What is the world’s greatest lie?” the little boy asks. The old man replies, “It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.”
(An excerpt from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho)
As children, we eagerly conjured up fantasies about our future grown-up selves. We imagined what careers we would have and what we would be like. Innocently optimistic, we imagined a life for ourselves that would be exciting and fulfilling. When asked about our futures, we got a twinkle in our eyes as we told others, “When I grow up, I’m going to be… (A ballerina! A fireman! A Doctor! A Basketball Player!)”
Don’t you sometimes wish you could recapture that childlike wonder? Sadly, somewhere along the way to adulthood, dreams often get buried under the realities of daily living. We can barely make it through the day, and chasing our fire is often the furthest thing from our minds. The focus shifts from ‘living the dream’ to just ‘finding a good job that pays the bills.’ Life, as messy as it is, often teaches us that we are mere products of fate and circumstance, and that dreams can only be realized if you are one of the lucky and/or wealthy…which (let’s be honest) most of us aren’t.
Thankfully, Paulo Coelho blows a hole right through that theory. Allow him and I to assure you that fate and luck have very little to do with happiness. Life doesn’t just “happen” to us. We are not mere passive recipients of fate, living the life that has been dealt to us. Oh, no. Our lives are a culmination of choices (big and small), each breath building on another. You chose this morning whether you were going to sleep till the third alarm or whether you were going to get up fifteen minutes early to take a few minutes to nurture yourself before your day began. After that, you chose to get dressed and go to a job that you either love or hate (or something in between) and you chose how you were going to feel about it. Most importantly, you chose whether you were going to listen to that voice that said, “Someone’s got to pay the bills” or the one that said, “There’s got to be more to life than this.”
Sadly, many people spend much of their lives doing what they don’t like in order to earn enough to start doing what they do like…eventually…maybe. That’s a little backwards, isn’t it? I recognize that it isn’t always an option to just quit your job and start that venture you have dreamed of. Life is complicated and full of responsibility, so I’m certainly not suggesting that you make a drastic change like that without some serious forethought. But I do know that doing what you dislike, day after day, can very easily numb the joy within you, leaving you feeling burned out in all areas of life. I don’t want that for you or anyone else, and I’m sure we can agree that this is not the kind of future your childhood self would have imagined.
Cue a lesser-known take on the biggest lie, because I think you might just need to hear these song lyrics today:
The problem with you, is you let yourself stop believing, and now you’re afraid of your own thoughts and feelings. Forgot how to share what I love most about you. Lost your voice, now no choice but to doubt you.”
(Murs & Slugs – The Biggest Lie Lyrics)
Have you stopped believing in yourself and in your dreams because there’s little room for you in your life? Do you sometimes feel a yearning in your heart for something different or bigger that almost scares you? Have you forgotten the parts of you that you used to love the most because you are so busy getting through the day and getting the bills paid? Have you suppressed your fire for so long that you have lost touch with your inner voice and can’t put words to your passion?
If you believe that your life is destined for more, I want to challenge you to stop hiding from yourself and to start doing something about it today.
Though financial security can help you meet your responsibilities and provide you with the freedom needed to chase your fire one day, the absence or pursuit of it should not stop you from pursuing your dreams in some way today. Stop putting yourself on the back burner. Your fire has been burning loyally inside of you all this time, whether you chose to acknowledge it or not. Today, make a conscious decision to start nurturing it daily. No more hiding behind fate, fear, or circumstance. This is your moment! What are you going to do with it?
Here’s a start. Repeat after me and say it like you mean it (bear with me here, there is method in my madness):
“I acknowledge in this moment that there is a fire inside of me telling me that my life is destined for more than what I have allowed myself to live. Though I might not be able to put words to it quite yet, today I choose to not let fear and/or circumstance stop me from exploring my passion in pursuit of the life I have dreamed of. Today, I make a commitment to myself to start chasing my fire instead of hiding from it. Today, I will start liberating my best self and living the extraordinary life I have dreamed of – one step at a time.”
There! You said it aloud, so now turning back now. My friend, you are the designer of your own future! Even in your darkest hours, you have always had the power of choice. Embrace and exercise this power by making a commitment to start living an extraordinary life today. Rediscover the dormant parts of yourself that you love the most. Find your voice. Chase your fire.
Happy self-liberation, friends!
Tagged with: advice • alchemist • balance • career • chaotic world • growth • happiness life • insight • life strategies • living a purposeful life • living the dream • motivation • passion • self • success tips
Filed under: Self Development
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