Back to the Beginning

I keep myself busy. I work full-time, maintain good relationships with friends and family, and I'm working on building a career in the music business. I know how to plan the work and work the plan. I set goals and I work hard to achieve them. 

But somewhere in all my goal-setting and work-planning I think I started to lose sight of something very important: why I started in the first place. I'm ashamed to admit it, but here lately I've been so preoccupied with achieving my goals that I've neglected the sheer and simple enjoyment of dreaming.  I toil, I work, I strive, but the idyllic days of sitting quietly and dreaming, writing, singing for the joy of it seem like echoes from another life. 

I've heard all the possible success formulas out there. And there's truth to them. Getting where you want to go takes some sacrifices. Hard work is good. If you want to create something good it's going to take effort. To create something great takes exhaustive effort. But to create something meaningful takes more than effort or exhaustive effort. 

It takes purpose. 

That's what I've lost sight of lately: purpose. My why. My reason for doing what I do. I've gotten caught up in my to-do list mentality and forgotten why I made that to-do list. It wasn't because I want to be a famous writer. I don't even want to be famous. My why? It's simple: 

"If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain." 
                      -Emily Dickinson

That's my why. To help bind up the gaping wounds left on the hearts of the people around me. To stop one heart from breaking. Then another. To cool with songs of joy the burning pain of sadness. To hope. To grow. To heal.

But how do you go back to that? How do I relearn what once came naturally to me? Well, friends, I don't know. Maybe I should do what Jon Foreman once told me: do what I do because I love it, regardless of who shows up to listen.

I have no answers, just a lot of maybes and a place to start.

That place? Back at the beginning.