By David DiSalvo, Forbes Contributor
Every single one of the 10 reasons David DiSalvo offers in this piece speak to all the things that have played a role in some way or another in holding me back. I’ve taken the liberty and transformed each into action steps:
1. Believe in yourself, and others will believe in you.
2. You are not what others say you are.
3. Rock the boat.
4. Life is short. Take risks.
5. Choose based on what you want to be remembered for.
6. You alone determine what role you let yourself play.
7. Accept that certainty is an illusion.
8. Don’t wait. Go after what your heart desires. Playing it safe doesn’t guarantee anything.
9. There’s always more to learn and ways to grow.
10. Learning to adapt and sit with uncertainty is imperative to living the life you seek to live.
The main takeaway: Nothing is certain. It’s more risky not to risk. That is, if you want to live a life worth remembering.
Last week, I took a leap. I quit my job. The courage to do so came from knowing I could no longer not live the life I was seeking to live. And it is taking every ounce of energy to not do all the things that DiSalvo lists. To even sit with the question, “what do I want?” has been an excruciating task. Why? Because as soon I name it, what’s next is owning it and taking responsibility for all that follows. Growing up is what some might call it. And as Harry Spence has shown me, growing up is what I hope I always do for as long as I have in this life.
So, I don’t know what it means for you, but for me the challenge I sit with at the moment: To listen. To listen to what my heart is telling me. To really listen. And to start to own what it is I hear in small ways to start. Then hopefully in larger ways. Quitting my job was hard as hell, but that was just step 1. Hopefully, starting with a bit of believing in myself, I’ll make it to step 2 and 3, and so on and so forth, without giving up.
I am honored to introduce to you, Lewis Harry Spence.
Harry, who I’ve known for a little over a year now, is a large part of the reason why this site exists. He was the first person I officially considered to be “living proof”. After every cup of coffee I had with Harry, and the more I learned about him, the more I wanted to share his story with people I knew would benefit from knowing him. And I am beside myself to be able to do that with this project.
For me, Harry is living proof that it’s not about what you do, it’s about how you approach what you do – the principles and values that you live by.
Some highlights that still speak to me:
- “there’s sort of a notion that by 25 you’re grown up, and I deeply believe that is a terribly stilted notion about development. I hope I have grown dramatically over the course of my 30s and 40s and 50s. And I do believe I am a very different person that I was 25 or 30 years ago. That there is a continuous process of social learning that is profound and powerful.”
- “it’s so easy to fool yourself. It’s so easy for your ego to fool you into believing you’re doing the righteous thing. When in fact it’s more about you than it’s about the task and about the needs of others.”
- “I can now say, in many ways, my work is itself a spiritual discipline.”
- “Even between 56 and 66, the sense of sustained equanimity keeps increasing. But it constantly requires lots of discipline and lots of learning.”
- “It’s all about where my focus is. Is it on my well being or is it external – on trying to bring myself in support of the needs of the world? And if I can stay in that space…and it’s a struggle…if I can stay in that space, then that’s a space in within which great and immense satisfaction and sense of meaning arises.”
I hope you’ll take the time to watch the video. I assure you it will be worth your while.
No words suffice in expressing my gratitude to Harry for making his story so accessible to me, and now to you… and any one who has the pleasure of stumbling upon this video.