Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig. ? Mark Twain
Wonderful analogy to prove a powerful point ? don't push yourself to be or do something you are not and don't push someone else to go against his or her natural configuration.
The end result will be frustration, annoyance and disappointment.
Have you ever tried to be someone or something you were not? How did you feel? You may have done this thinking it was the right thing to do or because someone else expected it of you, but in the end, what was the result?
You may have felt unfulfilled, suffered a blow to your confidence because you believe you failed, or lost all hope whatsoever of creating real happiness for yourself.
You worked hard, gave everything you got and still felt dissatisfied in the end.
Before committing to a goal and pouring all of your energy into making it a reality, you need to know if it is in alignment with who you are, not who you think you should be.
The best way to determine what makes you happy is to venture out and create a variety of experiences for yourself.
Whether it be socializing with many different people; committing yourself to a month of solitude to begin writing a book, song or screen play; taking a variety of short courses or participating in workshops; or experimenting with photography, painting or any other creative endeavor, allow yourself to experience a wide variety of activities so you can determine what makes your heart sing and gets you excited.
What is an exercise that you do that causes you to lose all track of time? When you are in "the zone" and hours fly by without you noticing, you are being authentic.
If your day is dragging by and your energy is low, you are functioning outside of your authentic self.
When you are operating in alignment with your true self, there is a flow that carries you effortlessly and you feel inspired, excited and on purpose.
If you have a child that loves to sit and draw, don't insist he or she take up ballet or piano because you think it is better.
By all means, expose your children to the wide variety of learning opportunities available to them, but let them settle into their chosen activity once they have been able to sample other offerings.
Jim Carrey, the actor who starred in Ace Ventura, The Mask, Liar Liar, and many other hit movies, used to spend hours in front of a mirror as a child, making faces at himself and practicing impersonating others.
Most would have thought him a strange child, but his passion has made him a multi-millionaire, famous around the world, and he is doing what he loves to do.
You never know what lies ahead for you or your children, but by allowing yourself to do what feels right and trusting you are on the right path, you will find your purpose.
Be open to possibility, have the courage to explore, and the strength to walk away from situations that do not serve you.
Laurie Hayes is one of Canada's leading Life Strategy Coaches and founder of Where the Heart Is Life Coaching. Laurie is the author of numerous articles and an e-book designed to inspire action in others to pursue the best life has to offer. To download a copy of her free e-book, "10 Guidelines for Attraction," visit http://www.wheretheheartis-lifecoaching.com