In these first days of true happiness, dancing to the beat of a new drummer, the passion drummer, I have been asked more often than not what my strategy is going to be to not fall back into my old ways, to not start dancing with my old familiar, the goal-oriented drummer. I can see how this might be a big concern to someone. But oddly enough, this hasn't been a problem for me. All the reinforcement I'll ever need to keep dancing to the passion drummer is right here, and it rears its nasty head on a regular basis. I like to call it "feeling the ugly."
You know that "thing" you feel when you start wondering what you're missing, that void within yourself that you yearn to fill? That's "feeling the ugly." As soon as I feel the ugly, I know that I'm dancing to the wrong drummer's beat. It really is that simple. When I feel unfulfilled, I realize I'm focusing on the future, placing expectations upon myself, and not living in the moment and focusing on passion, enjoyment and having fun.
Sure "feeling the ugly" has been a catalyst to good things in my life. Feeling the ugly has spurred me into creating any number of goals in my life that I went on to accomplish. And I think feeling the ugly can and should be used to help determine which goals you want to set for yourself. I'm all for goal setting and self-exploration. What I don't want to ever happen again in my life is to think that feeling (the ugly) is anything but a want for something not yet attained. It isn't anything I need to internalize as some sort of failure in myself, some sort of missing puzzle piece in my psyche, or some sort of measure of success. It's simply the mechanism by which I know it's time to start another cycle of dance with the goal-oriented drummer. It's then that I stop and listen for the passion drummer.
The passion drummer could give two rips about the ugly. Sure, we have goals but they have no bearing on happiness or self-worth. Sure we have wants but those things not yet attained aren't going to make us any happier than we already are. Why? Because we're already happy, we're already having fun! So every time I feel the ugly (which still happens a half-dozen times or more each day), I realize what it is I'm doing and I stop and I find the passion in that moment, and that alone quiets the ugly. It's the simplest, most beautiful of Geiger counters for happiness!