Don’t settle…life’s too short

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle……

If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs (Excerpts from his Stanford Commencement address 2005)

I have always loved that speech. From a man who managed to change the world in his own way and reminds me when I feel that ball of anxiety in my stomach about what I want to and am going to do going forward that trusting in your gut, your instinct; yourself does make a huge difference.

The most recent changes that have affected me, yet not in the way it used to, I now know were meant to occur. Accepting it has made it so much easier to rise above the pain and mental struggle that used to be part of my robotic response to all my failures or what I perceived to be failures in my life; learnt from years of bad and painful experiences.

Our perceived failures are actually gifts. Gifts of learning. But instead of thinking of them as just one more reason why your life is shit when you embrace that shit; and lets face it life is full of it! Then you realise that shit can also be a very good fertilizer which helps the seeds grow and emerge from the soil to become something much more worthwhile and substantial.

Another of my favourite speeches is by the author J K Rowling in a Harvard Commencement speech;

Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure. But the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. Failure means a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself to be anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena where I believe I truly belonged. Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I built my life.

This last couple of years, (I just realised it is coming up to 2 years since I first reconnected with Joe and the subsequent merde that followed) have brought me to a place I hadn’t been before and might not have found if it hadn’t occurred. Back to myself. I have for years been going through the motions of living disconnected from myself because I believed that separating myself from what I saw as the flawed me meant that I would fit into what was required of me set down by societal expectations and ‘the norm’. But that only made me profoundly unhappy and dissatisfied.

These latest setbacks came about for very good reasons. I am starting to appreciate them. I am asking questions of myself I should have a long time ago. But I am also forming a much stronger opinion about what I want and in particular what I don’t in my life.

Today would have been my flight day. I was booked to fly to Chicago departing today to see a man I thought I knew but realistically how could I and it more than likely would have ended in not only heartbreak but even more disappointment in my life. Another bad choice. I realised that all the things he had accused me of in some of his open criticisms of me and how I live my life were just a reflection of his own incapacity and disappointments. And that is OK. Or I would have perhaps ended up ‘settling’ for something unspectacular because I believed it was the best I could get at my age and in my current circumstances. He once told me my ‘I always land on my feet’ statement was something that was foolhardly and that had an expiration date.Well I’m sorry fellow fool, the difference between you and I is that I truly know and have the faith in myself that it is the truth. The only thing that holds anyone back is other peoples opinions and boundaries if you believe in them.

I, no longer do. Respect others right to an opinion but do not live your life by any other rules but your own.

On a lighter note another strange occurrence happened in this last week or so. “the good one” and his lady broke up. Out of the blue he text me on the weekend to tell me that he too was ‘not having much luck’ in the relationship realm. We are seeing each other this Friday night.

I don’t know, as the Dalai Lama says “sometimes not getting what you want can be a marvelous stroke of luck”….could be true…

Love and whitelight xx

 

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