Are You Missing You?
The other day I was having a pity party. When I had a job, I had a high level of income and I could buy lots of stuff. That income has dropped since I chose to become self-employed. So while I was sitting at my computer wearing my “poor me” face, I decided I should look for a job-sharing or part-time job. Yeah, I reasoned I could work part-time and make some extra change and still have time to devote to my business. Yeah, I could have my cake and eat too! Yeah! So, I started my Google search and found some websites for employment. But as I was completing an application, I heard something inside me softly say, “If you work for someone else, you will never develop into the person you need to be for your business.” I froze. Needless to say, I immediately left those websites and have not been back. But the incident got me thinking, “What kind of person am I going to develop into (I got excited!) and what would I miss if I didn’t keep moving forward? It also got me thinking, “How many people never develop into the people they were meant to be?” In effect, are you missing you?
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying you won’t develop into the person you need to be if you have a job. That would be irresponsible. What I am saying, or asking rather, is: are you spending some of your time on activities you have a burning desire to do? If you have a burning desire to cook great food, are you cooking great food at all? If you have a burning desire to write a book or play, are you writing at all? If you have a burning desire to work with children, are you doing anything involving children (outside of your family) at all? Or have you given all of your time and energy to someone else’s burning desire so that you have nothing left for you? So you are missing you?
I have learned that a burning desire is your purpose The real fact of the matter is you are the only person on this earth who can fulfill that purpose. I know what you are thinking…..there are already thousands of restaurants selling American food, there are already thousands of books written, there are already thousands of children’s organizations. But your burning desire, your purpose, is going to add something unique to what already exists based upon your uniqueness. That is why you have the desire. Sound far-fetched? Think about it this way. Way back when, a person had a burning desire to create a mode of transportation other than a horse and the horseless carriage was born. Now, if the people who had a burning desire to create something else around that original idea, no matter how small the something, shelved their desire because, after all “the horseless carriage has been done”, we would still be riding around in open-air, two seater horseless carriage with no doors, no windows, no heat, no A/C, no radio, no GPS and no jacks to charge our cellphones! Ewww!
I have learned that while pursuing your burning desire, you discover abilities you didn’t know you had and you willingly adopt new talents and skills. And all these abilities, talents and skills grow you into a better you. And I have discovered an unnoticed side effect – you give hope and encouragement to others to pursue their burning desire.
Back in 2003, I developed a desire to write a book full of stories of encouragement for women because so many women have been beat down and they need to know they can recover and go on. Although I wrote everyday in my job, it was a chore so it never occurred to me to write it by myself. I rallied some female friends together around my desire, but it didn’t go far. I didn’t push it because I reasoned there were already plenty of books on self-improvement and encouragement. Well, earlier this year, I heard a columnist on social media at the MORE convention (I went to learn and to meet other successful women) say the majority of the buyers of her book were subscribers to her blog. The spark to write came off the shelf and today you are reading my blog, which will be converted into a book to encourage women. In fact, right now most of my subscribers are women!
So you ask, what have I found about me since I followed my burning desire and became self-employed? Well, I found a disciplined and focused person; I don’t have to be a procrastinator. I also found a person who can feel fear, but move forward anyway. When I do, I expand my comfort zone and every time I expand my comfort zone, I become more confident. I see more opportunities and possibilities. I am excited!
So today, decide to take your burning desire off the shelf. Today, decide to spend some of your time, be it one hour a week, one weekend a month, pursuing that passion. You will find you. And you, and the world for that matter, will be better if you do than if you don’t.
I recently received an email entitled Born to Achieve which contained this very appropriate message:
“Indeed, you have a driving desire to be useful in your own unique way. You have a driving desire to make a meaningful positive difference, and you’re well-equipped to do so. Embrace the challenges with enthusiasm and positive expectation, and put your own special capabilities to work. You are born to achieve, and this is your opportunity to claim your magnificent birthright.” — Ralph Marston
Question for Comment: Are you missing you? Do you have a burning desire that you have shelved? If you have, what are you going to do? Decide TODAY! Feel free to share any comments you have about this post.
(originally posted November 22, 2010)