Quote: “What often keeps people stuck and unable to learn efficiently and joyfully, is the assumption that you have to learn something you’re not interested in.”
“Stop Waiting and Start Living” is a gentle invitation to embrace and honor the sincerity of your heart and the aliveness of what you are. I use the word “gentle” because I’m not making a demand, nor am I telling you what you “should” do. Instead, I’m speaking to the part of ourselves that is scared, the part that is understandably hurt by experiences, disappointments, and failures where nothing has seemed to work out so far.
Given the hurt, it may seem natural to just stop. After all, if I continue to walk into painful experiences and disappointments, it would make sense to stop walking and avoid them altogether. I know this feeling all too well: the wanting to give up, and the constant disappointment that can be interpreted as personal failure.
In the midst of my pain, I had to learn an important lesson. This lesson defines the true purpose and opportunity of life (for me), while also shedding light on the difficulties and frustrations I was experiencing.
This lesson, which took me years upon years to see, was the realization that…
- Being human is a 3 part opportunity; learning, growing, and playing.
These three concepts can be communicated in various ways, but at their essence, they invite you to expand your awareness, acknowledge your fears, and “show up” in a way that honors your life.
There was a misunderstanding that revolved around the assumption that being human was solely about reaching a particular future or outcome. I used to think to myself, “If only life looked the way I wanted it to look, then I could engage, be myself, and play.” Effectively, I was in a state of waiting, watching as life, others, and even myself refused to be how I wanted them to be.
If I were to engage, I would do so assuming that the prize was in the future. However, this mindset only caused fearful agitation about potentially not getting the prize. As a result, I couldn’t truly enjoy the engagement, as my fear turned it into a serious endeavor rather than a playfully sincere one.
This discovery is really quite fascinating. I see how so much of the difficulty I experienced was made possible through a tiny misunderstanding. This, of course, is the part 1; learning.
Part 1: Learning (expanding awareness)
Learning is not only about acquiring knowledge or mastering a skill. It’s also about opening ourselves up to new experiences and perspectives. When we expand our awareness, we begin to see the world, others, and ourselves differently. We start to recognize patterns, connections, and possibilities that we may have been blind to before.
Learning is an adventure, a journey of discovery. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it. When we learn something new, we’re not just adding another piece of information to our mental library. We’re expanding our minds, broadening our horizons, and deepening our fundamental understanding of this miracle called life.
As it relates to “Start Living,” this is a great place to start, especially if someone feels stuck in the “waiting.”
What often keeps people stuck and unable to learn efficiently and joyfully, is the assumption that you have to learn something you’re not interested in; this, of course, was the conditioning for most of us. Actually though, behind that socially conditioned nonsense, real learning about exploring your genuine interest, for the sake of… enjoying your genuine interest.
To learn and explore things that genuinely interest you are 100 times faster than learning something that you think you “should” learn.
Moreover, what I love about this process is that as I discover what inspires me most, it leads me to other important things that I need to understand to comprehend my primary interest fully. Without this primary interest, I would have no desire to learn about these other topics. However, with my primary interest as a driving force, it gives me motivation to explore these other subjects if they can benefit my primary goal.
Part 2: Growing (beyond your fears)
Growing involves stepping out of our comfort zones and facing our fears. When we grow, we become more resilient, adaptable, and capable of handling whatever life throws our way. If we do not grow, the struggles we encounter will continue to be an unpleasant challenge.
Growing is the adventure that invites you to embody what you are learning. In a beautiful way, growing demands that we intentionally challenge ourselves, even risking the loss of what we are holding on to.
It’s not just about overcoming our fears; it’s also about discovering our strengths, our passions, and a more aligned purpose for our life. When we grow, we realize that we are capable of so much more than we ever thought possible.
As it relates to “Stop Waiting, Start Living,” growing beyond our fears is a necessary step in the process. You could wait until you feel ready, but I encourage you to question whether that moment will ever come, or if it will simply be the realization that you’ll never really be ready, and it’s time to jump in.
Often, we hold ourselves back because we’re afraid of the unknown or of failure. This fear typically leads us to spin our wheels, waiting and trying to get ready, but this is frequently just a delay tactic to avoid being rejected by others.
Real growth involves stepping into your authority and not seeking permission from others to live your life. By avoiding rejection, you give others authority over your life. The ‘waiting’ that I’m asking you to stop is the act of avoiding rejection. Hopefully, you have come to see that the only real way to avoid rejection from others, is to first reject yourself; it says, “I cannot be myself, I must be how other people want me to be.”
Just like in Part 1, the key to growing is to follow our genuine interests, to find what inspires us, to discover what’s deeply sincere. When we’re passionate about something, we’re infinitely more likely to push through our fears and keep growing.
Part 3: Playing (showing up)
Playing is the adventure that invites you to fully express yourself, to be alive now, and share in that experience with others.
As it relates to “Stop Waiting, Start Living,” playing is the culmination of the journey. It’s the moment when you realize that you don’t have to wait anymore, that you don’t have to be perfect, and that you don’t have to have it all figured out. You can simply show up and play. In fact, it’s the undercurrent of play that makes learning and growing go even faster. And, of course, it’s the opposite of play (seriousness) that makes learning and growing so painful and arduous.
Playing is about being present in the moment, enjoying the journey, and embracing the process. It’s about honoring the miracle of being alive, being curious, and exploring the world around you. This reminds me of the natural state of every child. The child simple is eager to explore this miracle they find themselves in. When you’re playing, like a child, you’re not worried about the outcome; you’re simply enjoying the experience.
Playing, perhaps most importantly, is also about sharing. There is something magical about sharing your playful experiences with others. It brings people who share similar passions and interests together and creates a sense of support on the journey. We, as humans, can multiply to focus and intention, which only contributes to the learning and growth process.
Play can be sincere and focused while still being considered play. You can share challenges and struggles with others while experiencing life, and underneath it all, there can be a playful and open heart. This, of course, contributes to a beautiful human journey and experience where we find ourselves on this ride together.