“Don’t worry about what the world needs. ask yourself what makes you come alive. because what the world needs is more people who are alive.” – Howard Thurman
I’ve seen this quote here and there hundreds of times it seems, and every time I do, I pause.
Some of us search and search for passion and purpose, often times outside ourselves, but we don’t take the time to really question what things make us the most happy.
And isn’t that what everyone wants? When asked the question: “How do you define success?” the majority of people include some variation of the word happy in their response.
Sure, the idea of passion and purpose encompasses happiness; at least I hope. BUT, instead of that IF,THEN approach: If I discover my passion, then I’ll be happy, perhaps we’re going about it all wrong.
Often in conversation with clients who are struggling with this very issue, I remind them to find gratitude and fulfillment exactly where they are. This is challenging for many people, as I know and you may have experienced yourself. When you are unhappy in your place in life, it is no trip to the candy store to go poking around for gratitude. BUT, it works!
I love this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
This says two things:
One: We can’t all be poets and musicians. The world wouldn’t work that way. We can find passion and purpose in anything, and we should–always.
Two: If we are shut down and closed off in a job we hate and a place in life we are miserable, how will we hear the call when it comes to go be awesome elsewhere?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about jumping ship. If you’re not happy, begin exit strategy. Nuff said. Yet, while exit strategy is in process, don’t make you and the world around you miserable.
Miracles can only show up to those willing to accept them. Being open to acceptance is a good start.
I leave you with this: When in your life have you felt most alive? Where were you? What were you doing? How might that translate into something you could bring more into the world? Now go do and be more of that!