Yesterday was my birthday. It wasn’t a milestone or anything, but I always find myself taking a mental inventory of where I am going in life on my birthday. This year I was tempted to feel like am at a bit of a standstill. The decision to go back to college to finish my degree is one that I find myself second guessing only about three times a week or so, but for now at least, I am committed. However, especially on days when I am super overwhelmed, I often wonder if I am on the right track with my art, my career and with my blog.
It doesn’t help, that this self-doubt has been recently magnified by the news that my junior prom date was elected mayor of the town that I briefly lived in as a teen just last week. I couldn’t help but feel like a bit of an under achiever in comparison. In high school, Mr. Mayor and I were cut from the same quirky-geeky-left-of-center-did-not-fit-into-the-cool-crowd cloth. I know that I shouldn’t, but its rather hard not to be a bit envious of his achievement, even though, I personally have zero political ambition. To be honest, I couldn’t tell ya if being elected mayor of small town USA was his life’s ambition back when we were hanging out in Shakespeare Troupe, but I can say that my idea of what I would be doing in life by now was/is, well…different. The news clicked on a bright spotlight onto all the ways that have been holding back on in my life.
Almost as if on cue, I received an email from one of my favorite virtual mentors, Oprah, offering questions that you should ask yourself in order to find your true calling.
What are you most afraid of asking doing in life?
What would you do if you knew you were dying?
What would you do if fear was not a factor?
After watching several video clips on Oprah.com, I began to get that warm, fuzzy, and supported feeling that I and so many others get after watching Oprah. I clicked through several of her inspiring videos featuring Steven Pressfield, TD Jakes, and Pastor Rick Warren and I came across a couple of break-through takeaways that I wanted to share. The first:
“Live for an audience of one.”
In other words, don’t compare yourself to others. You can’t allow your need to be feel as pretty and desirable as JLo or as supper smart and powerful as Sheryl Sandberg prevent you from following your calling and getting started on your passion, just as you are right now. For me, this means following my own path as a creative and as an entrepreneur while focusing less on how to qualify the work that I produce to others and more on following my heart.
The second is my favorite and feels like a salve to a traveler’s aching soul:
“Put your ass where your heart wants to be.”