In the new Disney movie, Soul, the hero, Joe, has just achieved his dream, playing in Dorothea Williams’ jazz band, and he says, “I’ve been waiting on this day my entire life… I just thought it would feel different.”
And Dorothea replies: I heard this story about a fish. He swims up to this older fish and he says, “I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean.”
“The ocean?” says the older fish. “That’s what you’re in right now!”
“This?” says, the younger fish. “This is water! What I want is the ocean!”
What is the ocean we are all looking for when we are already in the ocean?
We want things bigger, better, brighter, more successful, more fulfilling, and more full of life.
Whatever we have sure doesn’t feel like we think “the ocean should feel like.”
Whatever success we have doesn’t feel like the “ultimate success.”
Whatever we have doesn’t feel like we expect it should feel.
The ocean is some abstract concept of how we think we should feel when we’ve attained our goals, our dreams, our ideal clients.
Why is it that we work for years in our business but we never really feel it’s good enough?
Why are we like Joe? We work all our lives to be in the ultimate jazz band and then when make it, we expect it to feel different.
Well, I have bad and good news for you.
This is IT!
This is as good as it gets.
You are doing the work you are doing. You are attracting the clients you are attracting. You are making the difference you are making. You are doing your best.
You are already neck-deep in the ocean of your life.
And the way it feels is exactly the way it feels. Sometimes it’s exhilarating, sometimes it’s disappointing, sometimes it’s boring.
But you are swimming in the ocean of life no matter how it feels.
Like Joe, will you ultimately wake up to that?
Will you see your life as perfect and quite wonderful just the way it is?
Going after some ultimate feeling, or state of mind, or external situation is a dead end.
Things are always exactly the way they are right now. What is happening now is all we’ve got. What we are feeling now is what is real.
By the end of the movie, Joe really gets that fully.
It’s moving, profound, and beautiful.
But mostly, it’s very simple. He says:
“How am I going to spend my life? I’m not sure, but I do know I’m gonna live every minute of it.”
Maybe we should all give that a shot in 2021.