I recently attended a national convention for one of my side businesses and really did learn a lot. Here are the top three points:
1) Don't ever suffer from ITC disease. That's "I'm Too Cool" or what we sometimes refer to as "Too Cool For School." The telltales signs of this disease are closed-mindedness, unwillingness to learn, and cockiness that masks insecurity. If you're still alive, you've got something to learn.
2) Don't die with your art still in you. Each of us has a gift to give the world. If we're so busy focusing on our weaknesses so that we can be really good at mediocrity, we are ripping the world off. Instead of working to bring your weaknesses up, get really good at your strengths. That's artistry. What if Michelangelo had compared himself to Beethoven? He probably wasn't a great musician. If he would have slaved over harpsichord lessons instead of painted and sculpted, the world would be a much different place. Sing your own song, whatever that song may be.
3) Live while you're alive. The last song of the weekend was "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi which stated very clearly that it's now or never. None of us is going to live forever, so we must choose to live while we're alive. After all, it's MY life.
Maybe it's because I'm beginning to realize my own mortality or maybe it's because I'm noticing that I haven't accomplished some of the dreams I have on my "someday" list. It's occurring to me that every day is someday and if I haven't done all I can in that day, I may not get another chance.
I watched "Last Holiday" with Queen Latifah on TBS last night and it really hit me that I may not get another chance to do the things on my bucket list. Wishful thinking is not the same as riskful thinking, so I need to get into action about some of the ideas I've had over the years. I think I've been waiting for someone else to turn those ideas into reality and it's occurring to me that perhaps if I don't do something about them, they won't happen. Maybe those are my ideas and my ideas only until I share them with someone else.
So I pledge to actually live my life, not just let it happen to me. Each day I will consciously affect the world positively, whether that's with a group, with an individual, or even just in the actions I take in my own life.
How do you plan to live your life so that when you are nearing the end of your time here, you can exit gracefully, knowing you did what you came here to do?
There's no time like the present.