What if you figured out what you really wanted to do with your life, your goal, your dream. Then a trusted, highly respected friend told you all you had to do was work at it for ten years and you would realize your dream. So you work for ten years and at the end of that time you’ve made progress, but still haven’t crested the wave of success you hoped for. The trusted friend says, Ten more years, then you’ll see.
So you go ten more years and you’re still not receiving the notice, the glory, the money you expected. You do the math. Twenty years! On the other hand in that length of time you’ve seen countless others fall off their path after only five years, sometimes only a couple of years. You’ve seen them shrug and say, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for me. And your friend says, Go another ten–what have you got to lose?
What is success? What is failure? The most important ingredient of any dream is that it’s the thing you want to do-love to do. It’s your passion, it makes you happy, it makes you feel thrilled while you’re doing it. It could be playing a harmonica, baking a cake, painting landscapes, or water skiing. It doesn’t matter what it is. The important thing is you know what it is and you are spending some of your time doing it-loving it. (You do know what your passion is, don’t you?)
Now you’ve been writing that great novel, sculpting that glorious clay, strumming that humming guitar for thirty years and still the world of fame and glory has paid you no attention. So what? Haven’t you enjoyed yourself for all those years? Enjoyed yourself in a self-fulfilling passion nothing else on earth contains? Was not the act itself the glory, the reward?
Cautionary note. What if your goal (as it is for many) is to make millions of dollars. Maybe hit the lottery. Fifty million bucks in the bank. And it is not all that uncommon for people to have just that goal. Financial independence. Let’s call it enough money to go where you want to go when you want to go, or just stay home and do nothing. Sound familiar?
But let’s say you quit your job and stay home because of a windfall of money. Now what? You’re still left with seeking what you really want to do–your real passion. And if you don’t know what that is, what’s the point of piles of money? When the real question was always, What is my burning passion in life? Not only that, now that you are at the end of your long life, your trusted friend points at your pile of money and whispers, You can’t take it with you! And that is literally true. So what can you take with you?
What you can take with you is some very good news. You get to take your talents and your passions. If you worked for ten, twenty, thirty years on your passion, you take it with you into your next existence. You are born with a ‘gift’. Oh, he could always play the piano. Nobody taught him–he just knew. (Of course he knew! He had practiced for thirty years in an empty room, before he became a baby again!)
Why are people born with gifts? Why are there child prodigies? Oh, it’s so unfair when some are born with such talent, and others have none! (Oh? Really?)
It is time to believe in Eternity, it is time to really believe. Otherwise life is so very small and so very unfair. If you really have Eternity–literally all of Time to produce your glories, your wonders and it’s all cumulative–doesn’t that change everything? Those who believe in their own mortality will fall from their own path. Not enough time! I don’t have enough talent! You will smile and go on. Or perhaps you will be the good friend who whispers, Work it for ten years!
And you will go on with your love because you believe in Eternity. Phil