Guest blog by A G Horne
I am fifty-four years old. It’s a dark and stormy New Year’s Eve, 2015. It does not feel like the time to look back on my career with a prospect of serving others. My career seems to have been a series of failures!
Only now do I understand why. In the past I would work hard to conform, to be what was expected of me, to say what others wanted to hear. In the long term that strategy did not pay off. Only now do I feel really optimistic about life in general. The reason? The realisation that true success is following my own path and whatever makes me feel aligned with a purpose that truly inspires me and serves the greatest good. This could be turning a small beauty clinic business around; publishing my first book; meeting up with fellow network marketers; forex trading and using the profits for charities I believe in.
For me, inspiration is not the same as motivation. Inspiration comes from a deep love of the game of life. Motivation is taking action driven by fear. In my past, I was more motivated to take action. Taking instruction
from my head rather than the deeper wisdom of my heart.
Following my heart has not brought me huge financial rewards (so far). Since I left The City in 2000, I have spent more than made any money. From being a vice president on the trading floor of a major US bank in London, I am now a part-time receptionist at a beauty clinic in Croydon. I am OK with the prospect that writing may never generate a bean in revenue for me. Actually, it’s liberating. My creative life is no longer burdened by the constant need for external validation.
As a writer, any day job is valuable research into oneself and the lives of those around me. What I learn enriches the characters in my book and it enriches me in greater understanding and compassion. Regular meditation helps too, that’s a whole book/blog on its own.
How did this journey as a writer start? In 1998 I was working as a dealer on the London trading floor of another huge bank but my health was suffering following the trauma of my recent divorce. My boss who had recently been through a divorce herself introduced me to a gifted alternative health professional, Craig.
Craig got me sorted quickly where conventional medicine had failed. He introduced me to a personal development program which altered the course of my destiny. Within two years I was out of The City with enough savings to live frugally for ten years while I worked on my book and learned what it takes to write that elusive one true line. On one of the courses, I met my spiritual coach and mentor, Wesley, with whom I still speak on Skype each week despite our transatlantic timezone difference.
Craig died yesterday. It was cancer. Even though we had lost touch over the years I kept up with his business developments through Facebook. Life seems so tenuous as well as precious. That sunken, heaviness in my chest won’t go away. It may well be sadness that he died too soon but it may be also immense gratitude that he lived.
My coach says that we never know what impact we have on another person’s life: A thoughtful gesture, a kind word spoken from a courageous heart could alter the course of history. He also says that a few years lived truly from your heart is more powerful than a long empty lifetime.
My promise for 2016 is that I will follow my heart and work from the passion which I know is limitless. If I attempt to chase money and prestige, I will burn out. I’ve learned that if you do not engage your heart, your body wears out quickly, like driving a car fast in too low a gear. There were too many funerals in 2015 for me to be seduced any more by empty promises.
May your life be filled with many brilliant adventures. May your promise be realised in 2016.
Many thanks to our guest blogger A G Horne