Recently I saw a reference to a poem by Emily Dickenson called “I dwell in Possibility.”
Like most things that take me by surprise, I have to admit, I did a double-take on the title. Then I thought, “I hope that I am a dweller in possibility; that I leave the door wide open to allow all possibilities that come my way to run wild without my interference so I may follow the path to whatever is waiting on the other side.”
I am guessing that possibility is not a word that gives many people much comfort. We want surety and security and not the whimsical nature of what might be possible.
You and I know many people who think they are so sure of what they want in life that they close the door to any idea of what might be possible for their future, instead of leaving the door open a crack to catch a wisp of wind on the wings of possibility that just might be wafting by.
I know we like stability–it is in our DNA to find and create comfort and build a nest and live peaceably in the kingdom–but what if we were made for more than a staid, settled, sedate life?
When was the last time you truly took off your blinders and looked around at all that is available to you if you will just pull yourself out of the comfortable rut you’ve been living in?
What if you reached back to your start in life and brought forth the memories of a time when you believed in the idea of what is possible? What is possible for your life, your work, your dreams and your future?
Please don’t dismiss today’s post as living in the past, without any value for your life today, because time after time history shows us men and women who had an amazing second half of life. Putting it bluntly, I have to say that I see so many people at my conferences who are just waiting for the golden ticket to retirement so they can go and do the things they have always dreamed of. And as I watch them teeter and totter up and down the aisles, my wish for them is that they live long enough to do what is on their bucket list before they kick the bucket.
For many, the whole idea of pursuing what is possible is just too big to comprehend, and it seems too hard to do, so they willingly bury their head in the proverbial sand and pray they weather the storm instead of pulling out a surfboard and riding the wave. Please tell me that scared person is not you. At this age and stage in your life, you cannot be that fearful of life to let it pass you by.
When we get a bit older (and don’t be lulled into thinking we are wiser) is when we begin to stop dreaming of the idea or notion or inkling that something else is out there and it is waiting for us to discover. No, too many people accept their sorry boring life for what it is. Excuses abound as to why they can’t do whatever it is that they had hoped to do.
Listen, I fully understand that if your health isn’t where you want it to be, yes, you will be at a disadvantage. Before my knee surgery, everything hurt, and now I have a new lease on life (not to mention new knees). I can honestly say that the gift of modern medicine is life-changing.
So what do you need to do, get fixed, put in place or simply dust off to find the key to your life’s possibilities?
I was curious as to what excuses most people give for not following their dreams. This list is from lifehacker.com
- I don’t know what my passion is
- I’m Already Too Busy with Work and My Passion Doesn’t Pay the Bills
- I Don’t Want to Sacrifice My Free Time
- I’m Afraid That I’ll Fail
- I Don’t Know Where to Start
- I can’t do it alone
- I’ll get to it later
What was interesting is that all the excuses I found online fell within the bounds of what is listed above. I really cannot fathom that someone in their right mind and at this age would be able to say with a straight face that they don’t know what their passion is. REALLY? What rock are you living under?
Here is an easy way to figure out what you care about. Answer me this. What makes you mad? Really, what makes you so angry that you’d fight for something, someone, someplace? What makes you sad? What breaks your heart? Or makes you smile? What is the thing you do that at the end of the day you say to yourself, “This was a good day.”?
If you can answer those questions, you are on your path to your life of possibilities, and if you can’t answer those simple questions, friend, you need to figure out when and how the fire of life died within you. While you are still living, you need to figure out how to dwell in possibilities.
The idea that you are too busy with work and your passion doesn’t pay the bills is a cop out with the depth of intelligence of a kindergartner. If you’ve settled for living your life for a paycheck and not a bit of passion or possibility, you will be bankrupt before you know it. Author Mark Batterson says, “We start out pursuing a passion and end up settling for a paycheck. So instead of making a life, all we do is make a living”. You may be making a living but consider how much more you’d gain if you would allow your passions to make you a life along side of your day-to-day requirements.
The answer that really threw me was the idea that people didn’t want to sacrifice their “free time” to pursue their passion, or at least their possibilities. Seriously, you’d rather lie on the couch and watch a ballgame than make a small step in the right direction of what you say you want out of life? If that is the case, I honestly have nothing that I can say to you. I would be so blown away by that attitude and idea of laziness, that I probably would self-combust! But knowing you wouldn’t get off the couch to clean up the mess, I’ll just leave you to wallow in your dirty T-shirt wondering why your friends are all doing so well and you’re still flipping burgers (metaphorically speaking).
I understand the fear of failure is probably what keeps most of us working day and night to create our dreams and our future. Don’t let your fear of the unknown take hold of your life. You are in control! You make decisions. You are smart enough to figure out what it will take to succeed. You are smarter than you give yourself credit for, so own your power and do what you can with what you have.
Not knowing where to start is a legitimate issue for so many people. I struggle to do just one thing. I like to have variety in my life, and that means that I have to rein in my wants and desires to create things that are not in my wheelhouse for speaking, with the exception of the great stories I can tell from my erstwhile adventures. I’ve done things that, while they don’t make sense to others, make perfectly good sense to me including my MIG welding class. (Gas metal arc welding, sometimes referred to by its subtypes metal inert gas (MIG)) That was just fun, and I made some great art. I am probably the only person who has a metal manger set with the little baby and animals and Mary and Joseph all made out of steel. Suffice it to say, sometimes when you step outside your comfort zone, or you let your creative side run free, it is amazing how refreshed you’ll be to charge ahead another day. It’s just like I had to do by buying steel toed boots and wearing a do-rag to keep the sparks from burning my hair off (my classmates had to teach me how to tie it on).
I will say, the idea of going it alone on your dreams isn’t the most fun, but if you’re open, you will meet some wonderful people along the path. Being alone is, no doubt, a bit harder, and you need to proceed with caution when dealing with strangers, but within your network, you should be okay to find a fellow traveler on the path. Initially, they may not be the person you would have originally welcomed into your life, but more times than not, they will end up being the right person for you at this time in your life. Don’t be so exacting. Give others (within reason) the benefit of the doubt for fellowship on the journey. If you dwell in possibilities, then you will have no time for being lonely or sad–it is just not possible when you allow your hopes and dreams to take flight.
I’ll end with the biggest lie of all, and that is the idea that you will get to it later. No, you won’t. You know that, and I know that, so stop deceiving yourself. The idea of later is a lie. It is not the truth–it is a cop out, a falsehood and a sham– and since you know that, I have to ask the obvious question, “Don’t you deserve better?” Trying to rationalize the idea of later is not an option because it’s not the truth, so it will not stand. You must get started, or keep going or continue down your path today; the sooner, the better if you plan to pursue the opportunities that the wind will float your way when you leave the door wide open for possibilities.
Ah, friend, dwell in possibilities; it is the only way to live the life you intended for yourself from the beginning.
Don’t let the excuses of the lazy class creep into your life, so much so that you cannot enjoy the fullness of life that has been given you.
Drinking from an empty cup is not a life plan. No one should think that is all there is for them. Your life was never meant to be a drudgery, no matter what you’ve done that you falsely think you need to pay the ransom for. That is not how life works.
The choice you need to make today is to understand that you have been blessed with a life of possibilities. Now choose to make the most of what you have been given.
If you have a friend who needs to dwell in possibilities please forward this email and suggest they sign up! I am reading this week’s podcast in the link below – it is a 14-minute listen. You can listen now or download for later. Download all my podcasts from iTunes, Stitcher, Podkicker or Soundcloud. Thanks for reading.