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It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stress of everyday life: deadlines to meet, schedules to keep, unexpected expenses, conflicts to resolve, illness of loved ones, to name a few. Amidst all this, it is easy to for me to lose sight of why I do what I do ? my purpose for being. I discovered my passion and my purpose over seven years ago. It was the catalyst for starting my business, The Center for Balanced Living in 1996. It is what led me to my purpose which is to empower you to live out your dreams with ease and abundance. Sometimes I get caught up in the external factors and forget to focus on what is really important. It is then that I must remind myself why I am here. It is a grounding place for me.
I teach my clients to look to their life for their passions and purpose. That is certainly where mine came from and I have found it to be true for many others. A lot of different threads weave through my story, but the most obvious and first I can remember centered around my life while I was growing up, and most specifically my dad. I’d like to share that story with you now.
I always had the impression my dad was unhappy. Actually, miserable is more the way I would describe him. He was mostly unhappy about his jobs . . . all of them that I can remember. I vividly remember my dad coming home from work, with his shoulders hunched over and his head hanging low. He would walk right past a mosaic picture of horses pulling a carriage through the snow.
Looking exhausted and sad, he would sit down at the kitchen table and say to my mom, ?Charlie (that?s what he called her), I can?t take it anymore. I want to quit my job!? And I can remember my mom, who was looking after our security and well-being in the best way she knew how, saying, ?Just hang in there Mac. Stick it out! We need the money!? And I can remember thinking, ?Yeah! Hang in there! We need the money!? We didn?t have much money in those days.
This story repeated itself year after year, as my dad persevered. The last two years of his career were literally a countdown to retirement at age 65. My dad retired at age 65. Two years later, he did some introspective thinking at the prompting of his daughter. At age 67, my dad declared himself an artist. I can still remember the moment he told me. My eyes got teary as I recalled the beautiful, mosaic picture on their living-room wall.
You see my dad made that mosaic picture, but I never saw him working on it. He created it before I was born. It was a beautiful mosaic, made of thousands of small hand-cut tiles. My dad had always been an artist but had suppressed that talent for most of his life while he strove to earn a living for his family. He worked in the garment industry in New York, and then the carpet industry in Florida. I often wonder what would have been possible if my dad had worked out a way to utilize his artistic abilities in his jobs. He had always been a good employee; he might have been a happy one too.
For a while my dad was happier than I had ever seen him. He carved wood etchings and gave them away as gifts. He traveled to places he had never seen. He also made more money in his investments than he did at his jobs. I am glad he had that short time period when he was happy. Unfortunately, it wasn?t too long before my dad?s health started to decline. Eventually, he lost patience and could no longer focus on his artwork. And right now, he is not strong enough to travel. My dad waited until he retired to do what he loved. It was a small time window in the whole continuum of his life. That is why, more than ever, I strongly urge people to move forward now — don?t wait until you retire to do what you love. We all tend to live as if we have forever, but really, who knows our time allotment?
Are you doing what you love to do?
If not, what is one action step you can take today to move you forward?
Do you know your purpose in life? If so, take the time today to get re-grounded in it. If not, take the time to reflect on what you want to contribute in this lifetime. Consider hiring a coach to help you discover that.
Article by Stacey Mayo. Stacey Mayo founded the Center for Balanced Living in 1995 as a vehicle for carrying out her life’s work and has since supported thousands of people in making their dreams come true. She is author of “I Can’t Believe I Get Paid To Do This! “: Remarkable People Reveal 26 Proven Strategies for Making Your Dreams a Reality.
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