Can You Imagine Not Doing What You Were Born to Do?
“The hero’s journey for me is having the courage to look within yourself and say, ‘What am I here to do? What am I most passionate about in my life? What are my greatest gifts? How do I give them to the world?'” ~ Brian Johnson
Self-realization is a huge topic for all of us. We try to live a happier life full of passions, as we see that the life we were told to live doesn’t really work, and we notice that wanting to be somebody else doesn’t work either. It only exacerbates the struggles we’re having anyway.
I notice that even if on the surface of life things are okay, I still often find myself lost in life and that something is bothering me deep within. Then I ask myself questions like:
What do I love? Where am I good at? What do I enjoy doing? Do I see myself doing my current job for another 40 years, day in and day out? What do I actually want? What ‘Me’ would be satisfying for ‘Me’ years from now?
Can I imagine not doing what I actually would like to do?
We mostly grow up wanting to be somebody (else). Logically, we mostly grow into somebody else. From the time we are born, we are expected to become a socially approved person.
Our parents, who don’t know any better, try to do their best, by manipulating us into certain professions and ways of living. They tell us things like “If you don’t study, you will be cleaning streets” (What’s wrong with that?) or “To be somebody, you have to prove yourself in the society” (really?). We grow up with a mindset full of anxieties.
Mostly, we have no chance to make our own decisions and draw our own conclusions, by looking deep within and asking ourselves what we want and love. Often we don’t even try to achieve most of our dreams because we were taught what is right, and preprogrammed with fears, being quite sure that our dreams are insane.
We go the safe way, which is approved by the society, and are led by plenty of excuses for why we don’t or can’t follow our heart.
What if somebody would’ve told us that the highest, most economical and success-oriented goal is to become more of who we are, and that we should strive to become the best we can be, instead of striving to be somebody else’s project? What if we try to answer the question, just for ourselves: What is there I cannot imagine not doing?
What if we would live by the following truth: I am me, not a profession, not an identification number, not a brand, not somebody else’s project or hobby, and I have my own, individual desires and dreams, which I cannot imagine not following.
Realizing and feeling through this truth is freedom to me. I am me, with my own crazy desires which seem senseless to others, and it’s wonderful.
I used to be worried about having a profession, a job, being somebody in the society, looking a certain way (still sometimes am), behaving a certain way, but now all I do is heal myself from the education I got from the first day of my birth. And the healing process takes time.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a great family and loving parents, but they taught me what they learned from their own experience and lives, so I can’t blame them even if sometimes I’d like to. Society and life imprinted fears into my mind which aren’t mine. They just prescribed what is right for me, and tried to hold me back from what I actually love.
Just a stupid example: If I don’t follow my dreams, I will be unhappy. When I’m unhappy, I will go buy a lot of unnecessary stuff, and watch on TV how well other people live. When I’m unhappy, I crave sugar. I learned that if I feel bad, a chocolate cake will make me feel better (well, it does, but only if enjoyed, and not eaten to soothe the suffering).
All of it is good for the system, that is why it does everything to shift our focus from ourselves towards some illusions of happiness.
What drives me today? The fear of having regrets for not having done, or even tried, the things I love. This fear is dominating my life now, and kicks my ass every day to let go of all the other fears of not having safety, financial stability or social approval.
The fears of regretting, and not diving into my potential, stand above all the other fears. And there’s no other option other than just doing what I love and seeing what happens. I have to try the things I believe in today, even if they change tomorrow. But I cannot imagine not trying and not leaping into it.
The truth is, I’m still not earning a dime with writing or cooking. My singing gigs pay well, but aren’t enough to provide financial stability. I sing covers, not my own songs. So practically, I don’t earn with singing either. But I know that having the courage will eventually lead me to something bigger, so I put my heart and soul into my passions.
Financial stability didn’t make me happy anyway, and I don’t believe in social safety, so I don’t have anything to lose.
If we reflect on our lives, and ask ourselves honest questions about who we are and who we want to be, about how to get there, about what stands in the way, about what we really, really love, what would be the answer? What would be the biggest regret if we didn’t do something we desire?
What can we not imagine not doing in this one, quite short life we have?
I feel good realizing that I’m in the process of learning not to have to pretend to be somebody else. I experiment with all possible versions of myself, eliminating those which I don’t like and living more of those which I adore. I talked to my wonderful, delightful mentor Rick Gabrielly, the Marriage Boss, and he pointed out, even quoted me, things I told him without consciously realizing that I’m saying them. And I’m standing behind every single word.
“I cannot imagine not singing.”
“I cannot imagine not cooking.”
“I cannot imagine not writing a book.”
“I cannot imagine not writing my blog.”
“I cannot imagine not being independent.”
“I cannot imagine not learning and speaking new languages.”
“I cannot imagine being the same person I was yesterday.”
“I cannot imagine not creating anymore for the fear of somebody judging me.”
“I cannot imagine not connecting and interacting with my readers.”
“I cannot imagine not living a fulfilled life, even if I feel hurt, broken or low now.”
“I cannot imagine being stuck in one idea, passion, box, nationality, emotion, country, language or profession.”
I also cannot imagine working within four walls, where all of my creativity and ideas will die, and I cannot imagine a life without my passions and freedom, in any sense of the word freedom — mental, physical and creative. I intend to follow my dreams instead of creating a life full of regrets with my own hands. I commit to be the best I can. Yes, there is a lot of courage needed to be what we are born to be, but isn’t it worth it?
Isn’t it worth it to make this life the best life on earth for ourselves?
What is there that you cannot imagine not doing in this life? What is the biggest wish you’ve always had? What would you regret not doing the most if you didn’t even try it? What is your biggest desire for yourself?
And above all, what is holding you back?
I’d love to hear your opinion on this topic and all the struggles which are attached to it.
Olga Chirkova was born in St. Petersburg and moved to Germany when she was nine. She believes there is no journey which is more difficult than the journey to your own true nature. It can be hard, painful, confusing, but it’s worth it. It is the most beautiful and honest journey there is. Come with her on the journey on her blog.