What lights you up?
Flying down a highway with the window down and wind blowing through my hair... ahhh... this is freedom to me. It brings on a feeling of opportunity and of possibility, of exploring and experiencing new things, which is a beacon to my soul.
Adventure is something that lights me up. It gets my heart racing and I feel free. It can be brought on by an image like the one above or an experience like walking along the beach and breathing in the salty air as the wind whips my hair across my face and the wash rolls over my feet. It's this feeling that I love. It drives me.
I also get this feeling when I'm talking to or reading about passionate people about what they love to do and people who are doing something different, people who are striving for their dreams and embracing their true selves unapologetically. They show a bit of wildness and mischief in what they do. They have a cheeky confidence about them and flirt with life every day.
I love this. And I love helping people uncover this side of them. It's their true self, the self that ran for hours and hours when they were a kid, the self that laughs at silly things, shows vulnerability and plays with the world around them, the adventurous and curious self that asks the cheeky question, the passionate and focussed self that sees a vision of how they want their life to be and makes it happen.
Some of what I write above may resonate with you, some of it may not. The point is that there is something that lights you up too. There is something that fills you with possibility and excitement.
What lights you up is something to fight for, pursue and bring into your life daily.
Embrace that wildness as that is where your creativity and your drive comes from. Nurture it and listen to it to see what it is telling you.
So what lights you up, do you know?
Grab a piece of paper and pen, find a comfortable and quiet place and try this simple exercise to find out.
Go back to a time when you felt truly inspired and happy and picture it in your mind, then answer:
What were you doing?
Who were you with (if with anyone)?
What were you saying to yourself?
What were you saying to the other person (if with anyone)?
Where were you?
What were you hearing?
How were you holding yourself?
What could you see?
What colours were around you?
When you've written everything that comes to mind, think back to another time that you felt inspired and ask yourself the same questions.
Do this as many times as you need until you're written every significant moment and instance that comes to mind throughout your life.
Now ask yourself, what were the similar themes in each of these moments? Circle or highlight all of the things that stand out.
And then ask, how can I bring these experiences, feelings, drive back into my life right now?
If you answered, for example, walking along the ocean, how can you get to the ocean more often? And if you live away from the ocean is there something else like a lake you can visit in the meantime?
For me, being near the ocean is important. I feel energised, inspired, and clear when I spend time by the ocean so I try and visit it as often as I can. I'll grab my laptop and work by the bay, go for walks along the bay with my pup, and I also make sure I get down to my favourite piece of real ocean along the Great Ocean Road as often as possible.
When I lived in Canberra I made sure to spend time by the lake there every week and to get down to the South Coast a few times per year. Moving to Melbourne where I can be by the sea everyday has been wonderful. Next step is to have a house by the ocean. For the moment though having the sea only 10 minutes drive away is pretty fantastic.
As soon as you know what lights you up and how, the sooner you can experience it as often as possible. Happiness is what you bring to your life everyday moment to moment (#shelovesmoments). If you can fill your moments with more of the things that light you up, the happier you can be. And yes you can start bringing these things into your work regardless of whether you work for yourself or for others.
Your world is what you make it, so make it happy.
Let me know how you go with the exercise in the comments, or if you know already, please share what lights you up what are you doing to bring it into your life everyday?