Life is short. Real short. It’s over so quickly that I’m often caught-up wondering why more of us don’t do what we want instead of living up to someone else’s notion of what it means to be successful and happy. Seriously, what is it about passing through this incredibly brief human experience that prevents many of us from living our personal truth? What gets in our way? There’s an avalanche of things that can block our path, but for many, the biggest obstacle centers on other people’s expectations.
Most of us have an automatic aversion to all things odd and out-of-place. It makes sense when you look at it from a biological standpoint. We’re naturally inclined to prefer it when everything falls neatly into its prescribed category, because otherwise there’s the threat of instability. When things get unstable, chaos usually isn’t far behind. And from a purely survivalist position, when things get chaotic, people have a greater tendency to die. And dying’s bad, especially when it’s in our best species-wide interest to resist bodily elimination at all possible costs.
Anytime you ‘buck the system,’ you’re essentially risking death. That death can manifest itself in a physical sense, as in deciding to go bungee jumping despite being terrified of heights, or in making the choice to become an artist while everyone around you thinks you’re nuts . . . another kind of scenario in which a very real ‘death’ - that of your reputation - looms as a distinct possibility. A bungee jump gone awry can certainly cause the death of the body, but resisting the intuitive urge to realize your fullest potential by becoming a (insert your own dream here) can bring about something far worse than just physical death . . . the death of spirit and purpose.
The 3 Ways Of Knowing
Across the centuries, people have been systematically brainwashed into believing that it’s unwise to be different, holding many in a sort of personal ‘bondage’ that keeps us from being ourselves. Given all this rampant societal conditioning that’s been practically seared into our DNA, it’s normal to feel odd, out-of-place, or downright sick inside should you decide to abandon the pack and blaze a trail of your own design. But don’t worry too much, feeling that way is how you know that you’re probably doing the right thing. Since conceiving of OM Made Studios about a year ago, here’s how I’ve learned to know I’m on the right path.
I’M SCARED - Fear is a good and necessary thing. Fear is our body/mind reaction when moving into unfamiliar territory. But unlike our species’ collective past when the threat of danger and death was very real - imagine running into a Saber-toothed cat on your morning walk - nowadays most things won’t actually kill us; they’ll just send us into panic mode . . . like, say, changing careers at 40. So if leaving the accounting firm at age 48 to become a sculptor won’t kill you, what’s to be scared of? Nothing, because that imaginary ‘fear trigger’ you’re feeling in the pit of your stomach is just some genetic left-over from billions of years ago. Move through the feeling and you’ll be fine.
THE OUTCOME IS UNCERTAIN - No amount of carefully orchestrated planning ever guarantees a desired outcome. Ask anyone who’s ever made or done something great, and they’ll tell you that it’s always a crapshoot. I have no clue how this whole OM Made Studios thing is gonna pan out. Each day I just barrel forward, stay focused, try my hardest, and leave the outcome to the Universe. That’s the mindset of the Warrior: go with your gut and forget the rest. For the warrior, uncertainty is the fuel that powers the soul.
EVERYONE THINKS I'M CRAZY - They don’t really think I’m crazy; they just can’t fathom doing something similar. When others react this way to your deciding to take a risk, you’re already in the winning category because you’ve essentially - and willingly - stepped off the proverbial diving board and into the depths of the Great Unknown. And this is precisely where all meaningful discoveries reside: in that ethereal realm of mystery and uncertainty. It freaks most people out; that’s why they think you’ve ‘lost it.’
Okay, so you’re frightened about leaving your cushy job (or becoming an artist or whatever), the future is uncertain - which it always is anyway - and those closet to you think you’ve gone off the deep end . . . Hmmm, sounds like the ideal recipe for personal discovery if you ask me.
Learning and discovering about who you are, and what you’ve been placed upon this precious Earth to contribute is, in my opinion, the only direction in Life that truly makes any sense.
PS: If you enjoyed this blog post - or dig the artwork on the site - please consider re-posting, tweeting, etc. The link to the OM Made Facebook page is right at the bottom of this page; check it out and give us a 'like' if you're so inclined. Any and all ways of sharing the message of OM Made Studios via social media is deeply appreciated and can only help get the word out about the importance of Waking Up to our own magnificence. Thanks everyone! :)