What Are You Willing to Give?

19 Aug

What are you willing to give to get where you want to be?

What are you willing to give to be who you want to be?

What are you willing to give to shake things up and grab hold of the silver lining?

Time?

Money?

Effort?

Dedication?

Your life?

How about everything: throwing yourself, all of yourself, into living true to your soul’s purpose?

How about it?

What are you willing to give?

The funny thing about putting yourself out there is leaving your heart open to failure or success. We spend so much time avoiding failure or at least trying to minimise it, and not nearly enough time anticipating success.

“Don’t get your hopes up too high.” “Be realistic with your expectations.” “Know your boundaries.”

That’s all rather stifling, isn’t it?

It’s less about the outcome and more about the process. Results are great, yes, but what about the steps to get there? Are you having fun and enjoying the ride, or dragging yourself through a soul-numbing routine because you’re so attached to a particular outcome?

Pouring ourselves into projects is in our DNA. It’s who we are. It’s why blogs and books and movies and albums are released every other day. I daresay  there’s enough material to be read, watched, and heard even if all production halted today, but that wouldn’t keep us happy for long. We’d still want more. So much more.

Once you’re old enough to do more than eat, sleep, cry, and soil your diaper, you start to explore. You begin making connections between cause and effect and interacting with your world in a whole new way.

You need something to do. You always need something to do. And time and again you find yourself fretting and up to your hairline in busywork, nowhere near where you could be if you just slowed down and asked yourself one little thing: “Why am I doing this?”

I read Dyana Valentine’s post I am/not confused 3 days ago. It really made me stop and ask myself if I was clear on my ‘why’. Why do I blog? Why do I share? Why do any of this when I can choose to do something else? Like Dyana says, “If we don’t know our why, then what we do is basically irrelevant.”

The questions about my why brought me up short because my answers aren’t the same as they were a few months ago. I’m not even sure I know what they are anymore. All I do know is I have to be willing to stay loose and fluid as I move through the maze in my mind so I can get where I need to go.

What about you?

It’s in our blood to explore, to imagine, to create. It’s in our blood to slide into the process as often as we can and get something fresh out of it each time. It’s within our power to do the work and have a damn good time while we’re at it.

But sometimes there are tough choices ahead: delicious uncertainty vs. a clear + dreary path; stagnant comfort vs. the thrill of growth; hiding away vs. showing up.

How do you handle those tough choices?

The gist of Dyana’s post reminds me of Simon Sinek’s fascinating TEDx talk How great leaders inspire action. Simon talks about the impact your why has on your world. It opens people up to you. It attracts others who believe what you believe, who accept your thoughts and ideas and projects because those things speak directly to the limbic brain (controls behaviour and feelings), which exerts a magnetic pull on their attention. They’re moved to care about why you do what you do and support you in it.

Your why has to be something that stirs your blood, something you truly believe in, something that makes your nerves tingle and itch to get started. It’s got to be something you’re willing to invest in, even when people say or think you’re wrong. Even when you’re the only one crazy enough to think it’ll work at first. Even when you’re tired and aching for rest, but still choose to soldier on.

What are you willing to give to discover your why and act on it?

Decide for yourself what you’re willing to give, what you’re going to give, and go do it all. Balls to the wall.

Image credit: Karen Salmansohn

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13 Responses to “What Are You Willing to Give?”

  1. dyanavalentine 19/08/2012 at 16:28 #

    I love this, Otiti–I’m excited to find out more about why you do what you do. Thank you for the mention and for taking your mission seriously. Today, I woke up thinking “oh, I get it–I live my life on the diagonal”. That was my “why of the day”.

    • Otiti 19/08/2012 at 16:56 #

      HI, Dyana! Thanks very much and I’m so pleased you stopped by! 😀 You’re most welcome for the mention; I believe in crediting greatness. 😉

      I believe I do what I do because I think we can be so much more than we think we are. We can DO so much more than we think we can. We can burn with fire and sizzle with energy if we search for our sweet spots and dance in them. It’s just tough to keep taking one step after another out of the fear of falling flat on your face and into the unknown territory of exploring your psyche. Y’know?

      • dyanavalentine 25/03/2017 at 18:47 #

        How are you so far from this short conversation, Ms. Otiti? Sizzling?

  2. Ellen 19/08/2012 at 17:30 #

    Two things stand out. First, that word “willing.” Willing, for me, means to allow and remain open. The moment the limiting thoughts start dragging our attention away, we begin to close up. The hardest question to answer yes to for me right now is, “Are you willing to be uncomfortable?”

    The second is this: “It’s less about the outcome and more about the process.” YES. We get so focused on the content of our lives instead of remembering it’s all a process, that what IS today will be different tomorrow or even in a few hours. Fantastic, Otiti!

    • Otiti 19/08/2012 at 18:09 #

      Ellen! Warms my heart to see you here. 🙂 I totally relate to “Are you willing to be uncomfortable?” because my first instinct is to scream “NO!”, yet there’s really no alternative if I truly wish to grow and step into my power. Sigh.

      As for the process bit, you have no idea how often I chant that to myself, LOL. It’s incredibly easy to forget that part of the equation and develop tunnel vision towards the goal(s) in mind, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. If anything, it leaves us stuck feeling unproductive and below par.

      Thanks for adding to the conversation, Ellen!

  3. Yana Good 19/08/2012 at 18:22 #

    Otiti,
    Thank you love for sharing your Light! You are magnificent! I needed to hear what I feel in your words….Abundant Blessings and Love! Yana

    • Otiti 19/08/2012 at 18:50 #

      Hi, Yana! You’re so welcome and thank you for sharing your experience! It’s my absolute pleasure to share as much love and light as I can. 🙂 I’m honoured by your lovely words. Peace and blessings.

  4. myspokenheart 19/08/2012 at 22:35 #

    Why? that really is the question now isn’t it… I have been asking myself why? for a long time now… I feel the why, but am not completely sure I can define it, especially at this stage of growth where it feels like everything is changing faster than I can process it. It is like a ‘need’… I have a need to release and create or I may explode. I just can’t keep it bottled up inside me anymore. My hope is that through this process of personal release, others can find inspiration and insight… 🙂

    Thanx for the post Otiti…

    • Otiti 19/08/2012 at 23:32 #

      Hello, my dear! Ah yes, the need that’s on a slow burn from some time then suddenly erupts into a flurry of activity, right? I know precisely what you mean. That’s how I feel most times when I sit to write or get my thoughts across. I’m not quite sure it can be satisfactorily named; perhaps it can only be felt and expressed as best as possible. There’s always something to learn from soulful words straight from the gut. 😉
      You’re welcome! And thank YOU for sharing your thoughts with me.

  5. miss rugbere 20/08/2012 at 09:20 #

    My favorite blogger… Been ages.
    This paragraph spoke volumes to me:
    “Your why has to be something that stirs your blood, something you truly believe in, something that makes your nerves tingle and itch to get started. It’s got to be something you’re willing to invest in, even when people say or think you’re wrong. Even when you’re the only one crazy enough to think it’ll work at first. Even when you’re tired and aching for rest, but still choose to soldier on.”

    Just last night my friend was talking tow about her why’ becoming clearer. It’s been a whole Mami.we shud chat,boy have I got news for ya! Hehe

    • Otiti 24/08/2012 at 00:37 #

      Hey sweetie, I know! we totally gotta catch up and I’m chuffed my words resonated (don’t they always? ;)) Holler at a sister when you’re online!

  6. Izzy 28/08/2012 at 08:21 #

    Otiti,
    This is powerful and honest. I think dreams are fluid (as you so eloquently put it). The second we have it nailed down “this is what I want” it will soon change. That is wonderful because it means we can ever-be evolving but at the same time it is scary too. Scary because it means that maybe we can never truly figure it out.

    I guess this means we better enjoy the journey right :).

    This particular line just stuck with me Otiti:

    “The questions about my why brought me up short because my answers aren’t the same as they were a few months ago. I’m not even sure I know what they are anymore.”

    I think this is so darn beautiful! This means you are making progress. The fact that you want to be a different woman now, or your “why” is different is evidence of growth. Is it not?

    Flat out digging it! Where are you coming up with this stuff? You got a magic hat or something… And to think you been holding out on me (shaking my head) – Just playin’. Great, great, GREAT post Otiti!

    • Otiti 28/08/2012 at 18:29 #

      Izzy, ma man! Thank you, thank you, I do what I can. 😀 Why yes, I DO have a magic hat. We can discuss terms for your subscription. 😉

      Yeah, you’re totally right. “maybe we can never truly figure it out” because what’s the point of getting it right and having nothing left to do afterwards, you know? I believe our dreams keep changing because WE keep growing; what works today won’t necessarily cut it tomorrow or next week.

      Yup, I’ve outgrown my previous answers and am now on the prowl for juicier ones. Watch this space. 😉

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