Do what you love!

A lot of people will identify with the fact that sometimes life becomes a series of habits or rituals. Sometimes, we can find years have passed by in a state of half-existence. Have you ever been in the position where your thoughts barely get beyond getting to the weekend, or the next holiday so you can go and spend it with people you love or visit a place you’ve only dreamed of? Do you look at other people in your life, and wonder where they get their energy and motivation to fulfill random tasks or to gratify such strange hobbies?

The only way our existence on this earth is amplified is by changing our experiences; the places we visit, the people we meet and also the way we spend our time.

Maybe you still haven’t found that something that makes you tick; the action that makes you sit up a bit straighter; drives you a bit harder; the thing that makes you continue what you’re doing and ignites the fuel to a passion you didn’t even know existed.  Well, guess what?

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It takes a dollop of faith and lots of patience but you’ll get there in the end.  Because I truly believe that’s the way it’s been written. And then when you’re ready, show some gratefulness to the One who landed this beautiful gift in your lap, with a new and deep sincerity.

Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive –Hafez, an inspirational persian poet once said.

Here’s a short story for you to consider:
The Story of Gillian Lynne
~excerpted from the book The Element by Ken Robinson

Gillian was only eight years old, but her future was already at risk. Her schoolwork was a disaster, at least as far as her teachers were concerned. She turned in assignments late, her handwriting was terrible, and she tested poorly. Not only that, she was a disruption to the entire class, one minute fidgeting noisily, the next staring out the window, forcing the teacher to stop the class to pull Gillian’s attention back, and the next doing something to disturb the other children around her. Gillian wasn’t particularly concerned about any of this — she was used to being corrected by authority figures and really didn’t see herself as a difficult child — but the school was very concerned. This came to a head when the school wrote to her parents.

The school thought that Gillian had a learning disorder of some sort and that it might be more appropriate for her to be in a school for children with special needs. All of this took place in the 1930s. I think now they’d say she had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and they’d put her on Ritalin or something similar. But the ADHD epidemic hadn’t been invented at the time. It wasn’t an available condition. People didn’t know they could have that and had to get by without it.

Gillian’s parents received the letter from the school with great concern and sprang to action. Gillian’s mother put her daughter in her best dress and shoes, tied her hair in ponytails, and took her to a psychologist for assessment, fearing the worst. Gillian told me that she remembers being invited into a large oak-paneled room with leather-bound books on the shelves. Standing in the room next to a large desk was an imposing man in a tweed jacket. He took Gillian to the far end of the room and sat her down on a huge leather sofa. Gillian’s feet didn’t quite touch the floor, and the setting made her wary. Nervous about the impression she would make, she sat on her hands so that she wouldn’t fidget.

The psychologist went back to his desk, and for the next twenty minutes, he asked Gillian’s mother about the difficulties Gillian was having at school and the problems the school said she was causing. While he didn’t direct any of his question at Gillian, he watched her carefully the entire time. This made Gillian extremely uneasy and confused. Even at this tender age, she knew that this man would have a significant role in her life. She knew what it meant to attend a “special school,” and she didn’t want anything to do with that. She genuinely didn’t feel that she had any real problems, but everyone else seemed to believe she did. Given the way her mother answered the questions, it was possible that even she felt this way.

Maybe, Gillian thought, they were right.

Eventually, Gillian’s mother and the psychologist stopped talking. The man rose from his desk, walked to the sofa, and sat next to the little girl.

“Gillian, you’ve been very patient, and I thank you for that,” he said. “But I’m afraid you’ll have to be patient for a little longer. I need to speak to your mother privately now. We’re going to go out of the room for a few minutes. Don’t worry; we won’t be very long.”

Gillian nodded apprehensively, and the two adults left her sitting there on her own. But as he was leaving the room, the psychologist leaned across his desk and turned on the radio.

As soon as they were in the corridor outside the room, the doctor said to Gillian’s mother, “Just stand here for a moment, and watch what she does.” There was a window into the room, and they stood to one side of it, where Gillian couldn’t see them. Nearly immediately, Gillian was on her feet, moving around the room to the music. The two adults stood watching quietly for a few minutes, transfixed by the girl’s grace. Anyone would have noticed there was something natural — even primal — about Gillian’s movements. Just as they would have surely caught the expression of utter pleasure on her face.

At last, the psychologist turned to Gillian’s mother and said, “You know, Mrs. Lynne, Gillian isn’t sick. She’s a dancer. Take her to a dance school.”

I asked Gillian what happened then. she said her mother did exactly what the psychiatrist suggested. “I can’t tell you how wonderful it was, ” she told me. “I walked into this room, and it was full of people like me. People who couldn’t sit still. People who had to move to think.”

She started going to the dance school every week, and she practiced at home every day. Eventually, she auditioned for the Royal Ballet School in London, and they accepted her. She went on to join the Royal Ballet Company itself, becoming a soloist and performing all over the world. When that part of her career ended, she formed her own musical theater company and produced a series of highly successful shows in London and New York. Eventually, she met Andrew Lloyd Webber and created with him some of the most successful musical theater productions in history, including Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.

Little Gillian, the girl with the high-risk future, became known to the world as Gillian Lynne, one of the most accomplished choreographers of our time, someone who has brought pleasure to millions and earned millions of dollars. This happened becausesomeone looked deep into her eyes — someone who had seen children like her before and knew how to read the signs. Someone else might have put her on medication and told her to calm down. But Gillian wasn’t a problem child. She didn’t need to go away to a special school.

She just needed to be who she really was.

In this story, Gillian was given the gift of finding what she truly loved at a young age.  She then became successful by studying this art with a passion that was second-to-none.  If you love doing something, the time you devote to learning it is not work- it’s fun. And that’s when the real ‘learning’ takes place.  The hours you put in, the drive that you’ve shown in this particular field means that no matter what happens you won’t give up.  Many stories come to mind when thinking about this concept.  We all know about JK Rowling being repeatedly rejected when she first wrote Harry Potter; likewise Jojo Moyes, a contemporary author, had three of her first novels rejected and then once she was a published author, her ninth book  ‘Me Before You’ – was a great success. Now she as an internationally acclaimed multimillionaire author.  The key is to continue; to just carry on because you are doing what you love.  The rejection you face shouldn’t stop you from doing what you love.

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The Iceberg Illusion is shown above and is a brilliant example of ‘what people perceive’ Vs ‘the truth’, when they see a successful person.

Once you find your gift, ‘work hard’ or rather ‘play around’ until you are an absolute expert, and then use your gift to spread goodness and peace in this world.  Use your gift in the best way you can and be grateful for it, and that, my dears, will be a fantastic use of your time.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever found something so gratifying that you feel you were literally ‘made’ for it? Let me know your thoughts below.

Until next time then,

Peace and love,

Sidra ❤

PS To help me on my journey to enoughism I will write down 3 things I am grateful for at the end of each post.  These are:

  1. The school will now stay open: We are so happy to announce that Al Khair School will remain open (Praise the Lord!), and an excellent result of the previous impending closure has meant that we are now fired up to make this school a pillar of the community.  I hope that all those who attend become beacons of light for the future generation, God-Willing. Thank you for your continuous prayers, kind thoughts and support!
  2. Easter holidays! Yay 🙂
  3. Rumi Quotes- these always seem to pop up on my sphere of thought as and when I need them.

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Since you’re here I have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the the7ofus.blog than ever but advertising revenues are non-existent. And unlike many lifestyle magazines, I haven’t put up a paywall – I want to keep my writing as open as I can. So you can see why I need to ask for your help. These posts take a lot of time and hard work to produce. It would be amazing if you could help fund me by donating a coffee a two to keep me going! Please press here to give.

7 comments

  1. I adore your writing Sidra, this piece is just lovely. I too have encountered a very similar experience, at school I was fairly talented in some subjects and yet struggled so much with others that I was in the lowest sets and still had difficulties. Teachers truly believed that I ‘couldn’t be bothered’ or was just ‘playing up’.
    Looking back now, I think I may be dyslexic, but who knows?!
    My point is, that with no qualifications, I had to use what I had to make some money, and what I had was a very specific talent for communicating with horses. I know, it’s a bit odd.
    But I went on to create a very successful business from that talent, and not only earned more than what I needed, but I thoroughly enjoyed my work too.
    I went with my talent because at the time, it was my only option, and I am so glad I did. 🙂
    Lots of love to you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow that’s amazing Fiona, I’ll have to nickname you The Horse Whisperer now!! Thank you for your comment – it’s amazing that you had the insight to do what you were good at when you were still quite young…you were successful despite what your teachers thought, so well done for that! Lots of love dear, happy hols! xxx

      Like

  2. Good morning beautiful! This is spot on! I wish the gift of passion is revealed to every soul as early as possible, but if not, then as you say, ‘follow what makes you feel alive’.

    Thank you for this Sidra! May Allah bless you richly in both worlds.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This really is an enlightening and interesting blog Sidra, it really puts into perspective
    that doing what you love is what really matters at the end of the day.
    No one needs to be judged by authorities, stereo typed and put into pigeon holes.
    Every individual is unique

    This highlights the problems/ issues that many children will face by the new Baseline tests which are being introduced to schools The tests will give teachers the impression that each child’s future potential can be calculated.

    This is not even possible 3 years later. A new analysis of KS1 tests by Education Datalab shows the dangers of a belief in fixed ability.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes totally agree! This is not right. I totally believe that children should not be put into boxes at such a young age. What happened to growing and learning? New experiences and meeting new people can teach children so much. It is so limiting to judge how well a child will do so early! Thanks for your comment dear!

      Like

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