DWYL or Do What You Love movement is everywhere around us. I feel inspired by the message that all of us have untapped potential, dreams worth gifting to the world, and that self-actualized people with both feet on the ground and eyes in the stars are simply more fun to be around.
This is why during a particularly depressing moment in my workday routine, I pounced upon the work of Scott Dinsmore at Live Your Legend. Never mind I am a decade or two older than most of his legend-building audience, and that I never started from being stifled by the emptiness of outward monetary, academic, or career success to break free and create my own path.
LYL offers gifts of bringing people together to form support teams and generously provides free tools to folks to help turn their visions into realities. As I sat with my worksheets on goal-setting, little questions kept popping into my mind:
- What if I am already living my legend?
- What if my goals are so microscopic you need a telescope to see them?
- How do I find motivation to build a better life for myself when all the things that motivate me seem to oppose success?
Aha, me thinks. These questions could be gargantuan resistance in disguise. Well then, do I feel undeserving of living a fabulous life? No. Do I have dreams I have yet to fulfill? Yes. Do I have untapped gifts to bring to the world? Yes.
But here’s the rub. What motivates me?
- Not wealth, fame, publicity. Do you know how many wealthy, famous people feel incredibly empty once they get there?
- Not fear of being alone. I have a master’s degree in alone with a smattering of enough relationships to not place false hopes of sustained happiness/contentment on them.
- Not relocation. I live in one of the most scenic environments I could ever hope to live in.
- Not the hope of raising a child. I actively cherish watching my child bloom and learning about myself through her.
- Not excelling at something. I was fortunate to learn what the drive, focused work, and accolades felt like early in life.
- Not setting goals. Isn’t life what happens while you make plans? Maybe I’ve had too many disappointments and traumas, as many of us have by the time we arrive at mid life to put 100% stake in believing I can bend life to my will by setting goals. Can I change my mindset? Yes! Can I work toward something but not count on it? Yes.
What motivates me must be service to others and connection to the Earth. Could I earn a living that incorporates both of these things? Possibly. But they are also part of my life regardless. Many people right now are hearing the cry of the Earth and wanting to make change, but outside sustainable organic agriculture, paid jobs in this arena are few and far between and the mass of like-minded people have not organized yet across skill sets.
Maybe a thread of a hero’s quest can be found through the way I have lived my life, including all my errors in judgment during times my naïve internal compass did not know any better, my rather invisible mundane job that has hovered me just above poverty line for most of my adult life yet possibly contributed to accurate medical care for hundreds of thousands of people in hospitals, my unorthodox determination to walk solo distances, and my belief through experience that we have a lot less control over our lives than we think.
My microscopic goal for today is to be at peace where I am and be compassionate with myself. That might be worthy of a legend.
[For an excellent critique on the DWYL movement – with which I only partially agree – consider this article, In the Name of Love]