Autumn Vintage Festival, 1877, by Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.
Ask yourself what makes you come alive
and then go do that. Because what the world
needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

So advised Howard Thurman, the philosopher and theologian who was a source of inspiration to the Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King and many others.

I wrote a Wake-Up Juice edition featuring Thurman’s incredible invitation some time ago, and it arises again now as we see the great polarity stirred up around the election — or at least the most recent example of it.

In that light, Thurman’s invitation seems all the more timely.

What makes us come alive?

If the world — and the organizations that are influential in it — need people who have come alive, then there must be more than a fair share of those who aren’t truly alive, but are sort of sleep-walking through the days. The walking dead.

Yet everyone has dreams and moments in waking time when we’ve ‘come alive’. What are some of those ‘come alive’ examples?

What happens when we attune to the clues and patterns that these moments point us to, and live into those?

The Garden of the Hesperides (1869-73), by Edward Burne-Jones.
The Garden of the Hesperides (1869-73), by Edward Burne-Jones.

We may find ourselves feeling more and more alive, and as a result, we’re more and more effective, influential in positive ways, and finding more joy and meaning in what the poet Mary Oliver called, ‘your one wild and precious life.’

When we’ve ‘come alive’, we’re in the moment, where joy, creativity, inspiration, genius and true flow are possible. When we’re alive in that way, we connect more deeply, enjoy more thoroughly, and reach out more genuinely and compassionately.

It changes our presence.

And likely, we only recognize the ‘come alive’ clues when we are actually present — an interesting practice given the ‘age of distraction’ in which we live, with myriad ‘stimulations’ attempting to seduce us out of attention and presence.

A practice. A creative adventure. A worthy experiment. Seeing it that way makes it a bit easier, and more fun, for me anyway.


You’ll find a few other inspiring musings and Muse-Worthy Quotations at the Wake-Up Juice archived-edition I mentioned earlier.

Have a look:

The Wake-Up Juice Archives: What Makes You Come Alive • Are You In Between Stories? + More

Big Love,


In the Orchard (1912) by Franz Dvorak. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.
In the Orchard (1912) by Franz Dvorak. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.

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