As children we are free to focus our playtime toward what is attractive and feels fun.
From here we develop an attraction to specific structured activities where we exhibit talents or skills.
Then children go to school and develop those talents and skills, even, if it seems right, to extra training in college or other training centers. Through this process we choose a way to spend our work time that feels as much like play as we can fit into our jobs/careers. This is that theory of following your bliss.
At least that is the plan, but what I have noticed is that somewhere along the way individuals stop driving their path; and the structure, expectation, or needs of others starts to drive that path. So instead of a person’s skills and talents guiding them to the perfect bliss-filled job other people’s expectations and desires pushes a person onto another path.
This is what I think leads to a lack of satisfaction in one’s life, to depression, and to disillusionment. A lack of motivation and people just not wanting to go to work – it’s uninteresting because it isn’t derived from an inner state of joy.
It’s a subtle, pernicious thing, related to managing outside expectations and inner needs.
The way to shift out of this is to get back into the driver’s seat of your life. And the way to do that is to bring fun, or what Depak Chopra calls bliss, back into the equation.
This seems like a simple suggestion, even obvious but it is harder than you think. People are unhappy and bored but they are also habituated to the routine of their lives. Change, even change for joy and fun, seems to be deeply resisted. Weird but true.
The best way to move over into the driver’s seat from the back seat or passenger seat of your life is to start by simply observing when you feel good and when you do not. Don’t take any action at first. Just notice and maybe even document what you are noticing.
“Do you wait for other’s goals to be presented and then fit your needs into their goals? Back seat. “Do you observe a problem, secretly or privately solve it for the other person before identifying it to them, while simultaneously doing your required work?” Passenger seat. “Do you not take the lead even when it is offered, ie: “Where do you want to go to dinner?” “Oh I don’t care, wherever you choose is fine.” Removal from Driver’s seat to Back seat. “Do you plan for and even push for your desired goals?” Driver seat.
Notice how you go about your days, your interactions with others at work and in your personal life, are you consistently putting yourself into the Back Seat of your life, even removing yourself from the Driver’s seat? Then you may want to consider what is driving that habit within you so that you can choose to move into the driver’s seat of your life.
Remember notice and document first then once you have enough information you may be able to re-choose what action you want to take in a given situation.
If your change is going to upset another’s expectation of you – then you may want to let them know about your plans for change first and to involve them in the process.
This is an enlightening process both in how it can open your eyes to your actions (bring light to the picture) as well as free you of some burdens lighten your load).
Being in the driver’s seat of your life has its own responsibilities, but what it allows you is the opportunity to connect with your authentic self and live the life you want.
See you tomorrow.
July 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm
Excellent, so true!
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