December’s Glamour magazine featured many women of the year but gave Sylvia Earle the Lifetime Achievement award for her efforts to protect the planet and oceans. At age 79, she is still actively working in her field of Oceanography. Even more amazing is that she achieved her status as the “Joan of Arc of the Oceans” while raising 3 children. Her “words to live by” are these: “I suggest to everyone: Look in the mirror. Ask yourself: Who are you? What are your talents? Use them and do what you love.” (Glamour, December, 2014, 248-249).
Who you are has to be about what makes you passionate. Your values and what you think is important will ultimately define you. Do you know what makes you tick and what makes your blood boil? If the answer is no, spend some time right now thinking about those two very important questions. At the end of your life, how will you define a life well lived? Sylvia Earle is passionate about marine life and that love has driven her to log over 7,000 hours of diving time in her life. Being a diver myself, I am awed by her accomplishments and applaud her effort to protect our beautiful oceans and marine life.
Maybe you feel trapped by life. You know what you would love to do, but your reality is something different. Perhaps you didn’t get an education or the opportunities to do what you love. Perhaps you gave that up to raise your children or promote your husband’s career. Sylvia inspires me that it is never too late to discover a new love and pursue it or finally get around to following that dream you gave up on a long time ago. She isn’t letting her age keep her from doing what she loves and advocating for what she cares about. Neither should we.
So here’s to taking that first step toward doing what we love, and then another, and another…