Jung says that the privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are. This implies that it’s going to take work to get back to our roots, to overcome our conditioning and come face to face with our souls. No one can do that work for us, and many would like for us to never do it, because someone living freely and passionately is very threatening to someone who isn’t Password of Lunenburg.
For many people, picking their passions is a no-brainer, and they are already living them day in and day out. For the rest of us, it may take a little work, a little thought, a little sifting and organizing so that we maximize our time and don’t waste it on habitual or unproductive pursuits that derail us from why we’re really on this earth.
The culture that we live in is designed to take our time from us. More equals happiness. Complex equals better. Comfort equals contentment. Entertainment equals experience. And, it’s all a sham. The only thing that will bring any type of fulfillment is the quality of our connections with others and following our passions and abilities to their furthest reaches.
So, take out your knife, and start cutting away the rest of it, because it’s a cancer. It’s a distraction, a time and money suck. Reclaim as much freedom as possible by eliminating all of the non-essentials that don’t fully match up with your personal vision and values.
If nothing else, when I get to the end of my life, I want to be able to say that I followed my faith. I use the word faith interchangeably with passions, because following our passions is a leap of faith. We cannot objectively justify to anyone why we believe what we do, why we do what we do, why we don’t do what we don’t do. It’s based on emotion and belief. No matter the choices we make, we are putting faith in something.
Some people try to avoid putting faith in themselves, and so they put faith in an institution or system, economic, academic, religious, etc., and all the prescribed paths that these institutions tell people to follow. The leap of faith is frightening, and if a million people tell you that you should do something, that choice is going to be less frightening than doing something that no one has told you to do, or worse yet, what everyone has told you not to do.
I want to be able to say that I didn’t hold back in my faith for fear of failure, for laziness, for judgment from others, for conditioning from culture, family, or religion. I want to make memories. I want to follow my bonds with friends, family, and lovers to hell and back if need be.
I don’t want to take this one life for granted. This is my vision for me. If I listed my values, I might include words such as love, experience, spirituality, creativity, helping others and nature. These are things, in one form or another, that get me out of bed in the morning.
Defining your vision and values is a crucial first step to making real change in your life and living authentically. Remember that nothing is off limits. Do you want to own the world’s largest stamp collection? Perfect. Do you want to join the Peace Corp? Perfect.
Do you want to join a nudist colony? Perfect. Do you want to just start working out or meditating more? Perfect. Our values are at the heart of how we want to spend our time, what fulfills us, and what we consider essential and important in life. Our vision is our guide, a statement of our relationship to life for the long-term. The goal is to not just think about our vision and values in idealistic terms, but to actually be living proof of them.