Tuesday, October 18, 2022

"Don't Die with Your Music Still in You"

Last night in Greek class we translated a verse from the New Testament that had a double negative. In English, we normally have to make this a single negative but other languages can actually reproduce the double negative, as the Korean and Spanish speakers in our class reminded us. Well, here's a double negative I love:

"What is the work you can't not do?" 

A double negative, yes, but still very inspiring. As I mentioned to a student the other day, I have been a teacher for 46 years and yet I have never "worked" a day in my life. I absolutely LOVE what I do. The best way to be motivated to do the things you love is to surround yourself with passionate people. Let's say I want to become an athlete. I personally have gotten a taste for what it feels like to be the least athletic person in the room. But this only serves to put me in a position of humility where I'm willing to learn and grow. And more often than not, the other athletes are eager to help me do that. 

Author Wayne Dyer puts is this way: "Don't die with your music still in you." Success in life isn't measured by the number of days we spend on the planet but by how we measure every day. Am I living up to my God-given gifting and potential? To let that happen you might have to learn to step out of your routine (rut), stop, and open your mind to the intuition in your heart whispering, "What do you love to do?" Decide to become an expert on you. Only those who are experts about themselves can truly find the life they want and live it passionately. My life is only mine, and only I can change it. Even as a 70-year old, I wonder why I set limits on my future. My wife died at a fairly young age yet she probably lived a more fulfilling and intense life than most people who live past 80. If you're a forklift operator and you love, love, love your job, don't change a thing. Go to work every day filled with joy and gratitude. If you do, you'll make yourself indispensable in your job. 

We have to dare to start doing the "right" thing with our lives and not simply the "good" thing. Of course, sometimes we do what we have to do and maybe not love doing so much. Before I went to Basel in 1980, I worked three jobs, two of which I really really disliked. I loved teaching Greek at Biola. But I couldn't stand delivering tax returns to downtown Los Angeles as well as working two 12-hour shifts every weekend at the local vitamin pill factory. But those jobs got me to Switzerland and allowed me to pursue my passion of teaching. So many students I meet don't have any purpose or passion. They need to find their passion again. They need to ask themselves, "What is the work I can't not do?" I know, easier said than done. But who cares? 

So go out there and explore everything that remotely interests you. Please!