I watched the remake of Cinderella recently, and I was surprised at how strongly I related to the message it conveyed. In this rendition, two words resonated throughout the entire story:
Have COURAGE, and be KIND.
Two words never held so much meaning for me, as they do now.
In a world where following your passion is something only adolescents and millennials are supposed to do, where it becomes dangerous to do once you’ve finally jumped into “adulting”, following your passion takes courage.
Actually, I’d like to retract a bit of that statement. I believe it begins changing at a much younger age.
When you’re a child, your parents tell you that you can be anything you want to be when you grow up. Until you’re in High School, and if what you choose isn’t sensible enough, the adults around you tell you to be serious and pick something better. Something productive. Something that makes a lot of money. Something that will have you end up with a strong status. “Here’s my kid, he’s a doctor… lawyer… engineer…” Why is it that a child can’t be an artist, a writer, a coach, a spiritual leader… why does that always come out as “well, he sometimes sells some of his paintings… she has this blog thing that she spends all her time on… I don’t know what he does but he says he helps people…”
On the road to personal discovery and personal development, it’s hard enough to figure out what you’re passionate about, but it’s even harder to follow it and do the work you can’t not do.
It takes grit. It takes balls. It takes Courage.
Courage to get up every single morning and say to yourself “Today, I will take one step in the direction of my dreams.”
This is especially true if you somehow forgot to chase your dreams out of high school, or out of college or university.
You know that mid-life crisis we used to talk about people having in their 40s or 50s? I think more and more people are having it in their 30s and even their 20s. That time in your life when you finally wake up and say “WTF am I doing here?” and then proceed to make this ginormous change in your life and everyone around you says “Geez, couldn’t you have just bought a sports car instead?”
You know what I say to that? The more people around you think you’re crazy, the more they say “Yeah it’s a phase”, the more you know you’re on the right track.
To you, I say, have courage my friend.
Keep pushing through, every, damn, day.
Here’s the secret sauce about following your passion. Not only is it something you love doing, not only will you find a way to make money out of it (because you love it so much, it can’t NOT make you money), but it also usually ends up helping people too.
When you are doing what lights you up, it translates to more kindness in your general behaviour.
And kindness will get you everywhere.
Cinderella was treated like a slave in her own home (I know it’s just a story; humour me) but her kindness knew no bounds.
Sometimes, it takes courage to be kind.
Instead of focusing on the injustices of the world, if you just decided to be kind to people anyway, not only will you shut them up by not fueling their fire of hatred and mistrust, you will find that choosing to be kind will make you feel a hell of a lot better. Soon, you won’t even remember what terrible things they were saying in the first place.
One kind thought is more powerful than a thousand hateful ones.
One person who is kind, is more powerful than a million who are not.
When you have the courage to be kind, it opens your heart to receive more of those people and experiences that bring out your passion, which lights you up, which makes you want to be kind more often.
It’s a virtual vortex of goodness; the best kind to get trapped in.
Have Courage, and Be Kind. Have Courage TO Be Kind.
Most of all, say it to yourself
One thing is clear; we are never as harsh to our worst enemy as we are on ourselves.
Having Courage, means to keep going when the voice that is telling you you’re crazy, is your own. To keep working towards your goal, every single day, even when that stupid little voice in your head tells you you’ll never reach it – that takes courage.
To say “F-U Big Snooze!” every single day – that takes courage.
And one of the most difficult things to do, is to be kind to yourself during perceived failure. To not fall in the trap of verbal flogging.
“Ugh. I didn’t exercise today… AGAIN… I’m such a loser!”
Nobody would tell you you’re a loser for skipping the exercise regime today; well, not anyone that matters anyway. So why do we do it to ourselves?
Is it possible we do it because we believe that people want to hear us say it to ourselves?
What would happen if instead we just said “I skipped the gym again today, in favour of an extra 30 minutes of sleep. I’m so proud of myself for putting one of my most basic needs first”? Do we believe that people will think less of us for not chastising ourselves?
Why is it that we think we need to be in pain in order to be motivated? I suppose it works for some people. For me though, I find that beating myself up has the opposite effect. The more I feel like a loser, the less I end up doing.
So for me, NOT beating myself up and instead being kind to myself and saying “It’s ok. I can try again tomorrow”, THAT takes courage.
Have Courage, and Be Kind.
Never thought Disney could be so inspiring, did ya?