The food has to be made, the house has to be cleaned and the money has to be earned.
You have to eat right and exercise and get enough sleep.
But what if you were too sick to do any of that? What if you couldn’t get out of bed every day?
When you do a thousand things a day,
Or you can’t do much of anything at all,
Do something that will last a lifetime.
I’ve had times in my life when I got up early and my house was clean and I felt like I was accomplishing things but I’ve also had times when I was too sick to get out of bed and I was struggling to survive. I’ve had decades of struggling actually and I’ve had years of downright suffering.
Life is hard.
Life is relentless.
How do you find joy and meaning in the midst of all of it? How do you feel like you are getting ahead when so many times you seem to be sliding backwards?
When life is Relentless, Be Relentless
I always wanted my children to learn music but there was just one little problem. I didn’t know anything about music. I couldn’t even hire someone else to teach them music because I didn’t know enough to know who to hire. I tried different teachers over the years but they were all mostly terrible and I didn’t know how to teach my children to love to practice and I certainly wasn’t going to pay good money to fight with them.
One year when I was too sick to do anything else I bought $4 recorders for all of us and an instruction book and all my children sat on my bed and we played our recorders. It was so simple and fun.
The next year when I was feeling a little bit better I bought violins and put my daughters in lessons and I learned along with them. Sometimes i could only get out of bed for an hour or two but i practiced with them every day. Six months later we moved and we didn’t have lessons again for a year but we kept practicing. I couldn’t teach them technique myself but we played the notes and we memorized the songs.
I was relentless.
Do It Together
Because I didn’t just yell at my children to practice every day, because I was learning with them, I began to learn what kind of music I wanted them to play and what kind of teachers they needed and I learned how to make it fun and I learned to discipline them because I learned to discipline myself.
Now two and a half years later we can all play the violin. We’re not very good but we’re a lot better than if we had never started right? We love our music so much that we’re learning to play the guitar and the ukulele and we’re learning to sing.
We are relentless.
I don’t have any idea what my children will do with their music and I don’t care. I will never be famous and will probably never play for anyone except my children but I don’t care.
We are becoming something beautiful.
Spend five minutes a day becoming something beautiful.
Choose one thing and do it every day for the rest of your life. Don’t quit. If it gets boring then you’re not challenging yourself enough. Find a teacher. Read a book. Work harder but don’t ever stop.
Don’t make goals. Goals are worthless. Goals keep you stuck and keep you from trying something new. Just pick something and see where it leads you.
What if you don’t know what you want to do? Like the quote says above, you are not looking for your passion, you are creating it. Just pick something you’ve always wanted to do. Or pick something you’ve never wanted to do but you think it looks interesting. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you start and you don’t stop.
Back when I was clueless and I thought people were born with special talents, I never dreamed of being a writer or a musician even though I admired people who were. I thought I wasn’t “born” to write or play or sing. What a ridiculous idea. I can do anything. Of course I can.
I just have to start and I have to do it every day no matter what. That’s the secret.
- Take a picture and edit it
- Write a poem
- Memorize a Shakespeare play
- Play the recorder
- Sketch a flower
- Study Euclid
- Learn a new Spanish phrase
- Write a blog
- Sing a song
- Bake bread
Do it every day.
DO IT EVERY DAY
Become something beautiful.