By Jay Forte
Most of us move through live in “vanilla” mode; things are fine – things are okay – not bad, not good – just okay. Vanilla.
What would life be like if it were soul-stirring instead? What if life were double mocha-chip fudge with caramel (sounds like a Starbucks drink) instead of vanilla?
Life is designed to be amazing. The purpose of life, according to the Dalai Lama is to be happy – to find and live what moves us, inspires us and stirs our souls.
But someplace in our histories we have been told that life is just about surviving – about just getting by. We are taught to fear danger, loss and lack, so we play it safe. We feel it is better not to live too large because that way we can minimize any large hurt or disappointment. We convince ourselves that good enough is the way to do life. We believe that adventure is for those who are not logical or responsible or for those who are brave and courageous – not us. So we perpetuate the view that we should minimize our impact and footprint – that we should live just under the radar.
Every day life delivers; the world meets us where we are. If we want small, sure, we can have small. But here is the great thing – if we want soul-stirring, we can have soul-stirring. It is nothing more than a choice. But if it is our choice, why do so many of us not choose soul-stirring?
It is the events, experiences, and stories that play in our heads that influence us to choose small. Whose voice do you hear telling you to pull back, don’t step out of line, do what others do and basically talk us out of our dreams? I wonder if it is truly your voice or the voices of parents, schools, friends, churches or colleagues. We seem to trust others who know little about the true us to influence how we see the world – our world. We defer to others to tell us how to do life. And for many, this forces us to miss out on what matters most to us.
There is a reason we call a great life soul-stirring; it activates the deepest part of us. We feel it down to our soul, our essence. At this level, everything about life is different – larger – more profound. The more we approach life this way, the more we see the opportunities it creates and more significant life becomes. We are moved just being part of life, instead of moving to get out of life’s way.
What if your work was soul-stirring – how much more significant would it be and what additional opportunities would it create?
What if your relationships were soul-stirring – how much more significant would it be and what additional opportunities would it create?
What if your life was soul-stirring – how much more significant would it be and what additional opportunities would it create?
What permission do you need to allow yourself to choose large over small? Get to it soon because each day we are not living a soul-stirring life is a day that is less remarkable than it could be.
Todd Henry, the founder of Accidental Creative and author of the new book titled Die Empty; Unleash Your Best Work Every Day, challenges us to show up big to life – to know ourselves and use up all of abilities – to “die empty.” Add to this the following perspective from the great Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment; and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” Wise words. Soul-stirring words. How do they inspire you to show up more significantly to your life?