Monday, December 14, 2009

But I Just Wanna Bake Cookies With The Kids And Cut The Grass...

Some people may feel genuinely happy and content living a subtle, quiet, and simple life. They don’t feel like they have any major ambitions other than taking each day as it comes and enjoying time with their loved ones. They don’t need to explore or expand any further. Some people find their purpose in devoting their life to a cause or to worship. Some people see themselves as a vehicle for other people’s success. They are perfectly happy living somebody else’s dream and never really making any fuss about their own.

They have made their decision. They have found their truth—what’s right for them. They are at peace with themselves, and they are in fact living their dream.

It’s really important to remember that what’s right for one person may not be right for another—and that’s OK.

It is also important to recognize that dreams can change, because we, as people, change. That means that our priorities change too. Sometimes we come to a point where we need to re-evaluate the dream that we are currently living. Does it still hold? Does it still excite and fulfill us, or is it time to move on?

If our needs and priorities have changed, the dream must change too. We have to let go of the old vision and allow the seeds of a new one to blossom. This is not giving up. This is being aware enough to know when it’s time to do some spring cleaning.

Self-development, fulfillment, and self-realization are very much in focus these days, and coaching has become second nature to many people. As much as this is largely a wonderful thing, it can also trap us into feeling that if we’re not heavily drawn into all of this and if we’re not wildly ambitious—there must be something wrong with us! It is easy sometimes to lose sight of ourselves and our own personal, individual needs and priorities. In today’s world, we are constantly being bombarded with information and images that we are told are supposed to make us happier, more fulfilled, more popular, more beautiful, more loved, more famous, wealthier, and so on. No wonder so many of us suffer from stress trying to keep up! That’s invasive programming right there.

Stop and think. If what you really want and enjoy is a nice, quiet everyday life, working a regular job, cooking dinner, doing a bit of gardening, walking the dog, and spending quality time with your friends and family, then that’s exactly what you should do! Nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Don’t feel that you have to have huge ambitions for something else if that’s really not you. Don’t feel that just because someone else wants to change their life around and move in a different direction, you have to feel that way too. If you are perfectly happy where you are, why on earth should you change that?

The core principles of coaching and any kind of self-development are really about identifying your needs and priorities and fulfilling them because when you do, you feel happy. You will pass that on to other people too.

I cannot count the times when I wished that I was one of those people for whom baking cookies and cutting the grass was genuinely enough. I honestly look at people like that and think to myself, “They have it all worked out.” They have found their bliss, their peace, and their purpose in the small, simple things in life—the very core values like family, community, and close-knit friendships that last for life, hanging out on weekends in the garden, popping in to see a friend for a cup of coffee and ending up staying for five hours chatting about something not really important but still wonderful . . .

Isn’t that really what life is all about—caring for one another and enjoying time together? As a coach, I put myself in an unusual position when I say: Who cares about how many things you achieve today? There’s a new day tomorrow—relax!

But I’m dead serious. If you’re the one with the cookies in the oven, I salute you! In this day and age, you are a rare species. I bet you are a lot less stressed and a lot happier than most of your ambitious friends, right? So stay that way. Relish the fact that you have remained untainted by the super-high-achiever-syndrome of the twenty-first century.

So now I have possibly confused you. Am I now telling you not to follow your dreams and pursue your goals?

No, I am not! I’m telling you to recognize your dream, whatever it is, and go for that. If it happens to be baking cookies and tending to the garden, then great! Will you feel excited about it every single day of your life? Probably not, but mostly—and that’s good enough; in fact, that’s pretty darn fantastic.

With all of my travels—with all of my exciting, and, at times, exotic adventures—I still feel like I’m somehow missing out. Of course I have close friends and a wonderful family, but they’re spread out all over the world, and having a typical birthday party with all of them is simply not an option. So I look at my old childhood friend with her house full of kids and friends and busy Sundays by the stove, and I tell her how lucky she is. “Are you crazy?” she says. “You’re the lucky one. Look at all the exciting stuff you have going on!” And we laugh, because isn’t that just how we all are—always thinking the grass is greener on the other side?

However, she knows and I know that we could never change places. She could never live my life, nor I hers. We would both go nuts.

We are who we are, and we have different dreams, goals, and purposes to fulfill in our own way. We have different paths to take. No one path is any better than another. But one path is right for you.

My friend always wanted a steady job, kids, and a husband who had a steady job too. As far back as I can remember, she dreamed about what their house would look like and how everyone would gather on the weekends for freshly baked bread with butter and homemade jam and hot chocolate. And they would play cards and watch movies and eat popcorn. This is her life. She is living her dream.

I, on the other hand, always had this urge inside of me to go out and do all these wild, worldly things that seemed nearly impossible. Why—am I crazy? Perhaps, but it’s who I am. I dreamed of being a pop star and traveling the world; I dreamed about writing music and publishing books; I wanted to speak to people and tell them my ideas about life and freedom and to encourage them to follow their dreams; and I wanted to never have to get up early in the morning, because I hated that!

This is what I did. Most of it is what I still do.

I grew up in a small place—five million people total—with a funny language... (By the way, that’s five million in the entire country, not the nearest town.) Not exactly a head start if you want to take on the world.

How did I succeed in doing all these nearly “impossible” things?

Well, I guess I didn’t know it at the time, but already as a child, I had a very strong vision—just like my friend. And we both created exactly what we “saw.”

Anyone can do that.

But many don’t.


The above ercerpt is taken from "The Path To Freedom" by Suzann Rye available here: www.suzannrye.com/books

Have a great day!
Love and Joy to you,
Suzann.

Suzann Rye
Empowering Voice and Spirit
#1 Bestselling Author of Your Voice Is Your Calling Card; How to Power-Charge Your Voice, Boost Your Confidence, and Speak with Joy, Ease, and Conviction.
(The above contains excerpts from this book. Get it here: Your Voice Is Your Calling Card

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1 comment:

Carlos said...

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