I’ll Have What He’s Having

Waiting for Paul McCartney. July 31, 2011, Wrigley Field, Chicago.

Paul McCartney turns 70 (!) this year. I had the privilege of seeing him last summer when he came to Wrigley Field for a concert. He was amazing. As you can tell by the photo we were way, way up; thank God for the large video screens so we could see the performance.

Sir Paul had incredible energy and his voice was strong. It was a very warm and humid summer evening, and there he was in a suit coat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants. He eventually took off the coat and rolled up his sleeves, but the concert was outdoors and he sang under hot lights. Personally, I would have melted, and that’s why I don’t make a living singing in concerts.

The Beatles are part of my earliest memories. And since he was already a grown up when I was a kid, I wasn’t sure exactly how old he was. On the way home I looked him up in Wikipedia; he was born in 1942. Time has been kind to him; he looks like a healthy, happy older man.

Granted, he is vegan, which surely contributes to his great energy, vitality and good looks. I also believe there’s something more. He’s been doing something he loves for virtually all his adult life. There was a point in the concert where he was singing “The End” off Abbey Road: “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.” He blew a kiss to the audience, pointed to his heart and then back to the crowd. The love “exchange” was palpable. It was a memorable moment in an extraordinary evening.

The next day I facilitated Job Seekers, a support group for people looking for work. We talked about meaningful work, of striking a chord (no pun intended) between what we do for a living and who we are. Anyone who’s ever had a glimpse of doing what they’re meant to do knows how incredible it feels. Often we lose all track of time, all awareness of things around us. Sometimes it washes over us as profound gratitude for being alive, as strength to persevere through obstacles and disbelief. Some of us catch a glimpse for a day, maybe a little longer. Others, like Sir Paul, have the privilege of experiencing it for an entire career.

We can all be so fortunate. If you’re still experiencing dissonance between who you are and what you do, get a good coach or therapist. Speaking from my experience, and the experience of many of my clients, you probably already know what it is you need to do to live your purpose. If it were easy, you’d be doing it already. Someone who cares (and who has no interest in keeping you where you are) can help you acknowledge what you already know; they can help you find strength and courage to overcome whatever challenges you face. It is so worth it, and a way of making the most of your life.

Our world needs you and your love. What are you waiting for?

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