Discover where your heart seeks to take you and then dance to its beat with all the energy in your being. Make sure that your mission is aligned with your conscience. Live a life of meaning and purpose—your meaning and your purpose. Define your life not by its boundaries but by its possibilities.
Never sell your soul. It is a priceless gift and will be your true guiding star from your first breath to your last. Own your life and its ups and downs. Make sure to own your failures, especially the ones that are entirely of your own doing. They will be your best teachers. Also, pursue everything you do with all your heart. If it only deserves a half-hearted effort, consider carefully if it is worth it at all.
Help others along the way. It is the surest way of helping yourself, even when you may not realize it. Believe—in yourself, in others, and in the goodness in this world. Play by fair rules and dismiss dying customs that resist positive change. How you define the world is up to you. It is said there is no free lunch but if you have a chance to provide one, never hold back and expect nothing in return.
Respect friends and understand foes. The mettle of both will be tested most in your and their darkest hours. Make sure hope saturates your being. When fear and doubt come to visit, you will need every bit of it in you to keep their stay short.
For the marathon that is called life, the finish line is the one we cross with our final breath. At that point, we will not be there to see the final standings. We will all finish the race, each at our own time. Make sure yours is one you cherish. Sprint when your heart leaps and pause to stroll when your spirit desires. You will make this journey just once so enjoy every mile of the stretch given to you. If you know you must bow out, go with a spirit that inspires others to carry your dreams to the finish line. This way, the pulse of the human spirit will go on forever, from one to the other.
Go for physicals every year. Your body is your best friend. Take care of it the way it tries to take care of you. Go for mentals every night before you sleep. Check your conscience, check in with your gut and query the truths in your soul. If all report back normal you will sleep with ease. When you sense warning signs, do not ignore them. The mental ones are even more important than the physical ones. If you ignore the former, they may come back to haunt you as the latter.
Look for friends at every turn in life. Find them based not on what they can do for you but what you can offer them. And, remember that your time and your presence—your true presence in full body and soul—will be the most precious gift you can give your family and friends, especially when you will have the least to give and they will have the greatest need. Those moments will come to define your character.
Cherish honest critics and realize their courage is your greatest asset. It is also the one asset whose value increases immensely with increasing success. As for that trifling word we call success, make sure you define it for yourself before you join the race. Make sure the definition at which you arrive is yours alone. In fact, if you can, don’t join the race. Create your own and run it at your own pace. Why not?
Above all, make sure that the work you do day in and day out, during the boring hours and the moments of highest glory and greatest doubt, is work that lights the fire in your soul. Never let that flame grow weak. With such passion, you can and will change the world. And, make sure the latter is your life’s mission. Anything less than that, and you are not aiming high enough.
How you define the world is up to you. At the end of the day, when your dance is done, the marathon has ended and the race has been won, you will likely end up where you started—with bold, new dreams. This time, dancing in the hearts of future generations to the pulse sparked by your beat and carried forward by theirs.
Copyright © 2012-2018 by Amita Shukla and Vitamita LLC. All rights reserved.