How many times during a given day do you start a thought with “I wish…”? It is so easy to do.
I wish I had enough money to buy a home.
I wish I had a better job.
I wish I had the money to go to explore the greatest wonders of the world.
I wish I could buy the LA Dodgers. (Who wouldn’t want to buy a baseball team?)
I wish I was married.
I wish he/she was my spouse.
I wish I had that opportunity.
I wish I was in first class. (I really do wish this; I barely have room to type!)
As a good friend used to tell me when I was many years younger, “Don’t wish your life away.”
It is so easy to get caught up in the moment of thinking our life would be so much better if only we had something or someone else. We wish for it all to be easier, better, bigger.
The problem, usually, is that we just wish… no real action, just wishful thoughts, leading to wasted energy, twisted frustration, and frayed energy.
Wishing is really like a birthday cake wish. We see it all decorated so nicely. Thick, sweet icing swirled all around, and there are brightly lit candles making it glimmer with hope and desire. It is begging us, drawing us in to think hard about the biggest wish we could ever possibly receive. We then blow the candles out, and the wish disappears with the rising smoke. The party is over; the wish seemingly forgotten, ignored.
Life’s wishes usually enter a similar fate – an unused spur of inspiration. We move drudgingly through what our “normal” life is. Our worthwhile wishes lie spent, lifeless.
Wishing is disheartening.
Wishing is materialistic or self-centered (usually).
Wishing is a lazy way through life.
Rather than wishing, we need to engage our spirit, identify our abilities, do worthwhile things, and don’t ever stop.
Engage our spirit
An elegant phrase that may ring hollow… Engage our spirit. The reality: it is digging into our inner self and quieting our distractions to really hear what our purpose or calling is. It does not need to replace our work life necessarily, although it should definitely supplement it.
What inspires us? What will inspire others? What will really make a difference?
Will those new dinner plates matter in the end? Will that nip or tuck really matter in the end? Will the new Maserati race us to a purposeful end?
It is too bad that old adages become tired and meaningless, because it is true that when lying on our deathbed, I doubt we will say I wish I had purchased that Rolex watch two years ago.
Focus on what the voice inside is really trying to grab your attention with. Listen for it. Engage it.
Identify our abilities
We all have gifts. It may be whizzing through mathematical formulas. It may be designing wonderful things. It may be writing – beautifully, inspiringly. It may be delivering speeches that bring people to their feet and sharpen their spirits.
We have a mind. Think about our abilities.
We have feelings. Tap into what warms our heart.
We have skills and knowledge. Pinpoint what we really enjoy.
Make a list. If you meditate, center your thoughts. If you pray, seek guidance. If you visualize, imagine your life movie. Do your thing to grasp your abilities that light your spirit up!
Spend the time. Identify your inspiring abilities.
Do worthwhile things
Whatever those gifts, use them fully. Put them into action – in your workplace, in your extracurricular space. Make good use of your abilities; make lives better.
Develop the plan on how to match your engaged spirit with your identified abilities.
Enliven the plan by doing it, living it. Now.
Don’t ever stop
Roadblocks will happen. Deal with them.
Some people will get in the way. Go around them.
Time will pass quickly. Carve out the time to do the worthwhile things.
You will grow old. Keep doing.
There will be distractions. Stay focused.
In the end, you will not utter the word “wish” at all. Your engaged life will be the gift, and all – including yourself – will say “thank you.”
Join the Conversation
Do You Wish Your Life Away?