I woke up this morning to find a one-minute clip of Jim Carrey’s recent commencement speech in my Facebook feed. He spoke to Maharishi University of Management‘s class of 2014 in Fairfield, Iowa. Are you motivated by love or fear?
This question inspired me many years ago when I was a therapist, and I had forgotten about it. To look at our actions, our choices, our resistances, our relationships and our work through this lens can be a powerful exercise.
In conversation with a dear friend and colleague earlier this week, she said, “I want to do all of my work from now on in the spirit of love—with my work partners, with my clients, and in the projects I am choosing to do. To do anything else, at this point in my career, is a waste of energy.”
I was so moved by her statement that I decided to test it in my own experience. I can’t say that my practice has been 100% perfect, but in many instances of decision (or indecision) this week, I’ve taken the opportunity to ask myself if I am coming from a place of love…or fear.
To be fair, love does not always mean the absence of conflict, or some level of discomfort. But asking the question does help with clarity, and with making decisions that are more likely to produce a longer-term benefit.
Jim Carrey’s reminder that fear—as the opposite of love—is what holds us back from connection with others, and from the deeper experiences of feeling alive.
From just a few days of practice, I can feel a shift in myself. I am speaking my truth sooner, and with more clarity and heart. It doesn’t mean the fear is gone, but it's not driving from the backseat.