I used to work at a company where the CEO’s own personal life mantra was painted prominently on the wall in a common area for all to aspire and adhere to. It read: On purpose, Off self. Perhaps the irony was lost on him. The concept is meant to describe the state in which people are at their best: one hundred percent of your focus and capacity should be on the act of doing whatever it is that you’re doing instead of on yourself; on self thoughts create paralysis, indecision, and frustration, such that you will never reach optimal output. This always seemed a fairly dispassionate approach to life.
I appreciate the concept of not letting yourself get in the way of yourself, but is it narcissistic or limiting to infuse something personal into all that you do? Does putting yourself into something mean a suboptimal result?
In any endeavor that I undertake there’s a lot of meaning and emotion wrapped up therein that stems from the personal. I also usually seek to leave my mark, or have a unique impact. Injecting something personal into all that I do is “on self” living, to me. “On self” behavior is engaged, present, and passionate.
The pursuit of living this way prompted me to make a list of things that I love. These are things that brought a smile to my face even as I wrote them down. Some are silly, some are deep. With this list, I’m issuing myself a challenge of sorts: live present and engaged enough to encounter (and Instagram!) all of these things by the end of the year. If my eyes are open and I’m always ready to experience the things that I love, I’ll be engaged with the world around me, and be practicing sustained appreciation and passion. It’s also a nice practice to name and note the things in life that bring you joy.
So, I invite y’all to take this challenge with me: make a list of things that you love, and go forth to seek them! And take pictures along the way, sharing them with the hashtag #EMlovelist.