Is This the Life You Want to Lead?

Contemplating whether she should leave her job, one woman’s friend told her: “If the best part of your life is escaping it, you have a problem!”

In the August 2018 issue of OWN Magazine, there’s this question:

What’s to stop you from living with zest and zeal and showing the world the authentic you?

And this: What are you longing to do?

Both thought provoking so how would you answer?

The questions precede a series of interviews of women who have taken the leap to dance, get into business for themselves, champion a cause or start a family. Here’s the intro:

“All around us, women are speaking their truths and fulfilling their ambitions: moms battling the scourge of gun violence, trans ladies proudly sharing their stories, strivers putting in the work to become who they’re meant to be. Maybe you too, have a dream you’d like to chase or a wrong you’re hoping to right.”

Since watching the documentary about Quincy Jones on Netflix I can’t stop thinking about him. Like any other human being his life is made up of his experiences and the choices he made because of them. Without a mother as a role model, he followed his Dad’s work ethic. Every day his Dad told him the same thing “Once a task is just begun, never leave it till it’s done. Be the labour great or small, do it well or not at all.”

Quincy has certainly done a lot well. The all-time most nominated Grammy artist, with a total of 79 nominations and 28 awards, Quincy Jones has also received an Emmy Award, seven Oscar nominations, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Quincy is still “doing” at 85. Despite several health challenges. There seems to be a lot of life still in him, so what about you? What’s holding you back? Is this the life you REALLY want or are  you settling for an “OK” life?

Jordan Peterson, a middle aged Canadian college professor and virtual father figure to millions of wayward young men says he doesn’t tell people “You’re okay the way that you are.” It’s not the right story, he told Wesley Yang in an Esquire interview. He tells them instead “You’re WAY LESS than you could be.”

His prescription doesn’t involve easy to-dos or platitudes. His encouragement comes in the form of challenges:

“Take on the heaviest burden that you can bear.”

“Seek a strenuous life spent “at the boundary between chaos and order.”

While I know what he is asking might appear severe, sometimes when we heed the call, the tiny voice, the nudge to create, the shove to leave our comfort zones…it is at first painful. Far too many stories project the glamour and glitter but neglect to share the dirt and grimy sometimes torturous passages that we must first endure.

Part of what has held me back for years, is somehow thinking that my life wasn’t fair; that I should be further along the success path given my age. The truth is, unless you are able to embrace where you are and operate from there, you are going to constantly be fighting with life, and let me tell you – life is going to win!

You need to really consider where you are and what you choose to do next because forcing yourself to do work that does not honor or engage who you are at core, can lead to disease and depression.

Heather Havrilesky, “Ask Polly” columnist said something that got me thinking:

“There’s never going to be a perfect time. And using excuses to avoid doing the hard thing could mean delaying your truest desires forever. I often tell advice seekers that no matter what’s happening in your life or in the world, it can be riskier NOT to take big leaps than to play it safe. Your future is often MORE precarious – in terms of your health, financial security, and the strength of your relationships – when you avoid your desires or passions because of your fears.”

I want you to think about that too, and decide what you are going to do with this one and only precious journey of yours around and around the sun!