Living Life On Your Terms

Why is it that so many people seem to think they know what’s best for everyone else, but they can’t seem to get their own shit together? A lot of people are living lives of quiet desperation wishing they had done this, or they had done that. Maybe that’s why they’re so quick to give advice or offer direction to someone that seems to be heading towards the same path they took. Unfortunately, they tend to offer the same advice that took them to a place in life that never intended to be in.

Now, of course, children need guidance from their parents. But once the time arrives for them to graduate high-school, it’s time to let them spread their wings a little and try to figure stuff out on their own. Too many people and parents think they know what’s best for them and they really don’t. Of course, they usually do this with great intentions in mind and are only wanting what’s best for the person. But, all too often this results in the ‘advisor’ being happy and not the person following they advice.

Do What Makes You Happy

Let me elaborate on that a little bit.

Let’s say you come from a family of doctors but you love architecture. And everyone in the family is counting on you to carry on the family tradition of being a doctor. But you really want to be an architect. So, you go to med school in order to keep everyone happy. That is everyone but YOU! Because every time you see an elaborate design you wonder what if. What if I would’ve become an architect. Every time you look in the mirror and you’re wearing scrubs you’re reminded that you’re doing something you’re heart really isn’t into.

You Can Change

You have two options when this happens. When you don’t follow your heart in the first place and realize down the road that you should have. You can either do what it is that you really want to do.

Or…

You can keep living a miserable life doing something you hate. But that feeling of wishing you would’ve followed your gut instinct is NEVER going to go away.

Oh, you can try to drown it out with drugs and alcohol. But when you get up the next morning that feeling is still going to be there. Plus, you’ll have a nice hangover.

If you don’t love your life then you are living on someone else’s terms. Find out what lights you up, fills your soul and brings your passion to the world. Do that! Anything else is doing a disservice to those that brought you into this world. Always remember to follow your dreams. They matter because you matter. ~Lewis Howes

 

It’s Not Too Late

You can’t use the excuse that you’re too old either. If you’re able to read this that means you’re still above grade. My gramma didn’t get her college degree until she was in her 60’s. And Colonel Sanders didn’t start Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was near retirement age. So don’t use age as an excuse, use it as a reason.

The following story is a great example of trying to live someone else’s dream before finally listening to yourheart and following your dream.

This is the story of a girl who knew her Plan A from the time she was a little girl, took a major detour, and came full circle 20 years later, and I’m here to tell you, it’s never too late!

I was raised in a middle class home by wonderful parents who both came from very poor families. They worked very hard to provide a home and a life for my sister and me that would be much different than what they experienced growing up. We weren’t well off, but we had everything we needed.

I was a musical kid from the time I was born. My whole existence was defined by music and I was very involved in it in school from 4th grade on. When I graduated from high school outside of Baltimore, MD, I decided to venture off and move 700 miles away from home to attend Belmont University, a very well known music school in Nashville, TN where I had received an academic scholarship. My natural inclination was to major in music and become a recording artist. Belmont was known for attracting the caliber of talent that generated star power. All you have to do is look at some of the talent I graduated with: Trisha Yearwood, LeAnn Womack, band members of Little Texas, and the list goes on. But my parents encouraged me to major in Music Business instead as that was the more practical choice that would assure me a steady job with benefits and 401K. I thought this sounded like a sensible plan, a plan for which I was not suited.

Fast-forward 20 years later, I am 14 years into a career in journalism with the largest newspaper company in the world, Gannett. I was living my Plan B, benefits and 401K in tow, and I felt like a round peg trying to fit into a square hole, and inside, the musically creative me was dying, until one day at work, I got a wake up call.

During a staff meeting with a new editor, we were asked to share something about ourselves with our co-workers that they may not know. Racking my brain, I thought, “What can I share that my colleagues of all these years don’t know about me?” When it came my turn, I told my co-workers that I played seven different instruments. All of them were surprised, and one of them told me they didn’t even realize that I was musical. This was like a knife to my chest. Here I was, the kid that had been defined by music my entire life, the one very obvious God-given talent I possessed, and I had shelved it. How could they not know that’s who I AM? I KNEW right then and there I had to make a change.

I started writing songs and playing writers nights here in Nashville, all the while, still working my full-time day job which I was TERRIFIED to leave because it was “safe.” What’s worse, the music industry is a “young “ person’s playground. Record labels don’t sign people in their 30s or 40s, especially women, so no sense in quitting my day job. But that was okay with me. I had resigned myself to being the best songwriter I could be. “I don’t have to be an artist,” I told myself. “Someone else can sing my songs.” But the artist inside of me kept tapping on the shoulder of my heart, reminding me that God gave me a voice and my own unique artistry for a reason.

In the meantime, I had been searching for a deeper sense of self-worth, self-love and self-esteem. I had been introduced by my sister to some authors and teachers of the law of attraction. I was seeking out a life that was more in line with spirit and looking for mentors in line with this new way of thinking. I started studying and reading everything I could get my eyes and ears on, and I was starting to gain a new perspective on things, on how I had lived my life up to that point and why I was living my Plan B. I realized I had a pretty unhealthy perspective that needed to change if I wanted break the ties that bound me.

I eventually found the nerve to trade in my day job for work in the world of promotional modeling. This would allow me the time flexibility, being an independent contractor, to pursue recording my first album, a pop-country album… so I thought. It was scary, outside my comfort zone, and sometimes I barely made ends meet, but I was on the path to Plan A, FINALLY!

In the winter of 2012, I co-wrote a Christmas song for my mom and dad. My dad was in poor health and I wanted to give him something very special for Christmas: a song reminiscent of the big band era he so loved. This was a big part of the music I grew up on and I had a very close connection with it. Unfortunately my father passed away right before Christmas that year and didn’t get to hear the song I wrote for him, at least not in his human form.

The following year, I did a crowd funding campaign and raised $36,000 to record an “all-original,” 1940s-style, big band Christmas album in honor of my father.

These days, I wake up every morning and write about, read out loud and visualize my goals for my music and my life. One of the things I wrote about and visualized, was my mentor, Bob Proctor, putting his ears to my Christmas album. Well, God works like magic when we come to Him repetitively asking and believing, and Bob not only got a hold of my album, but he loved it, and said he would like for everyone to have it, just in time for Christmas.

LaLa Deaton

 

Now go do what you should’ve in the first place.

~Dana

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