You know what’s easy? Getting stuck.
Here’s how it happens. You make a decision. That alters your path a wee bit, and creates new decisions. Those decisions alter your path a wee bit more, and lead to other decisions. Pretty soon, you look behind you, and find a completely different road than you anticipated. You realize your life has gone in a way that you didn’t expect, and suddenly–you pause.
For a bit–you stay right where you are. Uncertain, a bit confused and perhaps even disappointed.
“How did I get here?” you think. “This isn’t at all what I wanted my life to turn into!”
Welcome to being an adult.
See….you make all of these decisions based upon the circumstances you find yourself in at the time, and they are strongly influenced by things over which you have no control.
Things like how much money you have right then. Or what is going on with your health, or spouse, or child. Things like what’s happening with the economy, local or national. Or whether you can find affordable housing near a potential workplace. All sorts of grownup things.
These are the sorts of variables you consider when making any decision about your life, and they will gently steer you from one direction to the next. Just how it is, Friend.
This doesn’t mean you are helpless. It simply means you are a tiny piece in a very large, very vibrant organism called Life, which is filled with all sorts of beautiful complexities.
Many times, I see people give up.
They find wherever they are doable. Not ideal, but doable. They realize that life has shifted them in a different direction than their dreams intended, and then willingly anesthetized themselves with things that give them comfort, as some type of consolation prize. There they perch, as life carries them along. Maybe its food, or drink. Or maybe sports, or TV, or any number of things. But they find themselves something they find comfortable, they partake and they drift.
You’re better than that, my Friend.
Never forget: Life is a beast.
Life is filled with passion, and fire, anticipation and glory. It’s filled with choices, mistakes, profound disappointments and sometimes it gets messy as hell. That’s why it’s so awesome.
Think hard: what is something that you wanted to do as a child?
Recall a time when you had no burdens, no responsibilities and no shackles. Think back to a day when you were allowed to gaze up at the sky, nestled in the grass, and daydream about what you wanted from life. A day before all of those necessary decisions steered you to wherever you are this very minute. Got it? Quick–grab hold of that zest, that excitement and that optimism.
That’s You. That’s your soul crying out to be heard.
The world hasn’t won, after all. You are still in control.
Whatever that dream is my Friend, catch hold of its passion.
The dream may no longer be what you want. But the passion? Oh, yeah baby–your life needs more of that.
Catch hold of that passion to enhance the person you have become.
Because here’s the reality, which many people never understand.
Those dreams you had as a child have great value. But it’s okay to let them go. They were from a time and a place in your life that was unique. Your childish dreams had no basis in reality–they were purely based upon emotion. They didn’t factor in the characteristics that define you as an individual–they were simply based upon want. Sure–back then when you were staring at the clouds, becoming a world-class architect was a very viable dream. Then Calculus hit–and that dream, while admirable, turned out to be unrealistic.
Don’t get angry at the world because you never became that architect, which is what many people do. Instead, let the dream go, recognizing now what a bad choice that would have been, because of the person your life experience has revealed you to be.
Whoa. See what just happened? Suddenly–you have permission to like yourself again.
You have evolved into the person you were meant to be, because every decision you made has steered you exactly here, and each one was based upon YOU, and what you were capable of at that time.
Each experience in your life has had value. Every single person you have come into contact with has been important. Even the people you regret meeting has shaped you.
As a result, you are now a completely different, fiercely beautiful person, with an endless array of possibilities before you.
Stop anesthetizing yourself if you are in a place that is just ‘doable’. Quit settling, stop drifting and for God’s sake–stop whining.
Instead, stand up straight. Take a deep breath. Pat yourself on the back, because you’ve come a long way, and survived what you never expected to come at you.
You have only started this incredible journey, Beautiful.
Jump back in to the raging river of Life, because we need you.
We need your skills, your passions and your fire. We need your enthusiasm and love, no matter where Life has steered you .
Right now–this very minute–is your chance to stop the drifting. I publicly challenge you to reclaim whatever you have lost, and steer your life in a new direction. Take that class. Introduce yourself to that person. Apply for that job. Write that book, learn that instrument, or travel to that country. Do something, anything, that sets your soul on fire.
And then watch as your life is gently steered in a new direction yet again, because you have made another decision, based upon who you have become, and what you have to give.
Seriously. Stare up at the clouds again for a little bit, and listen to your emotions.
What is your soul craving?
Blessings, Friend. I can’t wait to hear you report back.
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**Chanler Jeffers is a woman who has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever and advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent, was a single parent for many years, has survived cancer and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way–one more thing. She’s married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.