These famous words are taken from William Ernest Henley’s poem ‘Invictus’:
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul
I believe that they capture a key element of life. There are many things in life that cannot be controlled, this has been highlighted by the recent worldwide pandemic and subsequent lockdown. During this time many people have been stressed and challenged in ways that they did not know possible, but I also believe that it has brought about a great time for reflection.
To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.Winston Churchill
In the modern world we can be so busy looking after others and chasing our dreams that we forget that we are fundamentally human ‘beings’, we need to take the time to be still and really soak that in. We have become human ‘doings’ and a lot of what we are doing does not even benefit us or our soul purpose. I believe that every soul on this planet has come here with a purpose and that is not just to work a job from Monday to Friday, pay bills, enjoy the weekend and then repeat the whole cycle again. If you have found your passion and that is the job that you do then that is the perfect combination. Working within your passion does not feel as challenging as a job that you simply do in order to pay the bills.
Working hard for something that we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something that we love is called passion.Unknown
One of our main purposes in life is to have knowledge of ourselves. During the pandemic we have all had time to reflect on ourselves and take stock of what we are doing with our lives. Are you constantly aiming to reach a goal without enjoying the journey? If you do not have peace of mind whilst you are trying to attain your goal then you will not suddenly have peace once you reach it.
Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.Wayne Dyer
I have spoken to so many people who have had stories to share about things that they found stressful during the lockdown, due to covid-19, and yet they have also shared that they have a feeling of lightness and sometimes joy also. When they looked a bit further into this, they could see that it was because they have been able to stop doing the things that they did not enjoy, and really focus on themselves. This could be:
- Going to family functions, within a toxic family, which are usually tense and uncomfortable for you.
- Working in a job that you do not like.
- Family commitments that are too stressful, or not shared equally in the family, this could be looking after an elderly parent.
- Meeting up with friends who you feel that you have outgrown and no longer enjoy their company.
Lockdown has highlighted what was draining our energy, and as the captain of your soul if you treat this period of reset, you can decide going forward what you will and will not allow back in your life. If you have enjoyed that there has been a distance with a friend or family member that you find draining then now is your chance to ensure that you keep your distance and do not allow things to go back to how they were before. If you have a job that you do not like and you have been relieved to be away from it, then you may take some time to list the things that you do enjoy doing.
As adults we all have commitments and leaving a job immediately may not be feasible for you, but you can definitely devote some time to list things that you are interested in. What are you passionate about, or another great question is “What would you wake up and gladly do for free if money was not an issue?” The possibilities are endless and with so many online courses available you may decide to take one. If you are not ready to take a course, or do not have the time, you could start doing online research into the subject. Researching your passion and immersing yourself in your interest will help you to deepen your knowledge and when the time is right opportunities and signs will begin to appear to push you in the direction of what you need to do next.
You do not have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.Martin Luther King Jnr
There are many opportunities for us to give our power away so it is important to remember that you are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. If there are things in your life that you are unhappy with, or if you had too many commitments and engagements before lockdown, you owe it to yourself to ensure that you do not stretch yourself so thinly. So much of human “busi-ness” is superficial and when the outside world stops the human ‘being’ is left to do what it is supposed to do ‘be’. We need to provide for ourselves and our families but it is of paramount importance that we remember that this is not a practice run, this is your life and balance is the key going forward.