“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
These words changed my life. The first time I read this quote, I heard a resounding “yes!” in my mind, body, and soul and felt an incredible sense of relief. This is what I always knew to be true but couldn’t bring myself to really believe until reading this quote. For years I believed that it was my duty and obligation to selflessly submit to the responsibility of solving the suffering and destruction that exists in the world. I even believed that everyone should prioritize solving the world’s problems and anything else was just a waste of time. I dismissed my personal interests like music and creative writing as something that wouldn’t contribute to these causes and plunged into a life that ultimately led to inner disconnection and feeling overwhelmed, joyless, and occasionally depressed.
A number of influences began transforming my beliefs. This inspiring quote, being one of them, reminded me of what I have always known within the depths of my soul: the best way to contribute to the world is to passionately and sincerely pursue our innermost longings. Though I have been working to connect with these longings for years, it has only been until recently that I have found a deeper connection and am beginning my pursuit.
This authentic connection with our longings and passions is inherently a spiritual act because we are tapping into the source of what makes us fully alive and fully human. This aliveness opens us to become more connected to life in the world around us. It draws us to the place where we encounter the divine mystery. When living from this place, every act becomes a gift and contribution to the world. Though I haven’t lost any of my dedication to the social causes I care about, I now see my approach to working on them in a whole new way with an inner sense of liberation, not obligation.
Ask yourself if you are experiencing the life you have always wanted. Will you be able to look back and say to yourself that you authentically and tenaciously pursued your innermost longings at all costs? It’s never too late to change! Start TODAY connecting with your innermost longings and write one in the comment section below.
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