Do What You Love, and Do It Often!

Doing what you love is freedom. Loving what you do is happiness. —Lana Del Rey

When I was a kid, I would ride my bike around and around the neighborhood, speaking to anyone outside, waving to the dogs in the front yard. As I raced around our circle, I listened to the playing cards I had painstakingly placed in the wheel spokes. The faster I pedaled, the more I could hear the hum of the cards as they flapped against the spokes. I felt wild and free and oh-so-happy! Biking was definitely my first true love. And the start of my interest in noticing things I love, things that make my heart sing.

Many of us have been taught to “buck-up” and grow up, to handle responsibilities and work — you know, Life. We save our fun for the weekends and even then tend to stack that time with “things to do,” rather than “things we love to do.”

Recently I was in a long line at the store. The woman in front of me was loudly complaining. At one point, she turned and looked directly at me. I think she wanted me to join in with her awfulizing. Instead, I struck up a conversation and asked her to tell me five things she loved to do, things that brought a smile to her face. She narrowed her eyes as if I had asked a trick question. For a minute, I thought she was going to blast me.

“Well,” she stuttered, swallowing hard, her brow furrowed as she tried to come up with something. “Umm … I love to … travel!” And with that, her eyes lit up.

“What else?” I prompted.

“I love playing with my kids.” This time her eyes glossed over, and her lips curled into a sweet, satisfied smile. You could tell this was a mom who enjoyed being a mom.

“Three more,” I urged. “You’re on a roll.”

“I love going out to dinner with friends. And going for long walks by myself. I love singing in the house when no one is listening!” And with that she broke into a big smile.

By the time the line started moving again, I had not only made a new friend, but her ogre-like demeanor had also disappeared completely because she had connected to her heart — the source of all dreams and desires, the source of all that we love. It is the ultimate “quicker picker upper.”

Your heart is your GPS. Consult it often. It will show you what you love and even help you create steps toward your desires. It has a secret code just for you. In fact, only you can feel what that is. Your internal cues? Joy. Excitement. That WOW feeling!

Are you up for a challenge? Every day, make a note of 5 things you love to do and take action toward them. Next, make a note of 5 things you love about another person and share it with them. Scribble it on a post-it note, tack it on the fridge, leave a voicemail. Get creative and think outside the box.

Every day is not Valentine’s Day, but when you share how you feel with another person, you light up that same love in yourself.

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Tami Hendrix