Did the eclipse that passed over the U.S. a few weeks ago change your life?
Did the most recent Labor Day mark a huge turning point for your future plans?
Again, probably not.
But maybe you—like many of your fellow human beings—found yourself wanting something personally significant to come from those milestone occurrences. It’s the same thing we do with New Year’s Day: we pick a spot on the calendar and tell ourselves “that’s when things are going to change for the better.”
We, as a species, all-too-easily look outside ourselves for direction and meaning. It’s like we don’t trust ourselves, and insist on “divine” inspiration to set us on a new path, make us break bad habits, and help us succeed in something we’ve failed to accomplish in the past.
Human beings crave meaning. We have an insatiable instinct to seek purpose. This drive has helped us achieve great things, but has often caused us to doubt our ability to guide our own destiny. In our great quest for the meaning of life, we sometimes give up our power of self-determination as we wait for someone or something besides ourselves to give us hope.
It’s time to stop waiting for cosmic validation.
Accept responsibility for your fate.
The meaning of your life is whatever you decide.
If you believe in a higher power, I’m not telling you to doubt divine assistance. Rather, consider that the divine might just have put us here to experience time and space for the very purpose of making decisions. So flex your divine right to make your own purpose.
If you don’t believe in a higher power, then life is actually more of a miracle than religions teach us. That’s even more of a reason to forget your fears and take bold action toward your goals.
F.E.A.R and Voodoo
Speaking of fear, it’s really F.E.A.R. This stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear, and all its many cunning disguises—self-doubt, regret, shame, guilt, peer pressure, to name a few—are just illusions we conjure.
Banish fear, or transmute it to energy to fuel yourself. Just don’t try to suppress or resist it because that only makes it stronger. Make the choice to acknowledge fear in order to take away its power, loosen its control over you, and break its grip.
This also means no more “victim voodoo.” Don’t blame outside circumstances or other people for your current situation. That is also giving away your power. While it’s true that sometimes there are actual human beings doing you wrong, don’t waste your energy complaining or lamenting.
Get moving. Take action. Get creative. Do the unexpected. Shake things up. The best revenge is a life well lived. Waste no time hating or holding a grudge; those activities only poison you from within.
Unless someone has physically abducted you and locked you in a room, you are really only shackled by your own mind.
Love Labors are Never Lost
The bottom line: YOU are your own “good luck charm.” Be your own divine inspiration. Believe in yourself, and in your power to make the changes you want to make. Belief is the one crucial, non-negotiable step.
And be prepared to do some work for change. There’s no way around it. Making better beliefs and habits stick will take some repetition, and some failure. But you’ll get there.
Warning: sometimes you will have to “fake it until you make it.” Don’t avoid this or see yourself as a fake. Think of it as a “placebo effect for the soul.” Your confidence will eventually catch up with your ambition!
So, as you head into the weekend (another favorite time for people to declare change), here’s my question and challenge to you:
What is your labor of love? If you have several, pick one and start there. Be persistent, keep dreaming about it and taking action toward it.
Ultimately, your life can be the big labor of love underlying all you do. Your life can be an inspiration to yourself and others, in small ways and big. The power is yours!
Please comment on this post and share stories of your labor(s) of love, and how you have worked to make them possible!
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My recently relaunched, redesigned Live The Hero website was a particularly intense labor of love for me! It is part of my commitment to, and belief in, the “everyday heroism” movement. Live The Hero is my contribution to the movement.
If you’re not already a subscriber, please consider joining the Live The Hero community and follow my blog. When you join, you’ll get access to the free LTH manifesto, program primer, and 30-day guide!