Listen to this post:
Do you ever stop and wonder what the hell you’re doing, or – more importantly – why you’re doing it?
Do you ever find yourself suddenly struck dumb by the depth of the disconnect between the thing that consumes most of your waking hours (for most of us, our work) and the thing that is truly “you?”
I lie awake in bed and my brain does somersaults in the dark – flip, turn, roll, flip, turn, roll. I go over the day’s events and tomorrow’s plans. I think back to when I was a kid and I wonder what it will be like when I’m old and near the end of my days. My mind flies back and forth along the continuum that is my life, weaving random thoughts together like the shuttle on a loom.
I try to connect the dots. I look for patterns and meaning. I wonder what kind of hole I will leave in the world.
When I drove my daughter home from school yesterday, it was an exceptionally beautiful day. I was high on sunshine and the frisky wind that cavorted through bright, new foliage. I was singing along to track 10 on KT Tunstall’s Eye to the Telescope album – Stoppin’ the Love.
“Mom, stop it.”
“I don’t want to be one of those people other people can hear outside the car!”
Kaarina Dillabough wrote a post called Why Are You Doing It? She encouraged readers to ask themselves, “Is what I’m doing resulting in results? Is it productive? Does it create something meaningful, beneficial, profitable, or necessary?” She then asked, “If not…why are you doing it?”
Good question, Kaarina. Good question.
Craig McBreen wrote a post called Do you want to be remembered? Do this. He wrote about being the spark, making a difference, and realizing your full capabilities. He asked, “So, why not wear a little chunk of your heart on your sleeve?”
When I originally read the post, I had been moved to comment. This is part of what I wrote:
People talk about “voice” and “authenticity” all the time, but I think what truly magnetizes a brand is more about enthusiasm – about being SO excited that you can’t contain yourself, about letting your love or passion for something spill over and out and into the world, about being SO zealous that you don’t care if you look like a fool. You will dance in the streets, scream from the rooftops, say the thing no one else will say, admit you’re wrong, sing, write poetry, stand up in the boardroom and tell it like it is … because you believe with all your heart, because your excitement compels you to take action, to speak out loud.
People who can capture and share this kind of unbridled enthusiasm will be remembered. They will be remembered because, in the words of Maya Angelou, “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Connecting the dots. Click. Click. Click.
Do you know what makes your heart sing? What inspires you to surrender, to drop your guard, to let your unbridled joy shine out? What is it that unleashes your inner geek? For what cause, belief, or love will you willingly be a fool?
Have you forgotten? Have you lost your way? Are you afraid or ashamed to admit the source of your passion?
Why have you forgotten why you do what you do, why you’re here?
This thing – whatever it is – this thing that brings you such joy and strips away all the extraneous layers, this is your purpose. It’s what gives your work meaning. It’s what gives your work value.
Don’t just sing in the shower. Don’t just sing in the car with the windows rolled up and the world whipping anonymously past the windows. Sing out loud. In the world. For other people.
Whatever your passion is, if you let it out it will infect others. Your enthusiasm and excitement will spread like a beautiful virus. It will attract attention, draw people in, and fascinate them.
And the best part? Your willingness to proclaim your love will give others permission to proclaim theirs.
Image Credit: Pinot W. Ichwandardi (freeze frame from one of his awesome Vine videos)