The Pull of What You Love

February 2003

I’m writing this from our home on the Eastern Shore, which is a simple haven that we retreat to at least once a month. It is a cold, drizzly morning that calls for cozy sweaters and a bright fire (and maybe even a pancake breakfast). Coming here is very peaceful, refreshing, and quiet. It is a treat to pass the hours here reading, watching the birds at the feeders, taking long walks, and thinking about my life and my work.

This week I came across a quote from Rumi that reads, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.” In reflecting on this, several things struck me. First the need to let go, to let yourself be pulled by something you love. We spend so much time pushing ourselves and forcing ourselves on goals and actions that we really don’t even care about. Some of that, it seems to me, is because we haven’t allowed ourselves the time and space to discover what we truly love or want in life. Also, I know that I sometimes think that because something is difficult to attain or achieve, it must somehow be a worthy goal. I’m slowly learning that is not always the case.

The essential ingredients, then, seem to be a letting go; quiet; and clarity about what it is you really love. There is a sense of surrender, of peaceful flow towards what we love. Don’t mistake this for a drifting through life; there is hard work in honestly articulating what it is we love and value. But once that is done, we can then be still and allow ourselves to be pulled by what we truly love.

How does this translate into our everyday work lives? Start by defining what it is you love about your work.or what you love that you bring to your work. Let yourself do (or be) that every day. It may be serving your customers, caring for an elderly person, creating a beautiful brochure, developing a team, or designing a strategic plan. Pay attention to what pulls you, what beckons you to joyfully devote time and energy and talent. Sure, there will always be the other stuff, those things you don’t much enjoy or get excited about. But make sure that you don’t allow the din and clamor of those other responsibilities to diffuse the stronger pull of what you really love.

Thank you for the privilege of sharing some of my thoughts with you.

Sharon Keys Seal

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