You’ve anxiously anticipated this moment for years – the very zenith of your existence thus far. Perhaps it’s the culmination of years of study, the birth of a long-anticipated child, the attainment of that career goal you’ve stretched for years to reach. Exuberance bubbles within your belly and you feel like a million dollars as you snatch that moment, The Moment, in a selfie.
Hurry now; you must hurry. Your fingers know the way. Ugh, why is this app taking so long to open? Finally, you apply the appropriate filters, and your most prized moment is thrown onto the stage of social media to be quickly reduced to a smattering of digital likes as your “followers” mindlessly swipe and tap, swipe and tap. Maybe, just maybe, even your sweet grandma will throw in a comment you’re too embarrassed to acknowledge in such a public domain.
The moment of elation quickly subsides and you return hollowly to your life as the addict we’ve all become – looking for the next moment to share, the next hit.
We’ve all been there. We’re all there nearly every moment of the day. Our generation is defined by such needs. Where do we turn for meaning?
- Discover Your Passion
- Open Yourself to Serve
- Return to Nature
Find Something You’re Actually Passionate About
“Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!” whispered Robin Williams to the young men in Dead Poet’s Society. When the last time you felt your life had true meaning? I get the feeling, if you’re like me, that we often are satisfied with that fleeting feeling of “good”, but not truly meaningfully and soulfully fulfilled. Take a moment with me and think back to that moment when you were a child and, for the first time, recognized something you were truly passionate about. For my two-year old it’s firetrucks. He eats and sleeps by, talks and dreams about his firetrucks to no end. What was your first passion? Now, think to your present self. In the rush to “adulting”, what passions have you let slip by. What would it take to reach out and seize them again? Do it; do it now.
Open Yourself to Serve
Lou Holtz said, “Never tell your problems to anyone… 20 percent don’t care and the other 80 percent are glad you have them.” I sat and thought to myself about how much I really cared about the likes I throw out each day on my Instagram account. I go by the philosophy that likes are cheap and that, for my generation, they feel like a warm handshake or pat on the back. But that’s just it – they’re cheap and ubiquitous. In economics, an oversupply creates a decrease in value. Starting now, challenge yourself to open your eyes to any opportunity to truly lift others around you. I was surprised when I stopped to actually notice people for the first time. There’s a lot more going on out there than we realize. Try it; try it now.
Return to Nature
Have you ever watched children play outside on a summer day? I know you can see it in your mind right now. It’s that image in a TV show or movie that brings familiar nostalgia back from the good old days. What was it about those moments of childhood bliss? Try going off the beaten path every once in a while in life and connecting to yourself again. Are you still that person you once fell in love with? Look, it’ll probably be sort of uncomfortable the first few times. I’ll admit, at first, I didn’t particularly enjoy the awkwardness upon meeting myself again. Now, I relish those moments to be outside on a walk or run, either in the mountains or just around the neighborhood. So many hours are spent either at our desks or inside glued to screens and distracted. Break away from it. Run! You’ll find meaning in those moments of self-reflection you never could have expected.
Seize that passion with the all the force you have. Open yourself to serve others; then watch as you’re the one ultimately served. Return to your roots and you’ll discover again where true bliss lies.
Follow your bliss.