‘The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken’ – Warren Buffett
Music: Click here to listen to one of my favorite all around bands…Dawes. They’re from California, and have been described as having a Laurel Canyon sound. The singer/guitar player has an awesome 1960’s telecaster…for all you guitar buffs out there. His brother plays drums in the band…and they have a special harmony when they sing together. Griffin, the drummer, takes hipster to a whole new level. I secretly want to be this guy for a week. Enjoy!
What inspires you? What get’s your juices flowing? Is it sports, politics, family, education, music? We all have certain experiences when we feel engaged and intrigued. And we are all so different as to what flicks that switch for us.
More and more, I’ve been trying to live closer to those things that are inspirational for me. I wonder if all of us do this enough. I know for me, for a long time…I didn’t. Whether out of fear, insecurities, self-doubt, or many other reasons, we often don’t try new things or pursue avenues we are unsure of. And that is surely something to regret. I remember reading something a while back (can’t remember the source) in which older people that were near the end of their lives…basically gave advice on how to live. Most of the regrets had to do with things they hadn’t done or tried. And the best advice was to live with passion, don’t care what others think, take more risks, and worry less. Living this way enriches our lives and creates happiness for ourselves and those around us.
Last summer, the band Dawes that I introduced above, was playing in Portsmouth, NH at Prescott Park. I found out about it last minute and asked a couple friends to go. But it was the morning of the show and no one was able to. I had really just started listening to them. I was inspired and had to see them. But I wasn’t too psyched about going alone, parking would be tough, the place would probably be packed, wouldn’t be able to find a good seat, might be too cold. These are the negative thoughts that immediately ran through my head. Something I’ve done a lot of in the past, and something I’m always working on reversing. Anyway, I showed up to a beautiful setting on the water. The place wasn’t packed at all, and I was able to sit on the grass on the right side of the stage. I was right next to that hipster drummer, and had an incredible view of everything. I felt like I had a backstage pass or something. As they played, the sun set, creating a golden glow over the park, and I knew…this was one of those inspirational moments for me. Families were dancing. The decades old guitar…ancient and full of scratches, rust, and wear, was still somehow sending out smooth and well-tuned notes. And I noticed how much effort the band was putting in to creating each song, staying in time with one another, reading cues, and making this feel like their only show…not one of many on their tour.
That experience, along with many others, has inspired me to be more ‘musical’. And I’ve created some habits to make sure that happens…because for me, it creates happiness, and it brings me closer to that passionate way of living. It’s actually really simple. Why not try to do more of the things we like doing?
Having Matilda around has totally brought light to this. The kid is always living in the moment, and as the innocence and naivety of childhood provides, simply doing the things she really wants to be doing. It’s of course a balance for us parents to allow as much of that as possible, while also showing boundaries and limitations. This seems to be a conversation I’m having everyday now. And I absolutely love it!
I feel strongly though that in order to harness your passion…to secure it and hold it for future access…you must act immediately, or soon after your inspirational experience. We have so many thoughts. So many distractions. You need to make sure to somehow follow through on your experience. This could be as simple as going home and writing a journal entry about your thoughts and feelings, and tying that in to your goals. It could be setting up another date with that person. Maybe it’s buying your first guitar. Starting to exercise more. Or starting a business! Whatever it is, use your passion as a catalyst. It will help propel you to happiness and an inspirational life that is actually tailor fit for you! It’s like being your own life coach.
Do you ever say, ‘that would be fun’, or ‘I should do that’, but then find that you have reasons or excuses or distractions that get in the way? Just the simple awareness of your thoughts surrounding this will prove to be very helpful. And I’ve said this before…mindfulness and meditation are amazing tools…especially when it comes to self-awareness. Once you are aware, you can start creating everyday habits that are directly linked to what you truly want. I believe in using routines and habits to instill these values…especially if you’re an old dog learning new tricks. I’ll share some of the routines that help me in another post.
The next time you feel emotional, passionate, truly inspired…go be it!
What does inspire you…and how do you find it in your every day? Don’t let it slip away!