Remember that scene from City Slickers? The one where Curly tells Mitch the meaning of life?
Here’s the clip:
I’ve been thinking about that clip a lot lately. I know my one thing. But I’m very good at putting my one thing off, or frustrating it, or setting up road blocks to make it harder to achieve.
Am I the only one who does this? Am I the only one who thinks there’s something really kind of scary about actively pursuing your dream? Because…well…what if I achieve it? It’s that whole fear of the unknown thing. Or maybe it’s fear of success.
On my desk I have a framed copy of Marianne Williamson’s “Our Deepest Fear”. Have you read it? It begins:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
And later it reads:
“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”
Bingo! Cue lightbulb.
Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time — and most of my creative energy — on work that is something other than my one thing. And while the work was at one point satisfying, it recently took on a vampire quality. It’s been sapping my energy with little in return. That’s a hefty exchange: I give my creative energy for…next to nothing. Not a good investment.
Pearls before swine? Maybe.
Here’s what I’m learning about creativity: When you are pursuing your one thing, your creativity increases. It builds on itself. It multiplies and grows. It flourishes. When you ignore it, push it down, or squander it, it withers and dries up. Dies.
The other night, my husband made me a deal. He said, in essence, “Give up that other work and put all your effort into your one thing. If the one thing pays off, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll still be happier than you are now, because you’ll have been living your one thing. And also, regardless of the outcome, I love you and support you.”
Now that’s a good exchange.
Time to make my one thing my one thing.
What’s your one thing? Are you pursuing it? Are you making good investments with your creative energy? Do you frustrate your own dreams? I’d love to hear from you.