does your activity follow your identity?

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I am reading a book that is very life transforming.  It’s a New York Times best seller titled “The Art of Work” by Jeff Goins.  And for me it is a watershed book that requires soaking in the words, digesting the ideas, but it resonates with my soul.  And one of the key ideas he suggests about each of us is that we develop our identity, and the activities that surround our life are driven by that identity.

What do you call yourself?  What do you believe is your purpose on this earth?  We all have something that speaks to our soul, satisfies us like nothing else.  I think i have found mine.  I call myself Artist – and as I spend more time in the studio working on pieces, developing my skill, marketing my outcomes, and getting to know that market this identity takes on deeper meaning, greater purpose.  The more I sink into the identity, the more I immerse myself in the choices for my life that will develop that role. I like it.

And i am drawn to a quote by Eric Little, the infamous Olympic runner who believed and identified himself as a runner…. (He was made famous by a move called Chariots of Fire)  He said “When i run i sense God’s pleasure.”  He believed his identity was to run, gloriously run, and that he was designed for that reason.  My soul echos that with art.  When i am alone with my palate of silk dye, time, silk and creativity i sense God’s pleasure, and i sense a deep satisfaction in my soul.  Artist, its a title, but Artist is also a destination.

That idea reminds me of the first days of learning to drive dad’s car.  “Always look forward to where you are going” dad would say.  Keep an eye on the rear view mirror, but dont focus on that…. keep those eyes out front where you can see the road ahead of you, the traffic around you, and you can see the signs that indicate where you are going.

Finding your identity is one of the more challenging things to do.  But its in there, waiting for you to discover.  Who you were made to be has a thread through your entire life.  I can remember as young as 3 finding consuming passion playing with artistic things… cutting paper to make a collage, sketching flowers and trees, birds and buildings.  Taking acrylic painting classes, watercolor, and those years and years of violin lessons.  The thread of art has run through every nook of my soul, with many years unrequited because my focus was on something else, like a job that did not harness any of my passion or skill.

So today, what do you think of yourself? What hat do you put on to label your life?  And what do you want to be?  If you are inclined to reading i would highly recommend “The Art of Work” by Jeff Goins.  He clarifies a lot of questions i think we all have.  I think at the heart of each of us we do believe we were put on this earth for a reason…. some of us find it quickly, and others spend their lifetime never having known what that identity is.  This is the year for me to define myself in greater ways, and develop that identity into a life.


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