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Life is too short not to do what you love

The adage “life is too short…” becomes all too real when we see that unless we change some fundamental things about how we approach and engage with our lives, we run the risk of missing the essential meaning and purpose of our time here.

An important thing to remember about meaning and purpose is that what we do with the rest of our lives only has to be meaningful and purposeful to us as individuals. It’s really nobody else’s business.

Seeing the ways in which we have been disingenuous to our deeper selves by deferring to other’s ideas of what we should do and who we should be is often the beginning of our next phase of individuation.

There is an essential knack to uncover and develop during this time, and that is to separate the genuine need for meaning and purpose from the idea that we must be socially recognized or rewarded for our Genius qualities.

What I’m alluding to is that Genius expression is deeply subjective and personal. If we make this simple personal expression of Genius enough in itself, without needing it to be validated by the world at large, we are rewarded with an intrinsic satisfaction that only comes from being true to ourselves at all costs.

For example, let's say one of your Genius traits is songwriting. A salient and important part is the act of songwriting itself. It starts with the individual being moved or touched by something we have witnessed, or of an idea that had bubbled up from deep within our consciousness. This feeling, in turn, is strong enough to want to be expressed outwardly, and the task is to be a shepherd to this expression, to nurture it long enough so that it can stand on its own, outside of ourselves.

Separated from the need to have the song recognized and loved by millions, songwriting for its own sake is itself the reward of allowing our true Genius voice to be expressed.

If we try and connect outward success, recognition, or fame to our Genius expression, we run the risk of misunderstanding why we have our Genius talents in the first place, which is, as Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki puts it, to “Shine one corner of the world”. To me this means that we need to first find what we individually feel is of the utmost importance to express outwardly, and then allow it to shine forth wherever we may find ourselves.

Separating the idea of Genius expression from outward success and recognition allows for an untainted manifestation of our true talents and gifts. It simplifies the process of first giving birth to what our Genius wants to give as a gift, and then seeing where and to whom this gift wants to be given.

That being said, the world, or whatever part of it we came here to touch with our individuality, is thirsty for the unique and refreshing gifts that come from our pure Genius expression. Everyone benefits from a single individual being true to themselves. It doesn’t matter whether we express an amazing symphony or a single act of kindness; the world is thirsty. In our short time here, doing what we love, we can provide water from our individual well of Genius.