The Avett Brothers get it. They say "decide what to be and go be it."
Maybe it's really that simple.
I've wasted more of my life than I care to admit floundering around, trying to decide what I was meant to do... what my purpose is... what my one true calling is.
I'm starting to realize that that's all bullshit.
Maybe life's not really about discovering who we are and what our purpose is, but more about creating something of our lives and our selves.
Maybe our passion, our talent, our genius could manifest themselves in a million different ways, but it's up to us to commit to something so that we can excavate the fullness of our potential.
Maybe it's more about committing to something, and having the patience and perseverance to see it through, rather than searching endlessly for that one thing that will finally fulfill us.
Maybe our calling is something that we sometimes struggle through, get bored with, and really aren't inspired by at times. But we have made a commitment, and we keep our eye on the bigger picture so that we can make it through.
Maybe world changing, meaningful work is not done in flashes of inspiration by those who will fizzle out before sundown, but rather by the slow and steady efforts of those who have committed to their craft or their business or their charity and who show up day in and day out regardless of their level of inspiration.
Maybe we should understand that we must grow into what we want to be. Maybe we're not capable of doing that thing now, but we believe in our potential to get there eventually.
Maybe we have to find the confidence in ourselves and our ability to grow into our purpose and our calling, before we can ever begin to achieve it.
Maybe we have to get a little pissed off by the fact that others don't see what we're capable of. Maybe we have to make up our minds to show them. Or maybe we have to say to hell with what anyone else thinks of us, and decide for ourselves what we want to be in this world.
Glennon wrote last week about her daughter and her friends and how they looked around to each other when asked what they wanted to eat for lunch. They sought outside validation instead of saying what they really wanted. Glennon said she pulled them aside to have a little chat and told them that girls "need to figure out what they want, believe it on the inside, and speak it on the outside."
That's just about the best damn thing I've ever heard. Decide what to be and go be it.
In Jeff Goins' new book Real Artists Don't Starve, he argues that artists aren't born, they're made. This means we get to decide who we are and what we are going to do in this life. First we believe it, then we become it. Therefore, we face the task of constantly creating ourselves in this life, so that we can do the creative work that we aspire to.
I've seen this at play many times and it is always beautiful to watch. When I get the opportunity to see someone who knows so deeply what they want that they will do whatever it takes to make it happen, I take notice because these are the people who will do great things in this world. They're committed to a purpose greater than themselves; their vision transcends the everyday details of what they're doing, and that makes all the difference.
When we finally commit to something, we are willing to change, to grow, to stretch. And even though we aren't what we want to become yet, that is a tiny insignificant detail. No one is already what they want to be when they are starting out. But they have a vision for themselves that they believe in. They have an internal knowing that is far more powerful than anyone else's opinion of them, and that vision is what molds and shapes their reality. That vision is what gets them through the tough times.
Sometimes this may seem like we're trying to be something or someone that we're not. But maybe, it's just us, learning to become what we are.
What about you? Have you ever had the nagging feeling that the truth of who you are is buried deep within you, but your current circumstances just don't reflect what you know in your heart to be true? Have you ever believed so intently in a vision for yourself that you were willing to do whatever it took to make it a reality?
Decide it. Believe it. Do it. What are you waiting for?!
Till next time,
© Haley McManigal 2017
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