Living Your Best Life with Passion and Purpose
Colorful and glossy, Cowboys & Indians is a magazine with great photographs, interesting articles and a lot of attractive ads for some truly gorgeous stuff. My current issue arrived recently, and I read an interview with actor John Schneider written by Jordan Rane. Perhaps best known for his 1980’s role as Bo Duke, the handsome and charming “golden-locked hero of Hazzard County,” Schneider was given the opportunity to talk about his upcoming role in Doonby, a mystery set in a small Texas town.
Talking about his lead role in the new indie film, C & I asks if he plays “a good guy, a bad guy or something in the middle.” And it was Schneider’s answer to this question that I found intriguing. He said, in part, that he is, “…a good guy with an edge who’s stuck somewhere in the middle.” And I thought to myself that will probably make for a complex and possibly compelling character, and it makes for good cinema, but it wouldn’t be a description I would want for myself.
I was reminded of a line I heard recently, that if you aren’t living on the edge you’re taking up too much space. Now the notion of living on the edge, rather than having an edge appeals to me. I think of myself as a good gal who knows what I believe, what I want and what I stand for on important issues. I know who I am and Whose I am. And I am willing to learn new things and take calculated risks to obtain my heart’s desire, such as most recently “living closer to the land.”
I don’t feel that I am “stuck somewhere in the middle” of being a good person or a bad person. And such a predicament is unappealing to me. I am reminded of the scripture verse, “Would that you were either hot or cold; but because you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth.” I get the impression that God wants us to have a decided heart, to have passion and convictions and stand for something good and right. While I believe a character who grapples with important issues and exhibits ambivalence can make for great acting and provocative entertainment, in real life I prefer individuals who have clarity and values and focus.
This is not to intimate that there is no room for questions, change or even occasional confusion as one is in the midst of discernment or facing a real challenge. But the hope is that during the sorting out process one comes from a place that is values based and holds the end result in mind. Which is one of the reasons I so enjoy learning and experiencing new things. Everything is easier to face, or that much sweeter, if one knows who they are and what they believe. I love the clarity and simplicity captured in the words of the prophet Micah when stating that God has shown us what is good and what is required: “To act justly andlove mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
My love of nature and the Southwest is expressing itself in a new way, having just acquired 48 acres of undeveloped land atop a mesa in Northern New Mexico, with stunning 360 degree views. We are totally off-grid, with a newly drilled solar-powered well and a septic system just installed. The foundation for the house has been poured, and next will be the solar system for the house and the home itself. We wanted to be remote, yet not isolated. We are planning a garden and will have a greenhouse, and hopefully some chickens and goats. I’d also like to take in a couple of rescue horses.
Some of our friends think we are just a tad bit crazy or that we’ve gone over the edge; those who are most supportive see it as a real adventure. A few of our sub-contractors, after braving our admittedly long, rocky, rutted and truly exciting dirt road, said with good humor that they think we are nuts. Still they’ve done wonderful work, enabling us to be off the grid and more self-reliant. As for me, I acknowledge we are pushing some limits, re-defining our comfort zone, relinquishing some long enjoyed conveniences, and are perhaps living rather close to an edge in order to realize a keenly visualized dream. Still I know for sure that being able to do this is a wonderfully incredible privilege; and that living one’s right and chosen life, purposefully and with heartfelt intention, is much more appealing to me in real life than being a character stuck somewhere between good and bad anything.
Without creativity, clarity, conviction, passion and purpose it is not possible to accomplish much of anything significant or meaningful. Throughout our process of moving to this stunning mesa-top property and all of the attendant challenges, I have often thought of a favorite quote of mine by Napoleon Hill, “I see only the end result, all obstacles must give way.” Living and working with purpose and focus is a remarkable blessing. My renewed hope is that you might do whatever it takes to become free; to refuse to live a “lukewarm” life; to neither settle for nor remain “stuck” in or between anything; and to do whatever it takes to realize your dreams. Remember that when you are living your best life with passion and purpose, you are God’s love revealed. It is something I truly wish for everyone, except those characters played by gifted actors we can learn from in the movies.
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