“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman, Civil Rights Leader
I love this quote because I truly believe that if everyone did more of what “made them come alive,” our world would be better.
What If I Don’t Know What Lights Me Up?
I often hear: “But I don’t know what I love, or what makes me come alive.”
At one point in my life, I used to say – and believe – that I didn’t know what I loved.
My thinking was full of “shoulds,” and I had plenty of worries about what “others might think.”
When I freed myself of the “shoulds” in my head and the worry of what “others might think,” my list of items that “lit me up” became clear. This is how I became a life coach.
There will always be someone who has an opinion of me, no matter what I do. Worrying about what other people think is not my business.
If you don’t know what makes you “come alive,” start by learning to hear – and follow – your inner voice.
I Know What Makes Me Come Alive, But I Can’t…
I often hear from clients that they know what they would love to do, but they just don’t believe it’s possible.
For example, many women would love to have more flexibility at work with their hours and/or be able to work from home sometimes. Many employers are not going to make that offer to employees – unless they request it!
More than once, I have worked with clients who, when they asked their employer for flexibility or more money, their employer said yes. That has been my work experience as well. But it only happened because of the “ask.”
The biggest barrier to knowing what you want more of but believing you can’t have, is your language around it.
Instead of saying, “I can’t do that…”
Try saying, “I won’t.” Or, “I am not going to.”
Saying, “I won’t ask my boss to work from home,” or “I am not going to get a sitter so that I can go to an art museum,” has a much different feel than, “I can’t.”
When you put the ownership of what makes you come alive as your responsibility, it changes your thinking, which is the first step towards changing your actions.
What Could Spark Joy For Me Today?
You don’t have to quit your job, run off to Tahiti, or jump out of an airplane to start doing more of what lights you up.
Start small. Each day ask, “What could spark joy for me today?” Listen to your answers.
At work, it might be developing relationships with clients, writing, or channeling more energy toward creative projects. If certain tasks at work “spark joy”’ for you, ask if you can do more of them.
At home, it might be buying flowers, playing with your dog, signing up for salsa lessons, or reading M.A.D. Magazine.
The more paths you find to light yourself in up in tiny ways, the more paths you will find to light yourself up in big ways. You will be happier – and you will inspire others.
And the world needs more people who have come alive!
P.S. One Spot left for “Transform Your Life!” Group starting 4/28. Email me for more information. If you like this blog, please share it below.