I have noticed lately, in my own writing, I often put quotation marks around words that I have realized I don't fully understand, or that carry depth and a need exploration. Words like, "need," "should," "balance," and "success." Writing in this way helps me slow down and really think about the meaning I am assuming and projecting into my words. When I say I "need" something, what does that really mean? What happens when I don't get that "need"? What does it gift me that I couldn't create without it? There are some things I do need; food, water, shelter (to some degree), and relationships (although these can look vastly different depending on the type). But more often than not, I find I have attached to the desire for an external reward that I actually don't "need" or could look to create in various different ways.
I have been playing more and more with the word "success." I have a desire to feel/be successful, but again, success looks different to different people and at different times. So what "success" am I looking for? How will I know when I have achieved said "success"? What will it allow me to do that I can not already do or create?
At first, when I think of success, I think of what it allows in my life. When I am successful I am able to set my own schedule, take time away whenever I like, have time weekly to visit family and friends, and do work that sparks passion and creativity in my life. Well, I already have that. So what else? To me, success means being seen as an expert and being called on by others to collaborate, create, and support. Success means a trajectory moving towards whatever it is I want more of in my life. But then I get stuck in the word "more." I have noticed a trend in my life of losing sight of contentment and gratitude, and getting stuck in the endless pursuit of "more." That's not my ideal. It doesn't feel good. It becomes an endless game that I cannot win. It is something I am mindful of daily. I strive to find the balance between the pursuit for "more" and my contentment and gratitude for what is now. Perhaps that is also where "success" is found. The balance in between the two extremes.
This contemplation on "success", "need", "more", and "balance" has brought up a lot for me in regards to my pursuit for furthering my education to allow me to expand my reach. Again, I get caught up in the words of this desire to ensure I go about this in the most authentic way possible. I don't want more education just for the sake of more education. I don't want to build a list of accreditation's simply to impress others or create the illusion that it takes tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars to become an expert or to create the life you want to live.
I don't want to spend big investments of time and money on education programs/training/certifications that I don't actually "need." But education is clearly important, for more reasons than I can count. But again, what is "education"? Why do we put so much weight into an education system that generalizes a curriculum to suit the "average" person rather than accommodating the vast differences in creativity and learning styles? Naturally, there are some academic pursuits that cannot be self-taught or self-lead, like Medicine, Social Work, Construction, or being the CEO of a multi-million dollar company. But then again, I am sure there are many avenues to get into those careers that do not begin and end with your typical school education.
There are so many opportunities and possibilities for education. How do we know which programs are best for the direction we want to take?
I think education "should" feel experiential, methodical, evolutionary, forward-thinking, reflection-inducing, thought-provoking, adaptive, fun, and fueled by curiosity. Is that too much to ask? Why do I feel restrained, duped, and lack-luster when I find myself filling out an application, sitting in a classroom, or trusting my time, money, and mind to someone else?
I have thought through these questions quite a bit lately. I have been tempted to land on the answer, "I am lazy." But that's not true. I am far from lazy. Perhaps I falter a little too far on the opposite spectrum more often than not.
There is a lot about organized education systems that I do love. I love the community aspect. I love the accountability and support system. I love being taught by someone who is passionate and excited about their work. I am surrounded by that type of education on a daily basis.
What is Education?:
I believe Education "should" fuel the individual's curiosity and creativity. I believe Education "should" help us develop confidence in who we are as unique people. I believe Education "should" foster community, relationships, and a generation of mindful beings who make choices with impact and the butterfly-effect in mind. I believe we "should" be focusing on the mind-body connection, mindfulness, health and nutrition, and the importance of movement and sweat. I believe Education "should" never stop. Our school systems need to be the foundation for teaching people how to learn, so that we can be life-long learners.
**This TED talk is one of my all-time favorites. If you have not seen this, it will change your perspective and approach to education.
My Education for the next year is focused on Anatomy, Physiology, and Nutrition. If you are an "expert" in these fields, I would love to hear from you. What are your favorite books in these fields? What would you suggest I practice? What have you found helpful in continuing your education in these complex and fascinating areas?
What is Community?:
We are not meant to be isolated individuals, making our way through life without the assistance, support, and love from our neighbors. We are hardwired for connection. Our body craves love, trust, support, acknowledgment, status, and growth. There is magic within a community of supportive and motivated people. There is a danger in the group-mentality as well; blindly following. We are powerful and brilliant free-thinkers, and when we bring that creativity into the group, we can achieve so much more individually and collectively.
When communities are led by one powerful individual, or a group of individuals excluding others from their power, human-error and imperfection will undoubtedly breath toxicity and breed dependence. When individuals are free-thinking, fun-loving, growth-minded, and self-leading, transformation ensues.
Don't lose your unique spark. Allow your individuality to inspire the masses.
**This video is amazing. Watch how one free and wild individual inspires the masses to join in on his fun.
One individual will not change the world. But a community of individuals have been changing the world since human existence began. It may start with one individual, or a small group of individuals, but that catalyst started small and snowballed into something bigger. Small sparks change world wide.
What am I Doing About it?:
My mission in life is to create my existence to best suit and serve who I am. I lead by example through vulnerability, support, writing, creating experiences, and showing up in every interaction knowing that my energy is contagious.
My lifestyle embodies Growth, exploration, and balance. I know that when I am intentional and powerful in my life, I am inspiring others to make leaps and bounds in their lives.
Want to learn more and experience a workshop to spark inspiration in your life? This workshop is scheduled for Sunday September 18, at the HQ. I would be thrilled to have you be a part of it. Reach out with questions or follow the link below to register.