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what if money was no object?

June 3, 2014

You have heard the question many times before but do you have an answer? What would you be doing if money was no object? If you could do what ever you wanted to do? Sometimes the question is asked during deep conversations after your third or fourth coffee. Perhaps though you ask it on days when you would prefer to be doing anything except what you have to do. It wouldn’t have to be the one thing. Anything else would do.

Today is one of those days. I have lost count of the number of mistakes I have made. The number of times that I have missed the mark, forgotten where I was, said or done the wrong thing or just drawn a big fat blank. It is frustrating and I will admit there have been times when I have wanted to give up. Days when I have heard myself thinking about reasons why going on with it is a stupid idea, why (given, of course, the mistakes and poor decisions made by others) it makes sense to stop.

Mornings when I haven’t wanted to get out of bed because I knew I had to do it again and evenings when I wanted to get back into bed because, well, because I knew I had to go and do it again and again. As the deadline looms it seems to magnify every mistake I make, every time I don’t get it right, every time someone else doesn’t do what they are supposed to do.

Weeks and weeks of feeling like that can get you down.

And it has. I found myself thinking it would all be better if only I was doing that one thing. Then life would be easier, less frustrating, less hectic and less exhausting.

Until I remembered that I am feeling that way because I am doing the one thing. That thing I would do if money was no object. I am rehearsing for a touring theatrical production and it is all of those things.

I think many people live their lives believing that if they could just be doing that one thing that life would be easier, less frustrating, less hectic and less exhausting. Many are surprised to discover that it can in fact be the opposite. It can be harder, more frustrating, more hectic, more exhausting … and they lose sight of the fact that despite all that (perhaps because of it?) life is better.

I think it was M. Scott Peck who said that leading an examined life is much, much harder than living a life of ignorance, but having opened the door you would never go back. I think it is also true of doing that one thing. It is harder … and you would never go back to not doing it.

I think that is how you can tell what your one thing is.

You see, I think we misinterpret the question. It’s not about what you would do if you had all the money in the world. It is about asking yourself what you do when that thing burns inside you so brightly that having money or not having money is no reason to object. It is the one thing you do despite the frustration and the exhaustion AND your life is better because you do it.


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