With the holidays here, there’s a lot of energy going into presents. It’s fun to think about what others might like and be generous. But sometimes the most intimate present you will give is the one you give to yourself. And I can say with certainty that the absolute best present you can give yourself, one that will fill you up with both short-term zing and long-term ecstatic satisfaction is a life lived out loud.
Perhaps you noticed when you were a kid, like I did, that adults often spoke about their lives in terms of events and dreams that happened and regrets. The dreams lifted them up and the regrets hung over them like sad clouds.
From a kid’s point of view, becoming old and losing the opportunity or mobility to do things seems a long ways away. But the idea that at one point you may no longer have a choice to do things you feel passionate about had a HUGE effect on me. I didn’t want to become an adult who told stories of opportunities missed, of roads untraveled. Nor did I want to experience the depression, insecurity, and bitterness I glimpsed in those speaking.
So I resolved to go after my dreams and live in a way that will make me feel truly satisfied when I look back on my life and have no regrets about dreams unlived.
I would not say I’ve got this mastered, but I’ve made some great headway and I’ll be straight with you that living this way can feel a bit hard core. People around you may think you’re nuts (and maybe you are!), a bit of a workaholic, and sometimes anti-social – but that’s OK. And so is being willing to make sacrifices about your time to move your true desires forward, banging away at your craft when everyone else appears to be having fun, and taking so many risks that you make creative vulnerability your home base.
Because the upside of living in this passionately dedicated and focused way – and it’s a gigantic up side – is doors will open for you that are truly incredible to walk through. And they literally would not have opened if you had not committed to doing the work to pave the road there.
It’s nearly a new year. Possibilities of intentions and resolutions are hanging in the air. If you could fast forward one year from now, what would you be truly grateful to have given yourself?
Best present yet!
Questions to inspire your musing: