What Makes You Come Alive?

Harold Whitman wrote:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Do you know what makes you come alive?  Or,  like so many of us have you lost sight of that “zing”, that burst of energy that is truly you as you’ve marched through the demands of daily living over and over and over…?

Here’s the thing, if you’re feeling:

  • Numbed out to your feelings (or wanting to numb them out)
  • Devoid of any hobbies
  • Overwhelmed or too exhausted to engage in activities you love to do

Then you need to come alive…and soon.

I’ve always been a very engaged person with lots of different interests.  Yet there were definitely times, years on end in fact, when I was so dissatisfied with my career, spent each day in a toxic job, and felt it was easier to give up on the things I loved doing.  After all, what’s the point?  Most of them would never be a career move (not enough talent for Carnegie Hall) and some of them really only matter to me (so who cares if I bother, right?).  So I let them slowly slip away.  My heart and soul felt bankrupt but in a world that values “reality” over living fully it somehow seemed an OK compromise at the time.

The problem with taking this approach to your life is that it is like a tire with a slow leak.  Eventually you’ll find yourself totally flat or as the air is leaking out of the tire (your life) it will weaken to the point that it’ll blow when you most need it.  Neither one is pretty.

You see, you may think you don’t need this spark and joy of what makes you come alive in order to be successful “in the real world” (where is that anyway?), yet in fact it is the single most important element in succeeding on your own terms.  Without a sense of engagement and aliveness in your days, what’s the point?  Just ticking off things on your to-do list so you can arrive safely at death’s door?  It may sound harsh but oh so many people in this country are on that very path.

Now you may be thinking – but money really matters.  Absolutely, yes it does.  Money matters but meaning matters even more.  Without it, everything else is just going through the motions. 

You see coming alive doesn’t mean you have to quit your job (especially if you actually like it!) and go be a full-time artist (if art is what makes you come alive).  It might mean you want to totally reinvent your career, but it also might just mean that you need to put art back into your life on a regular basis (say, daily or weekly).  All of a sudden, you start taking time just for you and then paradoxically you start finding more opportunities and success in all you do.  Not to mention you actually enjoy each day more and feel more alive and a sense of energy and “zing” in your life.  How great would that be?

So, my coach’s request to you is to take some time this week, settle into your favorite, comfy spot and ask yourself - what makes me come alive? 

Need help weeding through all the noise in your head to get at what makes you come alive?  Ready to head in a new life or career direction?  If so, contact me for a complimentary Get Acquainted Call to learn how you can start to come alive in relevant and meaningful ways in your personal and professional life.


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