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On Reading “The Element” – Part 4

December 14, 2009

Last night I was reading a few chapters of The Element before going to bed, and I got to Chapter Nine, entitled, “Is It Too Late?”

Without really knowing it, this was the chapter I’d been waiting for the author to write since I started the book. Yes, I’m only twenty-six years old, but I still have the sense that I’ve somehow missed the boat on finding my Element. Not so, says, Dr. Ken Robinson. I learned two things from the chapter:

1) I need to read the book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers,

and 2) I’ve been thinking of life as linear, when really it’s much more cyclical.

This is a wonderful thought, because it reminds me that if I really want to do something, I don’t have to worry that I’ve missed my opportunity to do it when I was younger, or whatever, I can just get started and do it.

The number of times in the last week that I’ve come across the phrase, “Just DO things,” is really startling. It’s fantastic advice, certainly, and something that I clearly need to remember. For the last year or so, I’ve been floundering around in my life, trying to figure out what I “should” be doing, what my “perfect” career might be. If you haven’t already noticed, I’m something of a perfectionist, and one of the major downsides of being a perfectionist is wanting everything to be perfect before you start something.

And of course it’s clear to everyone that conditions will never be perfect, so many a perfectionist never gets anything done. This is the trap I feel I’ve fallen under, and not for the first time.

So, I’m going to take the advice that the Universe has been trying to beat me over the head with, which is to “Just DO things,” and see where that takes me. It has to be somewhere more interesting than this indecisive nowhere-ville I’ve been mired in for the last little while.

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