Posted in Books That Changed My Life, Lists

Notice Your Life!

I heard an interview recently with the writer Robert Greene who wrote the book Mastery. The interviewer asked him what he says to people who tell him that they don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.

My ears really pricked up when I heard that question because this question has been on my “Top 10 List” for most of my life. And his answer shocked me. And chastised me. And embarrassed me.

He said: “This question always disturbs me because it tells me that this person hasn’t been paying attention to his life. Because if they had been, they would know what they should do, or be.”

I felt embarrassed for thinking for so long that my vocation would somehow be “revealed to me.” I felt stupid for mistaking “calling” for something you were supposed to “hear” in your mind,  rather than something you were supposed to be continuously “noticing.”

Calling isn’t something whispered in your ear; it’s the continuous watching of how you act, what you do in your spare time, what you avoid, and perhaps most telling, what you do when you procrastinate.

If you started paying attention to those kinds of things you would know exactly who you are, what your talents were, and what you should be doing for work.

But most of us have not been noticing. We have been sleepwalking through our lives. Either that, or just allowing ourselves to be flippered from thing to thing like some pinball, hitting bumpers, racking up points in some game we aren’t even aware we’re playing.

As a result we can get to a pretty advanced age without knowing who we are and what we ought to be doing.

And this is pathetic. And a waste. And totally unnecessary.

I know so many people who are on the brink of retirement and still don’t know what they should be doing with their lives; they don’t know who they are, or what their gifts are. They are getting close to the end of their lives and they haven’t even come close to maximizing their full human potential.

And that is why they fear death. Or at least the next birthday.

But it’s never too late! Never! Start making lists. List everything you love and everything your hate.

Why do this?

Because these lists will show who you are. If you keep adding to these lists  you will notice trends, and how interesting and complex you are, and where you are a totally unique blend of character traits, and propensities, and weirdnesses. That’s your gift. Then all you have to do is figure out how you can add value to the lives of other people with your special brand.

And when you can add value, you hit the jackpot. You then start living a life of value and purpose. And that’s the whole game.

Author:

I teach yoga. I love to breathe. Kapalabhati pranayama rocks my world. I can’t sing (but love to chant) I love rituals I was born a Capricorn (on the cusp) I cannot live without coffee. I can sit perfectly still for over an hour. I am afraid of deep water. I can’t parallel park. I know how to scuba dive (but won’t). I can eat anything with chopsticks. I don’t use coupons. I was at Woodstock. I have a large vocabulary. I have slept in the Everglades surrounded by alligators. I used to want to be a bartender. I used to want to be a nun I am happiest when I am around purple things. I can read Tarot cards. I can’t eat eggplant. I have relatives in The Wizard of Oz. I have paddled a canoe with a nudist. I function best with 9 hours sleep. I can go for a week without speaking. I am addicted to blogs and social media. I love the poetry of Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, Rilke and Billy Collins I watch My Dinner with Andre every January as a ritual I don’t drink enough water. I love my computer I hate to vacuum. I do not like hydrangeas. I love the Sierra Mts. I dislike the name “Debbie.” I have read all of Proust. I love yoga I like to fly kites. I have never smoked a cigarette. I cry at movies. I only watch really crappy TV. I wear a size 8 shoe. I hate the smell of burnt toast. I love catalpa trees. I speak no foreign languages. I love to drive. I hate clowns. I love roller coasters. I hate country music. I do not like the sound of bagpipes. I hate shaving. I love Brie. I love to watch water move. I hate plastic cutlery I love my Kindle I do not love my phone I love sitting up to my neck in hot water.

One thought on “Notice Your Life!

  1. I just sent this out to a couple of my favorite people. One youthful and entering an entirely new opportunity in life. She needs some lists. The other to my favorite friend. She has lists, but I want her to re-evaluate what she wants to send out there in the universe. Thank you for the awakening, Kath.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s