Follow Your Path: How “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” Changed My Life

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Do you always follow your path – I mean, really follow your own path?

And if not, why not?

When I was about 15, my drama teacher introduced me to a book called “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach. Have you read it or even heard of it?

My teacher wrote in the front of it “Follow Your Path” and left it at that, but this little book was one of the main catalysts that changed my life.

There have been many books that I have read that have had a profound effect on me, but when I look back on it, this book would probably be the one that started it all and fueled my search in the “there’s got to be more to life than this mode. It also taught me that is is OK to go against what other’s think I should do and to follow my own path.

I’m sure I was not alone either, as the book has sold millions of copies over the years and inspired a generation.

The Plot

The main story is a simple one: a seagull, funnily enough called Jonathan Livingston, lives with The Flock – a flock of gulls whose life consists of the monotony of fighting for food in order to survive. Jonathan becomes frustrated and tires of the endless bickering and meaningless existence as he sees it, and sets out to find more meaning and follow his own path by studying the intricacies of flying.

He soon becomes obsessed and despite the scornful mocking and laughter he endures from his fellow gulls (who believe he is not only deluded but that everything he is striving for is impossible for gulls), he pushes himself beyond his current limits and discovers an entirely new way of living beyond his initial, limited view and horizons.

I really don’t want to spoil the story for you because I believe that this book is outstanding and if you have not already read it, then I sincerely urge you to do so. It’s not a long book and won’t take you much time to read – probably less than an hour, but I believe that it is such an inspirational fable that it may well stay with you forever, as it has with me.

I have bought this book more times than I care to remember, lent it out, passed it on and generally used it as a gift to inspire others when they are ready to hear its message.

Today, I was reminded of the book and wanted to share with you all how this book started me on my path of self-discovery, from which I have never once looked back.

So here are some insights that I have gleaned from this wonderful little book and some reminders of how important it is for each of us to know and accept the special place that WE hold in the universe.

By “WE”, I’m really talking to YOU, so that YOU recognise the amazing and rare perspective that YOU hold and why it is important that you stay focused on your own goals and dreams and follow your own path.

And above all else, do not allow anyone else to interfere or talk you out of them.

Don’t follow the flock: forge your own path

Don’t follow the flock: They may have your interest at heart but it is YOUR life!

Sometimes it not always easy to ignore the remarks of influence of others, especially if they are from people we love, respect and trust such as family, friends, parents and teachers. We might want to please them to make their lives happier or feel that we have a duty to do as they say because they have brought us up or made sacrifices for us.

They may say that they have your best interests at heart and many times they will, but the truth is really that they are advising you from their own perspective which is one which you may admire, but it is not your own. You will have your own ideas, preferences and goals and you should not defer these to those of other people.

Your path, if you choose to follow it, will be inspired by the universe. It will be aided and assisted along the way by your higher self and it will always yield to you situations, events and people who can help you.

Remember:

  • You are a unique human being, unlike anyone who ever lived or who will ever live
  • You life-experiences are unique; even identical twins have different goals and aspirations
  • Your individual circumstances will inevitably lead you to create your own preferences and desires
  • You absolutely have the right to follow these dreams and to make them your own personal journey.
  • Everyone has a choice about what they do with their life and how they live it; including you
  • You can only be truly free when you release yourself from the bondage of others’ expectations and follow your own calling.

Just like Jonathan in the book, the wonderful and enlightening thing about doing this is that when you do, you will discover freedoms, realities and experiences that you cannot even contemplate in your current position. And not only will you expand yourself as an individual consciousness to become more than you ever dreamed of, but you will add to the magnificence of the universe and ‘all that is‘ too.

Which means that you individual perspective will be added to that of the rest of the universe, expanding total consciousness eternally towards a brighter future.

I think that’s pretty AMAZING, don’t you?


I have spent my life having well-meaning people tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing with my life. Luckily l learned from Jonathan Livingston Seagull a long time ago that I can forge my own path and create my own destiny.

So I often listen and nod politely and thank them for their concern and advice, but I understand that whatever else you I have or do not have in life, and whatever situation I might find myself in, I ALWAYS have the freedom to choose my thoughts.

It is the same for you. I am not special, I have no special powers that are not available to all.

You too, have the ability and freedom ALWAYS, to choose your thoughts.

No one on earth can take this freedom from you, unless you let them. So don’t let them.

One of my favourite authors and spiritual inspirations ever, is Esther Hicks, and she would say, you are so free, you can choose bondage“.

So make sure you choose your thoughts wisely, every minute of every day.

Take heart and have faith in yourself and your own path

  • Never be afraid to step away from the crowd; they will never understand or know what is right for you.
  • Do not stress or be worried about what the world may think about you; for their voices are only transitory and will fall silent by the roadside as you transform into the most wonderful and empowered person you are born to be.
  • Never, ever be afraid to unfurl you wings and soar towards the rising sun of your goals and dreams.
  • Push forward on your own path with conviction and courage, and the universe will yield to you the most amazing, life-enhancing and infinite blessings. Life is meant to be good. Allow yourself the freedom to live it.

You are always FREE

You are always EVOLVING

This is your BIRTH-RIGHT.


If you want to get hold of a copy of  the Jonathan Livingston Seagull book or the Neil Diamond music, to inspire your own journey of self-discovery, you can get them here:

Please feel free to leave me a comment to about what else has inspired you in your life.

 

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Posted in Inspirations, Reviews.

Hi. I'm Gail and I'm a teacher, coach, writer and blogger who has been involved with self-development and the performing arts for over 30 years. I'm passionate about helping people to develop their full potential and I've studied education, the law of attraction, personal development and NLP which I write about on this site.

I love working with people of all ages and backgrounds and truly believe that we are all unique, unlimited creative beings who can do wonderful things with a positive attitude and spiritual outlook on life.

Here's to your continued success.

Gail

4 Comments

  1. Hello,

    I really needed to read such an inspirational post in this state of my life, such read has a very positive effect that a lot would deny..

    thank you Gail

  2. I love reading these types of posts. I especially like how you talked about “Don’t follow the flock: They may have your interest at heart but it is YOUR life!”.

    We as humans tend to follow the flock. It’s only when we decide to act on something and not look back is when the magic happens.

    Well done!

    • Hi Carl. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Glad that you found it interesting and I agree with you that most humans are conditioned to follow others. This is sad really because it keeps us from our own power and it is only really fear that holds us back. Trusting in yourself is important because you’re the only person with you from cradle to grave. You and your higher self of course! 🙂

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