If I could wish anything for my family and friends, and even strangers – is to live a life of passion. It has been said that doing what you like is what will provide the most happiness in life. For most of our lives we are working. Yet most go through the motions to obtain a paycheck. Then they go home turn on the TV or the computer and indulge in the news or entertainment of the world – other people’s worlds. Get busy making your own world. Over the years I have found solace in many forms:
- Exercise and sports – I’m 54, but I still have passion for shooting basketball and playing tennis. I have a desire to stay fit and trim, to beat the odds that I won’t be a sedentary senior. I’d rather go out in life young pushing that limit than to be pushed around in wheelchair.
- Gardening – I live in Norman, OK. Not necessarily a place of natural beauty, but with effort and passion I can watch plants bloom to fill the green and brown void with various color. Create your own paradise.
- Travel – We have this world created for us filled with immense beauty. I have a passion to see these great natural wonders and to set out on unexplored paths, but if I can’t I find places nearby.
- Passionate People – nothing is greater than being surrounded by people who are passionate about life. If you stop and listen to them you will hear them tell their stories with a glow on their face. Then after listening to them, they will want to know about you. You cannot expect to have these friends if you cannot give them a moment of your time, no matter the distance between you. When you go out of your way to see people, you are telling them, “You are special to us.”
- Guitar Playing and Singing – I am not a great player or particularly great singer, but I love to try to figure out the chords to a favorite song or how high I can pitch my voice. I would dance, but I am crappy dancer.
- Drawing – Ever since I was a young child I have enjoyed drawing what my mind sees.
- Writing – I may not be great writer, but I do have a great imagination. I find peace putting those thoughts into a story, short or long. Take a chance at poetry. I can entertain myself without the use of technology.
None of these require any great deal of money. What they do require is the sacrifice of your time. You have a choice, to work yourself to death for material possessions or to live life. Yes, some people are willing to risk the loss of time for these possessions. In my experience through life I can say I have never met a truly passionate and happy wealthy person. Their time is more concerned with the maintenance of that wealth than actually enjoying all that wealth can provide. As a CPA I have seen people stress over taxes as though they might lose an arm or a leg. Take all your allowable deductions, pay your taxes and then get busy living a passionate life. When you bring your stress to a CPA, we become stressed.
For 30 years I sacrificed my time for career, family and yes, even for material pursuits. All I accomplished was lost time and money. I used that money to help others and rarely was it appreciated. Now as I move into the last productive years of my life all I truly have left is time and now it is fleeting faster than a jet.
So as you consider your current phase in life ask yourself if you are using your time wisely and passionately. Do you have something that provides beauty to the eyes? Have you played an old tune, danced and sung to it lately? Have you taken time to write a story or learned to play a musical instrument? Have you exercised and stretched those aching muscles? Finally, have you surrounded yourself with those of common interest and passion and laughed so hard you almost wet your pants? These are the moments in life I treasure more than anything. I live passionately for the next moment. All other events in human history I have no control and to be anxious of those moments is to be foolhardy. Age brings about wisdom.
Sing your own tunes, giggle at your own book,
The more you smile and laugh, the more people look.
They may gossip, they may even be mad,
be the example of a life to be had.
Plant a seed and watch it flower,
wash away doubts from a cool spring’s shower.
A journey in a world exists in your mind,
cast away excuses and find the time.
Never lose faith or your compassion,
but live your life and do so with passion.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson