This is an extract from an email written by a friend/collaborator when I was in Vienna back in 2011. The email came quite unexpectedly but just at the right time. I remember waking up to it on a beautiful Friday Viennese morning with the sun shining brightly into my lofty hotel room. I became incredibly awed when I read the last two lines of text. It was my ‘aha’ moment.
Just do what you love. Eat what you love. Be with who you love. Buy what you love. Follow what you love. Love what you love.”
It is wonderful to know how simple and elegant our lives can be when we fully practice it. Instead, we make up rules and excuses to deny and distant ourselves from the things we love and enjoy doing. Coming to the realisation that we need to give ourselves full permission to be raw, honest and vulnerable to our own self was a profound experience for me. Every time when I can’t make a decision or when I’m unsure of myself, I try to answer this question as honestly as I can, ‘what is it that you truly love?’. By digging deep from within, we become more aware of our deepest desires but also the amazing ability of the mind to overcomplicate decision making and rationalise in an unhealthy way.
I have taken the advice to heart, sometimes possibly a bit too far — as being extreme in any case is never good — but it has liberated me from the fears, judgment and burden of external expectations. In the acting world, there’s a mantra of ‘don’t complain, don’t explain.‘ Choices are deeply personal. We are accountable to ourselves and don’t need to explain our choices and decisions to anybody else. Let society figure it out by showing them what you can achieve through your actions over time.
Some people are motivated by money, others by prestige and status. Then there are the crazy ones who are motivated by passion, by following their heart, and working on what they truly love spending time on. It’s hard to explain the simple joy one experiences even with the most tedious, mundane tasks when they contribute to a larger mission. Some of the world’s greatest works get incubated because there is that tingly feeling, somewhere from within that drives one to the edge just to see them through. The edge is where happiness meets greatness. If you are satisfied with all three then I think you are very lucky. Nevertheless, I think being fully satisfied with where one is at — is when creativity stops, and life begins to shape itself into a maximum parabolic curve. For the rare few, it’s an inflection point, a call to a greater mission, much larger than his or herself.
Some of the most exciting moments in my life is by following what I love. It’s that voice inside of us that says, “this is a sign! I should look further into it.” I look back at random memories such as hopping on a bus to D.C on 2012 Election Day with great fondness as it’s a feeling I know I won’t be able to have again in a very long time. Spontaneity isn’t for everyone but it leaves us enlightened, irrespective of the outcome of the event, as it’s the closest we could ever get to making decisions from intuition.
Our ancestors were great at following their intuition. It helped them to navigate through oceans and to the new lands, beyond their wildest dreams. I think it is time for us to trust our own even more, trust the dots will connect and to trust what we love. We need to give ourselves permission to explore and navigate through the realm of our subconscious mind, to be cognisant of what we truly love and to love it even more because after all, life is fragile, unpredictable and impermanent.
So take those words. Port them into your subconsciousness. See what comes out on the other side…you might be surprised.