I was having a bit of a reunion with the much-loved Pixar movie Finding Nemo this last week. And while I've always loved Dory, one of her behaviors in particular was sticking in my mind this time around. That behavior is her tendency to follow shiny things. Like complete, without hesitation, outright rapt and enthused, no holds barred attention to present shiny object. While in the movie it's painted as a bit of a negative personality trait, aligned with attention deficit disorder and lack of focus on the current task at hand, I think there's an underlying life lesson there. What is the lesson?
Follow your own shiny things.
Whatever that means to you. Whatever catches your attention again and again. The things that call to you, perhaps even when you try to ignore them. Whatever you feel inherently drawn to. The things that light you up inside and stir your passions.
I think as adults we often feel we have to focus on the adult-responsibilities of job, children, partner, home, and finances. And yes, this is absolutely true, these things need our time and attention. But I also think it's vital to our happiness and personal fulfillment to identify, find, and follow our shiny things.
It's sadly common, that our culture frequently only assigns value to the things or activities that bring financial inflows. While interests or hobbies that don't earn income are regulated to second place, if ever even given attention at all. Yes, we all need some type of financial influx to survive, but it doesn't mean that the things that align with our core values don't deserve a place in our lives as well. Abundance comes in many forms.
So give yourself permission this week to chase your shiny things. For some of you, I'm sure you already know what they are. But for others, if you're not quite sure, start noticing what catches your attention and piques your interest over and over again. It could likely be things that have chased you since childhood. Were you enraptured with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers waltzing across the silver screen? Sign up for that dance class already! Is it anything pink and glittery? Maybe a trip to a craft store for DIY headdress supplies is needed. Maybe it's been more of an adult discovery. Love an expertly crafted cocktail? Perhaps a bartending class or mixology book. Do you love settling into the couch to marvel at the physical prowess of the competitors on American Ninja Warrior? Then maybe it's time to research training gyms in your local area.
That's your homework for the month: follow your shiny thing. Take at least one step toward cultivating something that excites you and lights you up. Craft a life that is full and rich and meaningful. And who knows, maybe someday that things just might possibly be the thing that also provides you with financial abundance as well.
P.S. Dory also wants you to know that, "When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming."