Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.—Howard Thurman
What is it that enlivens you and brings you joy? What do you love doing so much that you’d do it for free because it’s what nourishes you and gives your life meaning?
My friend Francesco discovered his love of music early on. In his late 20s he gave up everything to follow his passion and live in Europe. Whether it was playing for 5,000 people in Piazza Navona in Rome or busking for tips in the London tube, it was music itself that satisfied his soul. Now decades later, Francesco still loves living the life of a musician, bringing joy to others and to himself.
Some people are fortunate to find a life passion, but perhaps it is just as important to find what we feel engaged in and passionate about right now. What is it that makes you feel alive, happy and in the moment?
What makes me happy is feeling connected, creative, curious and totally present.
I recently started taking painting classes again. Yes, again. Over the years, I have taken numerous art classes for short periods and then given them up—leaving dried paints and half-finished projects in their wake. While I love the arts and admire other people’s work, I’ve had limited expectations of myself.
I remember my first painting class: our assignment was to paint three radishes. After working laboriously, the teacher stopped by my table and simply said: “You put the paint on nice and evenly.” When I told my “ex” he said, “Well, those are good qualifications for a house painter!” Unfortunately, I didn’t pick up a brush again for many years, but somehow the desire never left me.
Now, I love doing things for the sheer joy of it. It makes me feel like I have more to give. Even though I’ve discovered other outlets for creativity, I am in an art class where free expression is encouraged. I may still “put the paint on nice and evenly,” but I’m letting go of limiting self-talk and allowing myself to enjoy the process. I even forget to look at the clock most of the time, excited about what is emerging.
What is it that brings you joy, that creates an experience that makes you feel alive?
It is different for all of us, and it may be something simple. My friend Kay finds “being outdoors puts me in a happy state and helps me to be productive and pursue other areas of my life.”
Whatever it is, don’t let anyone, especially yourself, talk you out of it. “Too tired? Too busy? Not good enough?” The excuses are endless. But the truth is that when you create the time, get rid of the limiting beliefs and immerse yourself in what you love, you feel energized and free and happy. Give yourself permission to do what feeds your creative soul—even if you have to do it in your free time after the chores are done.
Find what brings you joy and go do it. It is a gift to all of us.
If you were given a FREE DAY to do something fun, creative and meaningful . . . how would you spend it?
What would you love to do if time and money were not an issue?
What do you do that excites you and makes you lose all sense of time?
Linda Commito, author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and teacher, is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more compassionate and interconnected place. Her award-winning book of inspirational stories, Love is the New Currency, demonstrates how we can each make a positive difference in the lives of others through simple acts of love and kindness. Visit www.loveisthenewcurrency.com for more information and/or to sign up for an uplifting monthly newsletter. Read about everyday acts of kindness on www.FB.com/kindnesscollaborative,
Linda believes that in order to inspire a kinder world the place to start is with children. She volunteered at a Title One elementary school, working with over 500 students, to create and facilitate “Kindness Starts with Me,” a program which includes a website (www.kindnessstartswithme.com) and a book for children.