When you know your purpose and you pursue it wholeheartedly, everything comes easily. That’s how you’ll know you’re on the right path.
–No one ever
I always thought the best Creatives… athletes… performers, whatever had a jammed power button embedded in their talent source. Consistently stimulated. Constantly churning out something great. 110% on. As if Michelangelo sculpted David one weekend, and then went on to paint the Sistine Chapel that Monday. Or Beyoncé woke up with the derrière that graced the Grammy’s (okay maybe she did, but the rest of us have to suffer through lunges and squats).
Meanwhile, I beat myself up for stretches at a time where mini-sparks of brilliance come, but instead of reaching out to grasp their wings, I’d lie face down as they flew away.
Failure. It’s inevitable. Whether you’re a newbie or the Michael Jordan of your industry, everybody fails. And that’s something I’m just learning to accept as a-okay.
Image via http://www.brucesallan.com
The difference between Michael Jordan and me in these scenarios, though… aside from a lucrative career, unmatchable talent, and good-looking honeys around him (although I’ve gotta say, my gal pals are pretty darn cute)… is that he kept trying. No matter how many shots he missed, his love for the game and the conviction of knowing “I love what I do and I’m pretty darn good at it, no matter how poorly I played today” pushed him to persist.
Recently I put up a Facebook status asking my most inspired friends, just how they do it. “What keeps you going?” I asked. “How do you get yourself out of a rut?”
Imagine my surprise when I found out that the “jammed power button” that only I seem to lack is a misconception. “Everyone needs down time” wrote Drea (aka Fancy Made, DIY extraordinaire). “The creative process is about tapping into your deepest emotions, and once depleted, you’ve gotta let yourself rest. At least, that’s what I’ve found”.
And then, my friend Tiffany spoke up. A “sister” since childhood, I’ve seen her grow from a girl into a young woman who’s changing the world by raising up the next generation into leaders.
“One of the best lessons I learned in moving forward is to acknowledge your feelings and emotions as gifts, even (if not especially) the bad ones. Every feeling you have is rich information about who you are, speaking to your personal needs and true desires. Pay attention to your strong feelings and think about how you can take action to fulfill that need your emotions are telling you about. I think people stay in ruts because they let the bad feelings defeat them; we think we are weak for having those lows and the cycle of disappointment in ourselves keeps us down.. literally. I can’t tell you how many days I spent stuck sad in bed, despite working in a field I love. But we’re human! We all feel down sometimes.. we just have to discover what we have within ourselves to pick ourselves back up.
On the flip side, another important moment for me was realizing that although following your passion is hard work, it should be energizing (like a great workout), not exhausting. When you’re truly chasing your passion, you’re giving/serving/doing from a place of abundance! But when you’re chasing something to fulfill some lack in your life (insecurity, trying to please others, etc.), then you operate from scarcity and that’s where those negative emotions come in and stick around.
In terms of what comes after that wonderful enlightening feeling.. You really feel like you’re in the right place at the right time.. ALL the time!! God keeps giving me these wonderful moments that let me know I’m on the right track.. whether it’s the perfect song playing on the radio that suits the moment.. amazing people I meet by happenstance.. or even free stuff, lol (like food samples, or a Craiglist furniture seller throwing in her entire OPI/Essie and Disney Vinylmation collection for free)! I used to think that happy, inspiring moments were supposed to be rare.. but it’s more than possible for them to occur on a regular basis when you’re living your purpose.
Last and most importantly, I could not have done any of this alone. Whether it be meeting with a counselor/mentor regularly, leaning on friends/family, or reading an inspiring book (I recommend 29 Gifts by Cami Walker), I am eternally thankful for the people in my life that helped me get to this point today.. and I want to do the same for others.”
I’m very excited that since this Facebook convo two weeks ago, Tiffany has announced some big news that’s going to change the game in her own way… because she’s not resting on her laurels, but is going forth to put herself out there and conquer a dream she’s fostered for a year.
But that’s another story.
So thank you Michelangelo, Michael Jordan, Drea/FancyMade, Tiffany, and Beyoncé’s butt for inspiring us dreamers to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Just keep shooting… just keep squatting…