Inspiration not intention
For years I've said that what I want to do is to "live an intentional life." I want to decide what to do, form an intention, and follow through. That's it.
But ADD or whatever-the-fuck-it-is gets in the way, and I end up doing things that I find enjoyable, educational, valuable, enlightening but not what I intended to do.
And it's pissed me off.
This morning I realized that an intentional life is a small and selfish goal. I thought it was enlightened, but I see that it's childish. Let me translate: "I want to live an intentional life" equals "I want to do what I want."
Right. Very fucking noble.
Now I have a different goal. I want to live an inspirational life. I want to inspire people, just as I've been inspired.
Inspiration, not intention, is now my watchword.
And I now realize that's been my goal all along. I just haven't seen it.
I've wanted more people to read what I write, and at the same time I've wanted to avoid attention. Why? I realize it's because I imagine someone saying: "Holy fuck! Here's this 70-year-old-guy, and he's still doing all this shit and writing about it." And there's something about that image that bugs the shit out of me. I mean really? I'm writing so that I'll be admired? The idea that I'd do that is odious, even contemptible.
I'm not humble. I know I've got skilz. I like applause. But the idea that I'd do something just for the applause fills me with disgust. Really. But that's how I've read that image: a plea for admiration.
But I can read that image a different way. It ends: "Well if that asshole can do it, then I can, too. Maybe even better."
Inspiration. Not admiration. Same words. Different music. Much more to my liking.
Bobbi and I tried to be a good models for our kids. According to them (and I believe them) we did a good job, and I'm glad, because we cared about it a lot. I've been depressed a few times in my life and a few times I was so miserable that I thought seriously about suicide. But I'd say: "I can't kill myself. I would set a bad example for the kids." So setting a good example, modeling, yes. Important.
Being inspiring? Never thought it about it that much, until now.
And now I'm thinking about it, and I'm sure that's how I want to live the rest of my life. I want an inspiring life.
I especially want to be inspiring to our kids--the ones by birth and the ones by marriage. And I'd like to be inspiring to our grandkids. And our friends. And to anyone that whose life crosses mine.
I'd like stuff in this blog to be inspiring. Sometimes educational. But inspiring, whenever possible.
So that's the new goal.
I don't want to live an intentional life--one where I get to do what I want to do. I want to live an inspirational life--one where I change the world--even a little bit of it.
A few weeks ago my daughter, Mira, found a book called "The Miracle Morning" and started working on its recommended practices. She inspired me to give it a try: to create a different morning ritual for myself. To put some badly needed structure into my random and inconsistent self-improvement efforts
Get up early. Spend some time meditating. Well, I've wanted to do that for a while. But never could find a way to commit. Now I have it. And now I'm doing it. Ten minutes on affirmations. Strange, but I'm getting into it. Visualize what I want to achieve. Also weird, but, OK. Exercise. Badly needed. I started with my stationary bicycle--which I should have been doing for my knees. I've added a half hour during a day of the 30 days of Yoga with Adriene program to the mix. The first day that I did it I realized how much I'd needed something like that. Reading: 10 minutes in a self-improvement book or reviewing one of those that I've already read, good. And writing. I've been doing that--sort of. Today was day 175 of my latest streak on 750words.com. I've done it diligently but at inconsistent times, a few times I've leaped from bed, changed my time zone, and struggled to type some shit that would qualify to keep the streak going. Now writing is part of my morning ritual.
I've been doing Miracle Mornings for only a week, but I'm feeling the changes build. I'm more focused, more organized, and clearer about what I'm doing. And I'm getting shit done--about which I will write later.
And then today, this realization.
My life was on a certain course, and now I'm on a different path--because of that inspiration.
So I'm looking for more inspiration for myself, and ways to actively inspire others.