I cannot believe my daughter is about to be one year old. I used to wonder, where did my time go? Now I have something tangible to look at that reminds me of the passing of time. A wee baby that could barely hold her head up is now getting ready to walk. Once she started crawling, there was no stopping her. She wants to go everywhere, see everything and touch anything. I had put gates around her play area, but good luck trying to keep her in it.
I have baby proofed the house, putting soft rubber edges around furniture, locking cabinet doors, removing certain furniture that has the potential to fall, putting away cords, and plugging every power outlet. The floor needs to be kept meticulously clean as well, since she likes to put things in her mouth. Nothing stops her. What she sees, what she likes, she goes for it. It doesn’t matter she will fall off me and land flat on her face. It doesn’t matter she’s way too short to reach for it. She will at least attempt to climb. She wants it, she goes for it. I called it dive bombing.
I create a safe environment for her to explore her surroundings, but sometimes it can get dangerous, the way she just dive bombs for things she wants. When she does something dangerous, I cannot help yelling out “no” and stopping her. But I have been wondering why we stop going after what we want as we grow older. Is it because of our parents constantly telling us “no, don’t touch that, don’t go there, stop doing that, that’s dangerous”? What happened to us as adults, why do we stop going after our
passions or stop even trying?
What would my life be like if I did go after my passion? I would have written several books that tell the stories of my patients, very much like Dr. Oliver Sacks’ style. I would be playing the violin good enough to play for an audience or in a band. I would be involved with underprivileged kids in school, inspiring them to stay in school and helping them to go to college.
I would spend more time with my mother and visit with Ms. Judy more often. I would spend as much time as possible with my daughter and she would say, “my mom and I traveled the world and she was always there for me.” My head explodes just thinking about what my life would be like, if I just went after what I feel passionate about.
That leads to the next question: What’s stopping me? I recently came back from a network meeting with my friend Dr. Raj Gupta, who administers the purple pill test to his staff. He offers his staff a purple tic-tac and asks, “if you could have anything you want in your life, would you take this purple pill?” And then he asks, what is this “anything” they want in life. And then he asks why they want it. And then he asks the question, “what is stopping you from going after it?”
The conclusion often is the realization that there is nothing stopping us other than ourselves. Some of you may need to set aside some time to think about what it is that you feel passionate about, but I dare you to do this purple pill test without tearing up or choking up a bit.
If you could have everything you want in your life, what would you do?
Recommended book reading: The Passion Test by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris