I have been wrong a lot in my life.
I have learned that being wrong can be more powerful than being right.
Truth be told, it’s quite freeing to admit that I am not always right.
Things I have been wrong about
Success = Career
For a very long time, I held the belief that what I do professionally is who I am. It is an easy belief to hold given we are constantly told that success is measured by professional status, income, and the things you can attain.
Because my life doesn’t have the majority of measures of success (husband, children, a home), my career became the defacto measure for others to understand who I am. It became a means for me to provide the illusion of being in control, of being productive, of a life that could be measured and deemed worthwhile.
What I have come to learn, is that my profession can be an expression of who I am but it is not who I am. I exist independent of my career.
My success and the value of my life is now defined by the deep connections I have with others, the possibilities created, the number of times I laugh in a day, the expansiveness of my life and the range of experiences I create and am shaped by.
I Can Have It All
After too many years of trying to have it all and feeling like I was constantly failing, I learned that balance is not ‘static’. If you have ever tried to surf, kayak, or ride a bike, you know the act of balancing is a motion- it is perpetual, alive and constantly shifting.
The rhythmic shift of balancing the entirety of my life is a natural flow. I have learned that I can have it all but not all at the same time.The ebb and flow realization allows me to enjoy all aspects of my life in different proportions at different times.
Avoiding Love = Avoiding Pain
I used to think that the amount of joy and love I would let into my life would be equivalent to the pain it could ultimately render. So I carefully constructed walls to keep me safe. Life eventually taught me how wrong I was. Pain found me, suffering found me, and I was brought to my knees. My beliefs shattered.
I learned that joy and love are the buffers to pain. Joy and love are the safety nets for the darkest days and hours. Pain will come. It’s inescapable. But the amount of love and joy you behold will minimize that pain.
Now I try to build bridges instead of walls and let all the love and joy in knowing someday they will be the lifejackets that keep me afloat in the storm.
I Need to Have Life Purpose
Talk about pressure trying to figure that out. Am I living it right? Have I missed my calling? Will it all be a waste if I don’t figure it out?
Everything shifted when I realized living with a sense of purpose was more compelling than a having a Life Purpose.
Having a sense of purpose lives in the moment, and is about the process, and the ‘how’ of life. How am I living? How am I contributing?
Living with a sense of purpose feels lighter and has more space to it than needing to know the exact answer or destination that a ‘Life Purpose’ required of me.
So, tell me, what have you been wrong about?