Each day I become increasingly aware of the importance of "right now". Life isn't what happened yesterday, nor is it what may or may not happen tomorrow. Life is actually what is happening right now! It's good to make plans for your future, I do that too, but you must remember to appreciate the present. Never procrastinate living.
This is why I chose "Life is Now...Don't Wait!" as the tag line of Straight Up Living. Too often we get all fired up about an idea and then take no action to implement it. Sometimes our excuses sound very reasonable and even logical, but that doesn't mean they aren't a load of crap. Here's a personal example of what I mean. I am a musician with an intense love and passion for music. For the longest time I wanted to be able to create my own songs and even record them. I had so many "reasons" why I couldn't move forward with that desire. I would tell myself "I'm not a great musician. I don't have enough or the right equipment. If I don't use the best of everything, no one will even listen to it" blah blah blah.
When I finally stopped believing my own b.s. and understood that when something is created with a whole heart and passion it will be a blessing to someone. I began what was to become period of joy and passion that lasted many weeks. I took whatever I had and began to use it to make music. I used the guitars I had, an ancient (outdated) computer, one microphone and made drums out of empty jugs. I even made one drum out of a large balloon and an embroidery hoop! Later I added a Native American flute and a couple of penny whistles to my collection. Understand, I had no idea how to play those flutes when I got them. I just taught myself what I could and went for it! Those weeks I spent creating those songs was something almost magical. I would get ideas seemingly out of thin air. Most all of the songs were created, recorded and posted on my blog in one day!
Now, are the recordings, musicianship and such all of the very best quality? No, far from it but I will tell you this, I made the best music I could with what I had. You know what I discovered? I discovered that despite the music not being professionally created, it touched so many people. I still get people asking me about this song or that song, telling me how they use it for their yoga sessions or while relaxing on the beach. If I had not stopped fooling myself into thinking my music would not be "good enough" I would have never had the positive influence upon those people.
I also would have never had the opportunity to work with the beautiful voice you will here in the video below. Robin Easton is an author, musician, photographer, and vocalist. Her skills are far beyond mine, yet I had the chance to work with her. A cool side note is that we've never met in person. We became friends through the world of blogging and also Youtube. The song below features Robin's angelic vocals. She recorded this with a handheld recorder, standing alone in the stairwell of a building. The tune just came to her, much as songs just come to me sometimes. She sent me the recording via the internet and I then added the music. I think the result is very beautiful and it touches my heart each time I listen to it. All because I finally understood that "Life Is Now...Don't Wait!""
We all have a degree of influence on the people we come into contact with every day. What sort of influence are you?
If you could live your life exactly the way you want, what sort of life would that be? What, for you, would be the “perfect life”? What traits, characteristics or habits would you love to be known for?
If you begin today, how long before you could actually be living that life?
What if I told you that you don’t have to wait?
What will tomorrow be like for you? What about the day after that? How can you know? What are you thinking about today? What thoughts are dominating your mind? What sort of mindset are your thoughts creating for you?
Here's a clue:
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything.
What we think, we become."
With this question I am not asking what you do for a living, nor am I wondering if you’re a mother, father, husband, wife, or a great friend. These are merely roles you play. We all play several roles in the course of a day, but none of these things define who you are.
You may be thinking, “Okay, so what defines who I am?” Simple. Your Life’s Purpose! You’ll see this phrase often, especially if you read much in the area of self-improvement, but what does it mean? What does living one’s “life purpose” mean? You may find varying definitions for this but here is the essence of it’s meaning: Every human being possesses certain gifts, skills, and talents that they can use to better the world, and the people in it. Every human being will use these gifts, skills and talents in ways that no one else can. This is why each person’s contribution is vitally important!
“It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”
~ Leo Buscaglia
What Is Your Life Purpose?
Think of “Life’s Purpose” as meaning the particular set of skills, gifts and talents that you possess. If you want to discover what your purpose is, you have to look beyond the roles (father, maid, scientist, truck driver, employee etc) you play each day. The best way I know to explain this is to share from personal experience.
In my life I have played many roles. I have been a construction worker, mechanic, musician, salesman and I am a father. These are things I have done, or became at one point or another, but none of these define who Keith is as a human being. They do not define how I think, feel, treat other people or view life. Nor were any of them the motivating force behind my actions. Many other people, much different than me, have played these same roles, but in very different ways. What defined Keith was the way in which I helped, or influenced, those I came into contact with.
What helped me to “discover my purpose” is that, over time, I began to recognize certain things about each “role” that really got me excited and made me feel like I was making a difference. I began to see that I experienced the greatest sense of purpose and fulfillment when I was supporting another in some way. One of my strongest gifts is that of encouragement. Another is the ability to take a life principle and apply it to situations quickly. Still another is reconciliation. In these ways I have been able to help many people. This is my “life purpose”, or the particular set of gifts, skills and talents that enable me to support, encourage or guide those who need it. In this way I change the world around me.
My “life purpose” I take into every situation and I do it without even thinking about it. The role may change, and it may change often, but my mission remains constant. The many roles I play are simply a medium that I use to express my purpose. For example: A guitar is a medium of expression. I can use a guitar to express the music that is inside of me and so can you. The music that I play will likely differ greatly from yours. The difference isn’t the guitar; it’s just a tool. The difference is the person playing it!
Many people, of whom I was one, live their lives every day without a thought as to what they can do to better the world around them. It’s so easy to get caught up in daily habits, such as a job, and never use our unique gifts. When you are intimately aware of the gifts, skills, and talents that you possess, everything changes. Every day becomes important and so will every person you meet. Every day becomes a joy and is filled with meaning. It will permeate every area of your life and it won’t matter what role you’re playing. When your role changes you’ll find another way to use your gifts. You can live them out in a million different ways! The medium you use to express them isn’t all that important; it’s what you express that matters.
What is your “life’s purpose”? In what ways are you living it?
If you liked this song, you can download the entire album here!
"The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen"
~Frank LLoyd Wright
No matter what your spiritual or philosophical views may be, there is no greater force that directs human behavior than belief. Your beliefs are what make you who you are, shape your life and guide you to your destiny. Another word for your particular set of beliefs is faith.When you read the headline for this article you may have thought it was a typo or that I had written it backward by mistake. It wasn't a mistake. In fact, the truth contained in that simple phrase is a significant part of the foundation on which I have built this blog, and am building my life. "Believe It to See It" simply means that before we see anything manifest in our lives, we must first believe it. Another way of looking at it is: What we see in our lives is a result of what we believe!
"If you are able? Everything is possible for the person who believes" ~ Jesus
Your beliefs will fall into either of two categories. Empowering or Limiting. See, your "belief system" is non-judgmental, which means it doesn't assign a "right" or "wrong" label to each belief. It simply accepts as truth whatever you feed it. Beliefs have the power to create or destroy. To empower or limit us. What beliefs do you hold that empower you? Limit you?
"By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist, we create it"
~ Nikos Kazantzakis
Every period of personal growth or personal breakthroughs begin with a change in our beliefs. If there were no change, there would be no growth or breakthrough. Beliefs are incredibly powerful, but what is truly wonderful is that we get to choose our beliefs!
"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning"
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Empowering beliefs have the opposite affect of limiting beliefs. Whereas limiting beliefs hold you back, empowering beliefs propel you forward. Holding to beliefs that empower you will always result in action. They will not allow you to fall asleep in your comfort zone, but will keep you on the move.
I write this article very much in the "now" because my beliefs are moving me into action. For a long time I have worked hard to fill my mind and heart with empowering beliefs and they have taken root in me, so much so in fact, that they define who and what I am. That being the case, I am compelled to leave my comfort zone (again) and enter uncharted waters. I hold to my belief that I will experience great things and that I will succeed.
As Within, As Without
I'd like to leave you with this thought. No matter what you may profess, you are always living what you actually believe. Take a close look at your life. What does it tell you about your beliefs? Are you being held back or compelled to take action?