Last week I told you the story of a local chocolatier who left her corporate job to pursue her passion. She reignited her childhood dream, punched fear in the face and did it. And her chocolates are damn good, I tired one. So how do we change our desires into real-life enjoyment? Turning what we desire into something we actually do requires some alchemy. And it ain't easy, which is why most people don't do it. It takes courage and discipline and leaves no room for self-doubt. This is where Elvis comes in: A little less conversation, a little more action.
One of my all time favorite books, Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield, is a follow-up to an equally amazing book authored by Pressfield, The War of Art. In it we get the low down on being an alchemist in our own lives and going from amateur to pro. The amateur is the one that has ideas but doesn't follow through. The pro turns dreams into a life well lived. Pressfield turned pro a while ago when he went from tractor driver to master writer, penning The Legend of Bagger Vance and many other well known novels. What Keeps Us From Taking Action First order of business - identifying resistance. Resistance is the Grim Reaper of our dreams. It's something we all battle on a daily basis. It masks itself as fear, self-doubt and self-sabotage. It keeps us from living out our ultimate happiness. It keeps us chasing things like fame, approval, fortune, and addiction (Not just alcohol or drugs. TV, Facebook, love, our children etc. can be inserted here too.) Resistance doesn't shut the pro down, resistance points the pro to the next step. The pro leaves out all need for outside approval, instant gratification, distraction and excuses. The pro isn't messing around. Starting a business, changing careers, doing that thing you've always wanted to but never dared to means stepping it up and going from amateur to pro. It means no more excuses. It means less talking and more action. It means trading the comfortable life in for one that is disciplined. It means choosing your work over social hour. It means not fearing being left out or missing out. It means no more blaming. It means no more hiding who you really are. It means cutting people out of your life who bring you down. It means not giving up. It means a life fulfilled. This all may sound pretty tough and no fun at all, but if you've got a dream inside of you - like you did when you were a child - a dream that involves art or service just for the joy of it, then you've got that thing that trumps the inconveincences getting there may bring. You've got that thing that makes your spirit come alive, and that is worth more than any happy hour, approval or ego boost you will ever experience. Living our purpose translates to the ultimate fulfillment in the here and now. Getting Started Set your intention - clearly claim your desire. What do you want to do? Write it down, dream about it, let it come fully into your consciousness. Cut out the fat - identify what consumes you that doesn't get you to your dream and toss it. This can be scary, especially if it involves quitting a job or way of life. Set up a plan - allocate time everyday to accomplishing your goals. This is where the discipline comes in. Be true. Get an example -Sometimes the best way to gain courage is to see who else has done what you want to do. You don't want to copy them, but learning from them will make it seem not so impossible. Play the part - act like you're there. If this means you can't run around in work-out clothes all day because you really want to be running a successful charity, then don't. Step up your game by acting like you're already there. Reality will catch up to you. Start before you're ready - Start now. You'll never be ready, at least your ego won't let you believe you're ready, so just start now.
I also highly recommend reading The War of Art and Turning Pro. Both books have helped me and continue to help me stay true and stay on course. Feeling brave? Set your intention below in the comments section. Stating your claim is a very powerful first step!
I can't wait to see what you do next!
Lots of love,