Create a Better Life: Day 16: More Content: Learning to Fly

Posted: April 28, 2015 in Uncategorized
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createbetterIt’s like learning to fly.

I hear voices. Don’t worry, I’m not crazy. (At least I don’t think I am.) My guess is you hear them too and as I launch into a project like this, I hear them more often.

One says, “Who are you?” “Why should anyone listen to you?’ It’s one I can’t deny. There’s this huge temptation to wait—wait until I’ve done more, accomplished more, reached some nebulous level of success so I can say, here’s how I did it. I’m a success (and the implied, “and you’re not…) and here are are ten or fifteen “tried and true” steps to do what I’ve done, so you can be like me. The truth is, I’m not there yet. I still desire a better life. I’m still not everything I want to be. Is that okay? Maybe it is.

Another voice chimes in. “You’re not enough.” I’d be willing to bet you’ve heard that voice too. Do more. Accomplish more. Become better looking, bigger, smaller, smarter, whatever. Once you attain the unattainable, then you’ll be worthy. Why do I say unattainable? Because that voice is never satisfied. It always wants a little more, or a lot more.

But then I heard another voice, a smaller, more soothing voice, the voice of truth. That voice whispers, “Take them along. Invite them to join you. Create together.” I can’t give you ten or 15 steps to become like me, but the truth is, I don’t want you to be like me. I want to help you to become your best you. Let’s face it, success means something different to everyone who pursues it and if we’re not careful, it too can become unattainable, as we keep pushing the standard forward. I’m not a raging success. I still want a bit more out of life. I’m still creating a better life, but I’ve had a good one, when, and I think this is the key, I’ve allowed myself to enjoy it.

There’s no step by step process. There’s a dream, a vision, a goal, a place where we want to be and there’s where we are today. Maybe the distance feels like miles or decades or thoroughly unattainable. I can’t help you get there, because I don’t know where “there” is. What I can do, is help you to take the next right step, to help you keep moving forward, to listen to the right voices and put aside the wrong ones. You see if we focus on the goal, all we will see is the distance between where you are and where you want to be. That can be maddening. What if we could just learn to revel in the steps? What if we could learn to celebrate the achievement of being one step closer. All of the sudden life becomes a celebration. We begin to enjoy the journey. Wouldn’t that be a better life? Of course we want still want to reach the goal. The difference is the attitude we take with us on the journey.

Of course, more voices chime in. They’re the “What it’s…” What if people think you’re not qualified? Some people will. They’re not the ones who will join me on this journey. They’re not my tribe, wish them well and move on. What if you make a misstep? I’ve decided to share them too, because there always are some on any journey and learning to learn from them and work in them is another key to a better life. Of course the biggest ones is “What if you fail?” First of all, failure isn’t fatal. It can be a great learning experience. Sometimes it’s even the fork in the road that leads to a better path. This last what if is the most dangerous of al because most of the time it will keep us stuck, thinking the journey is pointless, so we stay where we are, never trying to get to the goal.

My friend Libby, tells this story of a little bird in a nest. The time has come for him to spread his wings and fly, but fear is holding him back. “What if I fall?” he says. The mother bird’s response is priceless. “Oh but my darling, what if you fly?”

Dear friend, let’s learn to fly.

Let’s create a better life.

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