We go through life being conditioned to how life is supposed to be and what is expected from us to have a great life. And yet no one shares with us the secret that no one else knows what we need. How could they? Do they take time to get to know us and really know what is in our heart? And the irony is that most of us can easily give someone else advice and yet, we don't take the time to get to know ourselves.
There is constant judgement around us. There is a constant push to sameness. I went to a party recently where the hostess took a look at me and validated that I made the "right" decisions with what I wore to her gathering of women. In the past, I never would have noticed it but as I continue to go on my path of un-conditioning, I am awake and aware. So when she said: "Your blue top matches your eyes and I love those purple toes with the cool sandals," I accepted the compliment and it made me think.
Whew, I passed or did I? I dress now for comfort and what makes me happy. I no longer need the trendiest items because it is no longer about fitting in. For me, it's about being able to show up as who I am and connect with likeminded souls who want to make the world a fabulous experience for everyone.
Somehow we have been conditioned by checklists and deadlines. And that worked 200 years ago when our average life span was 40. It was easy to tick items off a checklist when the clock was ticking quickly. It made sense to ask people what would they really do with their life if they had 3-6 months to live and have a bucket list.
Today, more of us are waking up as we are living longer. We have ticked items off our checklist and are asking, "what's next?" and "this is it?" We need to be asking ourselves, what would we do if we had 100+ years to live. And life includes work. We don't need to put our lives on hold with bucket lists of doing something one day and slowly crossing it off. What if our lives could be our bucket list? What if we knew what we wanted and told ourselves we can figure out how to make it happen?
Our society conditions us to sameness. The dreaded bell curve forced us to fit in and show how well we are doing compared to others. The bell curve is dead, but many of us missed that newsflash. The opportunities today are on the edge because we can connect easily with other people through online networks and word of mouth. Anything is possible for us if we divorce ourselves from our culture of sameness and decided to shine our own light.
In my work with individuals and organizations, we work on how to unravel our deepest desires of what and who we want to be in the world, starting with our why, our purpose. It is not an easy road but it's about shifting the story we tell ourselves and the one we tell others. When we realize that trust, relationships and community are key to a life of purpose, we can simply live our bucket list instead of putting it off for some day. And we can find people in the world to join our journey.
Since each one of us needs to seek what is in our heart, I cannot prescribe what you need but I can offer some questions to get you thinking:
- Are you serving yourself or the system?
- If someone asked you "who are you" what would you tell them?
- Do you define yourself by what you do?
- What would you do if you had 100+ years to live?
- How can you live your bucket list and not put your desires on hold?
- Who can help you from your community?
- Who can help you in the world and how can you connect with them?
So we can continue to choose sameness and follow the systemic milestones put out there by others or we can pick ourselves. What do you choose?