Putting Your Gifts to Use

Jo SzczepanskaWhy do we do the things we do? Have we been going about our days, acting in ways that “make sense” to us? Maybe we have been accustomed to carrying out a series of side projects because we can see ourselves living a stable life, with a secure job, in an occupation, with at least one thing we are passionate about. But what if that list of passions did not have to be so small. What if our occupation, our entire day, our frequent activities, our livelihood, and our happiness, were all the results of our passions on a grand scale and was actually easy to do?

Whenever we operate from the mental framework of doing what we think we should, compared to what we enjoy, our levels of happiness and life satisfaction may be diminished and not fully realized. It has become commonplace for many of us to constantly wake up to live a life of perceived benefits, while constantly convincing ourselves, as well as others, that the choice we made is worthwhile and fulfilling. If this was the case, there would be no need for that inner dialogue. Most of us do not make it a habit of deconstructing a joyous experience to determine why it was pleasurable and why we felt invigorated. Fewer of us still, make it a habit of convincing ourselves to engage in pleasant experiences, we simply act. So why is there a disconnect between what seems like it should be great as opposed to what we know for a fact is wonderful? There is a disconnect between them because, there is a disbelief within us.

If we have to search deeply to find something to be happy or thankful for, in our occupation, our relationship, our studies, our peer group, our body image, our financial standing, our community and our sense of self, then we are the only ones beings fooled. The search for enjoyment, happiness, blessings, success, wisdom, wonder and abundance, is not rigorous. To find these treasures all that is required is full immersion in our present experience. The panoramic view can only be witnessed from a lens which is not zoomed in. If we know this, then why do we continue to increase the level of zoom? The further in we zoom, the more blessings are left out of the picture. If our search yields very few reasons as to why we should be happy, as opposed to infinite feelings of happiness, then the former should be immediately dropped!

The only pressure we have which forces us to engage in things which limit our levels of happiness, is the pressure we have placed on ourselves. We do not need to study a subject which has the potential to be interesting, just to get a job which may have the potential to be rewarding. We can choose to study a subject which quenches our thirst for knowledge, which will certainly result in fulfillment. We do not need to be in a romantic relationship which is draining and one sided. We can choose to be in a relationship that does not keep score and reciprocates seamlessly, out of a want to do so. We do not need to hang around friends who always leave us with heavy negative, energy or carried over problems. We can choose to surround ourselves with great people who have our best interests at heart and enjoy our company because of who we are. We do not have to work in an occupation which only has us begging for the weekend to arrive faster. We can choose to be part of a company that serves a community in a positive way, no matter how small.

If we feel that our academic pursuit, relationship, community, peer group or job will not lead to excitement, it’s because it was never exciting in the first place! Yet we decided to make it so with our own rationale.

The circular path we travel, full of scrambling and always having to play catch-up, does not allow us to experience true joy in life! This repetitious nature is a by-product of our inherent beliefs which we have allowed to become established patterns. There is no longer a force that continues to propel us, to engage in these troublesome tasks which are fruitless. There is however, an automatic system that now controls the actions we actually despise. This system is our ingrained habits and the only energy many of us exert, is mental, which keeps us in a state of observation, viewing our unpleasant experiences as a passenger on a ride we have no control over. There is a way for us to shift from mere passenger on a lackluster ride, to a pilot on an exhilarating journey. We must shift from the state of the influenced, to the experience of the influencer.

When we only seek “good advice” we are at the mercy of the advisor, and can be shaped in any manner they see fit, as clay is effortlessly moulded by the sculptor, we become a product of their mind, their own creation. When we act from our own judgment, backed by our inner burning desire, we become the artist, emerge ourselves in the feeling of artistic expression, operate within the creative process, sculpt our own intentions and become the piece we wished to create!

What will we choose to do on this ride? Will we allow our time to be dictated and spent on trivial matters, guided along a set rail system? Maybe we will decide to map out our destiny, control our efforts and plot our course to the stars?

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
– Bruce Lee


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