27 Tips on Finding and Doing Your “Thing”


“And may you learn to listen to the whisperings of your angels urging you, as they do, to live ever closer to the tremulous aching of your heart’s insistent song.”

~Michael Glaser

As parents, my husband and I have constantly been on the look-out for whatever brings our kids a sense of true happiness. The way we figure it, knowing who they really are and how to be true to themselves are skills they are going to need the rest of their lives.

When they were toddlers, the process of helping them find their and follow their unique paths to bliss was pretty easy. Like most children, they were pretty much in flow every time they picked up a crayon, or played with a toy.

At age two, however, when our daughter announced that she wanted to ride ponies, our task became a bit more challenging.

Knowing that lots of little girls express this desire at some point, and being more than a little nervous at the thought of her sitting on such a huge animal, we decided to wait a while, just in case her dream wavered a little bit.

It didn’t.

Finally, after she turned five, we decided it was time.

Not being a “horse person” myself, I had no idea how to begin.

Then, in kindergarten, she made a new friend whose mother had also had the horse “bug” as a child, and she guided the way.

The experience of witnessing our little daughter navigate her love has been educational, nerve-wracking at times, and incredibly inspiring.

27 Tips on Doing Your “Thing” (as inspired by our daughter)

Here are 27 things I have learned from watching our daughter about the art of doing something we truly, absolutely, passionately love.

  1. When we find our “thing,” we know it by the feeling of joy we get when we do it.
  2. Sometimes we find our “thing” right away; other times it takes a lifetime to discover activities we love.
  3. When we find our “thing,” somehow, we keep coming back to it over and over again; Sometimes it’s all we think about.
  4. When we are doing our “thing,” it’s not always easy (in fact, it can actually be a lot of work!) but it’s almost always fun.
  5. We usually have lots of “things” that make our souls happy. One often leads to the next.
  6. When we love what we are doing, even what other people think of as dirty work (scooping up manure, cleaning out stalls, picking dirt out of hooves) brings us joy.
  7. No matter how small we are (or feel inside), we can handle big things.
  8. Accidents and mistakes happen. Not often. But they are a natural part of taking risks and living a life we love.
  9. When we fall off, it’s important to get back up when we can.
  10. Every mistake offers a lesson, if we choose to receive it.
  11. When we take a big leap, it’s helpful to look where we want to go. (Don’t look down!) Where our attention goes, we go.
  12. Where we look, we lead. (Keep your eye on your course!)
  13. We all know who we really are and what we love from a young age.
  14. The Universe is always supporting us in honoring our souls’ dreams.
  15. The more we do something, the more natural it becomes.
  16. When we make time to do what we love, everything else gets better.
  17. Even when we are not able to do what we love, we can still stay connected to it through play, planning, dreaming, study and appreciating others doing it.
  18. If we love something, the worse thing we can do is to think about whether or not we are good at it. Just keep doing it and do your best.
  19. Our passion for something’s got us covered. The more we love something, the more we do it. The more we do it, the better we get at it.
  20. That doesn’t mean we don’t have to work hard. To progress in anything, we always have to push past our comfort zone. All growth involves stretching.
  21. Never go so fast that you lose control or drop your reins. No matter what, always maintain the ability to halt and say whoa.
  22. We learn from doing. We never know if we can unless we try.
  23. Take time to get the small stuff organized before you start something new.
  24. When trying a new skill, we often feel a little off-center when we finish. That’s okay. It gets better, and it’s all part of the process.
  25. Plan for the worst. Expect the best.
  26. Do it because you love it.
  27. Always thank your horse (or your teacher, student, parent, child, or anyone else who supports you in doing what you love).

Copyright © 2020 Laurie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photo credits: (top) maxpetrov/Shutterstock; bottom photo: © 2017 Laurie Smith.

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