Last week, I reflected on who I am being today as it would be described in my eulogy. A few days later I had a friend email me a blog post written by Beverly Flaxington with a different perspective:
If today were my last day on Earth and I could share 500 words of brilliance with the world, here are the important things I’d want to pass along to others…
In our Twitter-crazed, attention-deficit world, 500 words could get lost. Here’s my challenge to you–if you were given one chance to share 250 words or less with the world, what would you say? What piece of wisdom do you hold that if you shared it, it could make a difference? What have you experienced that could yield a great lesson for others?
I had lots of ideas. This is what I came up with today:
I don’t know who first said these words, but the advice is, “Take your work seriously but take yourself lightly.” As an achievement-driven woman, I have often lost my sense of self to my work. My identity then gets wrapped up in the applause I’m hoping to get for the brilliant work I put out. This leaves me vulnerable to judgment; I rely on others to tell me that I’m important. I am only happy when I feel seen.
Although we humans like to feel seen, heard and recognized, this is a never-ending exhausting pursuit. You can’t see what makes you feel incredible in the present. You can’t truly appreciate the fruits of your efforts regardless of what your critics say.
I want for you to take yourself lightly even as you work with passion and intensity. When you are overwhelmed with work or worried about the future, can you stop and be gentle with yourself? Can you laugh at your big fat dreams as much as you hope they will come true?
Step back and be your own guardian angel. What would she want you to feel right now? Learn how to hear this lighter voice, the one that is often overshadowed by the voices that push you to do more.
You can do more. And you can enjoy the journey in the process. When you balance your passion with a “lightness of being” you can remember what is most important to you no matter what people say.
What about you? What words would you like to leave behind if you were to leave the planet today? Share them here. And share what doors this exercise opened for you.