A little while ago, I asked if you guys would be interested to read something about my thoughts in the Ralph Waldo Emerson Pledge. You said yes. ;o) So here we go!
I have been receiving emails with little thought exercises for the past week and I thought I would give you a little rundown of what I've done so far.
If you are just joining, here's what you'll want to know:
The exercises in the past seven emails I've received all came tied to a little quote from RWE and can be split into four main categories:
- Feelings about your personal development
- Making you realise how important self reliance is
- Helping you develop a vision
- Helping you to overcome your fears to achieve that vision
My favourite exercise from the first category:
a) What would you say to the person you were five years ago?
b) What will you say to the person you will be in five years?
This is what I wrote:
a) Don't change a thing. Savour it with all your heart. Let go. Don't be afraid. Grow up. And then, don't. It will be alright
b) Don't change a thing. Savour it with all your heart. Let go. Don't be afraid. It is alright.
Now that really was a tough one! I realised I feel a little bit dissappointed with myself when I look back because I always wanted to do a lot of stuff and never got around doing half of all the things because of excuses, fears, whatever... Therefore, I'm afraid of what I'll think of myself in five years. Will I have done better? Will it still feel the same?
At the same time, I realise I've done quite a lot of cool things that I like remembering, met great people and learned a lot from all different kinds of experiences that I'd never want to miss. So in the end, I wouldn't really change anything and I trust that life will hold the right things for me in the future, too.
Category number two is my pet peeve. One of the texts said:
Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to get every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen.
This freaks me out. I was born with these letters imprinted on the inside of my head, with these words circling through my veins. Even as a child I had a really bitter and alerting awareness of this truth and it is the reason I have never felt like I truly achieved anything in my life so far.
So apparently what I do is not get motivated and busy seeing the impending deadline, on the contrary: I panick and try to play dead like the rabbit in the flashlight.
Man, how I hate that!
The third category was the most attractive to me at the moment. You see, since a few weeks I am pretty certain of the direction I want my life to take. But it's all still outlines and it's hard to decide which things are truly important and worth focusing on and which ones are just a fad or mood thing and should be faded out a bit in the picture of my life. I think I'll try and concentrate on building a vision this weekend (I decided to take Sunday off screen and really do something else; dreaming and meditating sounds like a great idea to me!)
This is the exercise I most identify with:
Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?
Finally, there were some ideas on how to overcome your fears. When it comes to realising a vision, most of us face great difficulties. It's only natural: There's so much to be lost! Most of the time, our fears aren't even conscious and play mean tricks on us. They let us make up excuses on why we can't realise our dreams just now. Time, money, social responsibility, incapability... we can always find a reason.
Isn't it sad that our fears have such power over us?But here's one thing I wanna try:
Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself. How will you surprise yourself this week?
I will check back on this topic sometime on Sunday or early Monday to tell you what came out of my indulging in these questions.
Do you have a vision for your life? Have you always known a purpose in life? Or are you, like me, struggling to find one? Do you just live in the moment and not bother so much about the future or a possible sense behind it all?
I would love to hear your thoughts!