“You can get what you want or you can just get old.” ~ Billy Joel

I began to truly follow my passion when I hit the half-century mark of my life.  And I’ve learned, first-hand, that it’s not too late to follow our dreams or to create a healthy, vibrant, joyful life on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels, no matter our age.  For me, having a dream and passionately following it has been my North Star through the darkest of times.  Obviously, not every day will feel like a “good” day, when we wake up in the morning.  But, one of the conclusions that I’ve come to while traversing this journey is that, by making it a point to string together the grains of joy, we’re able to find our soul’s calling that will get us through the most difficult of times.  As has been said, “Pain is unavoidable, but suffering is a choice.” 

It’s not always easy to open our hearts in the face of current obstacles or when pain from the past has been triggered.  But, having the intention to practice an open heart, in itself, brings the awareness we need to shine our light on the darkness in order to heal it. Giving ourselves permission to take moments away from our busy-ness to just be is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves, resulting in more open-heartedness and equanimity, greater energy, and more joy.  Furthermore, allowing ourselves to let go of what no longer serves us in our lives, tasks and obligations that we are only engaging in out of habit or because of the expectations of others, as well as letting go of pain that we no longer need to hold onto, will free us from the chains that restrain us from our passionate journey. 

So, then, rather than asking ourselves if it’s time to give up on a dream, we can decide to hang on to the roller coaster of life, with all of its ups and downs, and to take it all in as the exciting adventure that it is. 

I’ve concluded to never give up on my soul’s calling, and, most importantly, I will never give up on myself.  I know that, even with all that life has in store for us, including times of loss and grief, joy can co-exist in our hearts as long as we keep getting back up and realigning ourselves with our own North Star.  And I’m worth it.  Aren’t you?

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Check out Dr. Mara’s internationally best-selling book, The Passionate Life: Creating Vitality & Joy at Any Age!


  • Dr. Mara Karpel

    Psychologist, Host of Radio show, “Dr. Mara Karpel & Your Golden Years,” Author, "The Passionate Life: Creating Vitality & Joy at Any Age." www.DrMaraKarpel.com

    Dr. Mara Karpel has been a practicing Clinical Psychologist for over 27 years and is the author of the International Bestseller, "The Passionate Life: Creating Vitality & Joy at Any Age," a guide for all who want to live a more vital, joyful life! Dr. Mara also hosts the Blog Talk Radio show, “Dr. Mara Karpel & Your Golden Years,” which can be heard at BlogTalkRadio.com/YourGoldenYears and on DrMaraKarpel.com. Most recently, she has been named the Passionate Living Motivator for CompassionateAustin.org.