My name used to be “HAVE TO” Freeman. In junior high and high school, I lived my life in a way I thought I SHOULD to be well-liked, to be successful, to be one of the cool kids and, as I grew up, to be one of the cool adults. I had a long “SHOULD LIST”for being a highly successful man and was determined to follow it. (I still have this “SHOULD LIST” in the back of my mind. But am much less determined to follow it these days.)
What is on your “SHOULD LIST”for being a highly successful adult?
As I love to say in this blog, (along with the love and teachings of my parents and many others), Laughter Yoga, hatha yoga, creative writing, and countless miles of walking are some of the miracles that have allowed me to move from experiencing a life of disability to experiencing a life of radiant ability.
Part of the miracle of these activities is that I Love To Do Them. However, none of these activities were on my “SHOULD LIST” for being a highly successful adult.
For example, I have been known to take fourteen hatha yoga classes a week at Pilgrimage of the Heart, the studio where I’m a member.
Do I do this because I wake-up in the morning and think, “Oh there are so many things I would rather be doing, but I better go to two yoga classes today because people say it’s supposed to be good for me. I SHOULD REALLY GO!”
No, not at all! I go to two yoga classes a day because I LOVE yoga, I LOVE the benefits I see from yoga, I LOVE the studio I go to, and I LOVE my teachers and my fellow students.
Yoga has become a miracle in my life because I have done it over and over again. IN A WAY YOU COULD SAY I’VE ALLOWED YOGA TO BE A MIRACLE IN MY LIFE BECAUSE of MY PARTICIPATION IN IT.
Another part of this miracle is that yoga brings me JOY AS I DO IT.
We can work hard at achieving health and achieving our dreams by doing things we think we SHOULD do. The world is full of endless ideas, and endless things that have worked for other people. People might tell us that we SHOULD do such and such to achieve such and such result. But the only SHOULD that actually makes us do something is the SHOULD we tell ourselves.
Each one of us is ultimately responsible for finding the activities that we love to do, the activities that bring us both joy and the results we want.
I’ve found that it can be unsettling to pursue the things we love to do because it often challenges and can change our definition of what it is to be a highly successful adult.
As you move from your “SHOULD LIST”to your “THINGS I LOVE TO DO LIST,” I found that life can change and expand in unpredictable ways. These changes can be exciting and at the same time occasionally daunting.
To keep in mind the direction I want to go, rather than “No Pain, No Gain”, my motto has become “FIND JOY, FIND GAIN.”
The journey from “No Pain, No Gain” to “FIND JOY, FIND GAIN.” is the journey from “I’m doing this because I SHOULD” to “I’m doing this because I LOVE TO,” the journey from struggling with your life to loving your life, the journey from being your own SHOULD-maker, to being your own MIRACLE-maker.
This journey can be a life-long adventure.
Game of the Day
What’s currently on your “THINGS I LOVE TO DO LIST?”
What is your next step to finding more of “THE THINGS YOU LOVE TO DO?”
Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska. He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset. For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com