Today is Valentine’s Day, and although I’m not so sure I’m in favor of the commercialization of love, it’s certainly not a bad idea to have a special day where we really reflect on what love is and means to us. (Hopefully that doesn’t mean we don’t reflect on love the other 364 days out of the year, right?).
So what is love? Well, one thing is for sure; our feelings of love (or lack of love) provide endless material for song lyrics.
But instead of discussing love between people and song lyrics, I’d like to address something very important that has very much to do with love, and is in response to one of our fellow reader’s very insightful and interesting comments to my previous blog post..
My article was about goals and giving permission to fail, and here is part of her response (read the whole thing here):
"What is the goal or the 'reason' that I want to sing?" It is good to try to permit yourself to fail, but when I think about failing, in an attempt to become better, I think about WHY do I want to work at becoming better? WHY should I think I CAN become better? WHAT is the ultimate purpose for me to do so (other than personal satisfaction for accomplishing something I could not do before). Isn't there (or shouldn't there be?) a goal in all of this? And if that goal is selfish (to become famous, more accepted by others, liked by others, make a name for oneself), then it throws me right back to feeling terrible again.
Yes, why do we do what we do? What is the purpose? I think we all battle with questions such as these from time to time.
I received another email from a customer who loves so much to sing and work on improving his singing. But at the same time he is the only person in his family who has a job and he feels guilty and selfish for spending money on what he loves to do.
I of course don’t know what the situation is here and I would not want to suggest to someone I don’t know what they should spend their time and money on. At every instant in life we must of course always consider what our priorities are.
Personally, I actually try not to ever "spend" any money. My “spendings” are always investments. For example, I don’t spend money on junk food or short term fixes that end up costing more in the long run - such as bad health. I’d much rather invest in food that has a purpose in providing me energy and health. Anyway, I digress….
What I really want to share is this:
What if we engage in what we love to do – irrelevant of what that leads to?
Is it possible that by simply being engaged in what we love to do, that engagement itself drives us to live life fuller? Is it possible that you, by being someone who seeks to do what you love to do, become a role model for others to live a happy, fulfilled, productive lives?
Is it possible that it is the person who engages in what he loves to do who also becomes more creative, productive, and a better contributor to mankind?
Are you a contributor to people when you sing in your choir, at the karaoke place, in your band, or at your family gathering? Or is it just professionals who make money who are contributors?
The difference, of course, is that the professional artist reaches a bigger audience. Yet I truly believe someone who sings in a choir can have just as great impact on an individual’s life as an artist who is world famous. By improving, by becoming more confident and able to express, you are naturally able to contribute even greater to other people’s experience.
So is it selfish to improve in the areas you love to engage in? I don’t think so.
I believe accomplishing something we couldn’t do before – whatever that something is – brings with it a far greater purpose than what we might consider “just” personal satisfaction. I believe growing as a human being, learning, and accomplishing things we couldn’t do before is the essence of life. I believe the person who wants to grow and who seeks to engage in what he or she loves to do is the best role model and source of inspiration for others.
In my opinion, nothing is more important or has a greater purpose than living with a desire to do what you love and to love what you do. The purpose does not therefore necessary lie in how good you become. The purpose lies in the fact that you are doing, that you are a person who engages in improving on what you love to do. That is how we find meaningful occupations that inspire us, and hobbies and activities that fulfill our lives. I truly believe that the world would be an even better place if everyone engaged more in what they truly love to do.
Feel free to add your thoughts below.
With lots of love,