The Beatles, Pat Benatar, Balance in Life, Living Life Fully, Sam Simon and Honesty
We have our hour in the sun and then we are gone.
The Beatles honed their voices, harmonies, songs, lyrics, bass guitars, lead guitars, words, feelings and zeitgeist and directed it with full hurricane force towards the expression of love and then they were gone.
When you hear John Lennon singing “Twist and Shout” – taking off his shirt to scream the song in one successful take, you are left with the experience of that hurricane – of what it must have been like, but also of possibilities for you and I to have the same hurricane force expressed in our lifetimes.
You feel the same when you hear Ms. Pat Benatar belt out her songs live, her voice at breaking point or Pavarotti singing or Paul Newman’s performance in The Verdict.
A while ago, my client, a quiet unassuming former Buddhist monk experienced that hurricane by selling his nutritional product to every single person in a packed room – by quietly but firmly confronting people with the truth about their health.
Like mostly everyone, we wish for that hurricane to be expressed fully but constantly feel disappointed, thwarted and unresolved – then we stop trying and we take on what is less risky and more comforting.
We long for just one day – one experience of that hurricane. We think it has to be loud. We think it has to be witnessed by thousands of people. So we plan for a huge concert instead of paying attention to the day to day performances.
People come to me asking me how to create balance in their lives. But really the question is how to live life fully – how to have each day be a fulfilling one even in the midst of disappointments and failures.
Here are the paradigm shifts I humbly ask you to consider as possibilities and not as truths:
- Stop looking for the huge breakout concert performance – applaud and acknowledge yourself for the day to day movements forward and the recovery from failures
- Create a context/mission that is worth working towards – and have that burn with the fire of daily practice and refinement – so it does not remain as mere words but has direct small tangible results that can build to a huge crescendo
- Notice if your complaints exist within fulfilling the context or they exist inside of something else
Mr. Sam Simon (The Simpsons’ co-creator) was diagnosed with cancer and is giving away his entire fortune. The media is ablaze with the news – I applaud this; we need news like this. However, I say that unless you live the example, this will merely be dinner time conversation for you – “Listen to what the nice dying man did”. Or it will be something you consciously choose not to do or adopt – for which I also applaud you for – there is veracity in not following blindly along like sheep.
But if you elect to live life fully, then let not this decision to do so be one of the many decisions that have gone by the wayside of resignation, boredom or chocolate-like dopamine-based distractions.
Shout it aloud from the roof tops to the people in your life – make a promise to your family and your friends about spending more time with them and then actually follow through with structures and (perhaps boring) systems that will make sure that you follow through on the promises.
Let your time in the sun be one where people ages from now will remark “She / He kept their word and that by itself is and was cool.”
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