking all along. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees – I missed what was right in front of me.
I’m 34 now and apparently at least a little wiser. Because I never wait to be happy now. I understand that doing things that make me happy is what life is all about. I don’t need a lottery win to enjoy the flow state of writing; I can spare 30 minutes each day to write here for one!
And if my purpose is indeed to become an author, then writing this random little blog for 30 minutes each day certainly brings me closer to this; much closer than when I was throwing my energy into earning money to one day to become a writer (whilst being too ‘frazzled’ to actually write anything!) What on earth was I thinking?!
Ask yourself today: are you waiting to have or do something in order to find your passion? Or are you living it each day? Realistically, we all have to earn a living, so ‘living your passion’ doesn’t necessarily mean quitting your 9-5 to follow your dreams. You can find ways to do whatever makes you happy, inside and outside of work. You can use your free time to create; to go into a flow state; to do what makes your heart sing.
I’ll leave you with this epic quote from Howard Thurman,
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”