“There is no heavier burden than an unfulfilled potential.”
— Charles Schulz
No matter who you are, you have something to offer the world that it needs.
No matter how old or young you are, it’s not too late or too early. The best time is now.
You’re here for your own evolution, but you’re also here to contribute to evolution.
Your ability to deliver on this inherent promise directly correlates to your level of wellbeing and overall life satisfaction.
Each of us lends a note to this greater symphony, whether we are conscious of it or not.
How full a note are you contributing? How true? How harmonious with your purpose and potential?
Here are 6 things you need to do to set the stage for the life of your dreams:
#1 Find Your Key
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” - Michelangelo
Just as every piece of music has its own “key”, so there is a central or most important pitch in your life.
All the other pitches need to be patterned off of this tone
Reaching your greatest potential is a process of discovery.
Often it happens by chipping away at what isn’t you, at what blocks you from being your biggest, boldest, brightest, natural self in the world.
We are culturally conditioned to believe that we need to add more to become our greatest selves.
Life experience and engaging with the world are essential to self development…yes…if you do so from the point of view of freeing the angel from the marble.
Only you can do it.
Only you can find your key.
So, how do you find your key?
Where do your fundamental interests lie?
What draws you?
What captivates you?
What do you care about most?
Start exploring. Start asking yourself these types of questions.
Is it in the realm of music? Quantum theory? Carpentry? Marine biology? Latin Dance? What arena of life do you generally gravitate toward? Are you visual, cerebral, auditorily inclined?
You can also think back…Just as the central pitch of the song is often the note the song begins and ends with, sometimes the first thing you ever wanted to be “when you grew up” holds an important clue.
What was the first thing you ever wanted to be when you grew up?
Children, before they are fully conditioned, are often in tune with their true selves.
By now though, your key may be the very thing you fear or are avoiding.
“What you fear is an indication of what you seek.”
— Thomas Merton
Another clue: Notice what puts you in a timeless state of wonder.
What you are doing when you feel naturally energized?
And: Who do you admire? Your one true voice alerts you when there is resonance near, even if it shows up in another person.
Envy is actually a vital clue. Pay attention to who you envy and why.
These envious feelings are most likely alerting you to something you are not claiming in yourself.
#2 Feel For Your Rhythm
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” -Henry David Thoreau
Rhythm holds the structure for a song.
Similarly, your basic life rhythm, how you live, spend your time and energy should be in step with what you care about.
This means you need to look for and honor the cadence in life that suits you, and adjust as you get to know yourself better.
This goes against your conditioning.
We are taught to follow a schedule, sit at a desk when our body says “move”. We are taught to select a profession from one of the sanctioned. But, let’s be clear, conformity does not help us reach our highest potential.
Explore, engage, experiment in the realm of your interests, even in the early phases when you aren’t completely clear about it.
Just begin apprenticing with what matters to you in all the ways that you can.
The human journey is a treasure hunt. A person’s life purpose rarely reveals itself overnight with perfect acuity.
Be curious and engage, do something and start somewhere, let one step lead to another.
Find the people who share your interests.
This might mean accepting odd jobs related to your interests or doing volunteer work.
Just get as close as you can to what you love.
Go to places that excite you.
Interview others whom you admire and that do what you think you might love to be doing.
Get their mentorship.Most times, people are highly flattered and enthusiastic to share with you.
Put yourself around those you want to be like and those who are living a dream similar to yours.
#3 Listen For The Hook
“There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
The hook is the most recognizable phrase that stands out and is easily remembered in a song.
It hooks the listener.
It is the part of the song that everyone knows and can’t get out of their head.
Like, “All You Need is Love “ (The Beatles), “She’s buying a stairway to Heaven” (Led Zeppelin), or “Hello from the other side” (Adele), it often carries the core message of the song.
What is your hook or core message?
What is the unique wisdom you have to share?
What might you see or recognize about the world that others may not?
What insights do you have to share related to what matters to you most?
It took years for me to clearly distill my hook, but hopefully I have clearly imparted it to you by now — We Need You.
#4 Edit & Delete As Needed
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter.
Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
– Samuel Beckett
As with any creative endeavor, when you write and record songs, you write a lot more than you will ever share.
You go down pathways and then abort mission.
You edit tracks again and again and you delete others.
You scrap what you once thought were your most brilliant lyrics.
One of the most important things I have learned to claim is my own right to change direction as needed, at will, and with utter authority.
This may elicit skepticism and criticism from others, but it is essential and inevitable in bringing forth your true note.
Accept that you must disappoint people.
You are fluid, you are dynamic, and you are in charge.
Your north star, your most reliable navigation tool, resides within your own chest.
Every life journey is trial and error.
Do not deny yourself the right to mess up, fall down, start again, or simply change your mind.
All of these things are necessary, critical in fact, and provide you with valuable feedback.
#5 Create The Mix
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Remember, our fundamental purpose is to illuminate the greater net to which we belong.
We are here to light our part of the overall web.
How does your role correspond to the world outside of you?
Where are you needed?
How can you share your wisdom and your medicine?
Who are your collaborators close by in your neighborhood of the net?
Find who you can work in conjunction with.
Find those whose mission supports yours and vice-versa.
Dreaming a world is a collaborative effort.
Creating the mix makes your song fuller.
Like harmony, it adds color to your fundamental tone and reverberating depth.
“There’s no value in digging shallow wells in a hundred places. Decide on one place and dig deep.” -Swami Satchidananda
A master is an authority in her field, someone one who masters her own life by living with integrity what she teaches.
He has a revolving principle around which he lives, the distillation of what matters to him most.
She holds the worldview, the big vision, not shying away from owning her medicine or her authority, but she is also not lost in her ego.
A master recognizes he is one small but vital note in the collective chorus.
When you record a song, the master is the final product in which you make all your finishing touches, carefully balancing the frequencies and maximizing the loudness without losing the dynamics.
Get the metaphor? Take it all the way. Go for it. But, stay true to your fundamental tone, even as you collaborate, maximize loudness. Don’t lose the subtlety, the art, the underlying purpose of your offering.
Every human being has the potential for mastery.
Every soul deeply yearns to contribute.
It is the purpose behind your purpose, the mission behind your mission.
It is your soul promise to deliver on.
It is vital, it is joy, true security and the fulfillment of your dream.
Here’s one last suggestion: Take all of the answers from above and begin to write your own personal creed.
Years ago, I wrote the following. I kept a copy in my journal, in my purse, by my bed.
In the really hard times, I read it upon waking and going to sleep to remind myself of the bigger picture.
It carried me through dizzying times.
Please use mine, if it speaks to you, but as I said, the best thing would be to author your own.
I AM ALIVE to serve my individual growth, as well as the growth of the whole.
My wholehearted participation and generosity of spirit in sharing my gifts is the promise my soul made in taking this life.
I give my highest regard to how I feel, honoring my emotions as the messengers from my source, that they truly are.
I resolve to live in alignment with my True Self.
I pledge to no longer abstain from self-love.
With my thoughts, I create my world.
I aim to focus my attention on well being, rather than the absence of it.
I consider my highest achievement and my greatest success, to be a state of Joy.
My inner lover knows I am on a holy mission, a grand treasure hunt of finding out through what I love what I have come to offer.
Each inhale is an invitation from life, a call to union.
Each exhale is my reply, an acceptance of this invitation and an offering of my spirit.
Before opening my eyes each morning, I aspire to open my heart, awakening and inviting the inner lover to steward my life.
I offer my life, my existence, as a sacred meeting ground for Great Love, the blessed and precious union of Spirit and Matter.
Call To Action
One Last Thing!
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