“See how the mass of men worry themselves into nameless graves, while here and there a great unselfish soul forgets himself into immortality.” – Emerson
It is so easy to get caught up in the thick of thin things, to spend a career or a life just reacting to the trivialities of your daily hours rather than using your days to advance the creation of something great.
But leadership is about making things better. It’s about transcending the petty cravings of our egos and donating our lives to build something that will outlast us, a legacy of service. And when we really get this idea, we begin to experience true happiness, perhaps for the first time.
Your life is no accident. You are here for a purpose, some central mission that has the potential to make you extraordinary. Some main aim that – once focused on – breaks all chains that might have previously bound you. Your challenge is to discover your WHY.
Listen, there are no extra people on the planet. Each one of us has our own unique form of genius and authenticity within us that is aching to be accessed. The sad fact is that too many amongst us let the busyness of our lives suffocate the deeper purpose of our hearts. Rather than leading and being our best today, we lie to ourselves and say we’ll make the changes we need to make when the conditions are better. And that day never comes.
So we slowly shut down, the why becomes vague. Discouragement sets in. We start to medicate ourselves with too many petty things such as TV or technology. We smile the fake smile and coast out a life telling people that being brilliant is a fate selected for the chosen few. Rather than realising the truth: we wasted our lives.
I was in the company of a certain gentleman who at just over 60, will be graduating with a law degree in 2019. Now, like me, you are probably thinking to yourself why would he do that, he probably doesn’t have time to establish himself as a lawyer. And you are probably right, but I will tell you that his WHY gives him greater reason not to look at his age but at what needs to be achieved.
I will give you a brief insight into his story, a few years ago he and his wife got divorced and because of a legal error by his lawyer, his wife ended up with all his wealth. So he said to me ” it would take me more time to try and build my wealth all over again than it would take me to study law and represent myself in court and get what is mine.” I will let that sink in a bit.
The moment your ‘why’ is greater than your excuses, the ‘how’ becomes easier. There is no kind of distraction that will move you away from your purpose if you clearly know why you need to do what you need to do.
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote this in his book Meditations (1 of my favourite books, highly recommend): “Do external things distract you? Then make time for yourself to learn something worthwhile; stop letting yourself be pulled in all directions. But make sure you guard against the other kind of confusion. People who labour all their lives but have no purpose to direct every thought and impulse toward are wasting their time—even when hard at work.”
I want you to understand that it is important to live in your purpose not just because every day more of our life is used up and less and less of it is left, but this too: if we live longer, can we be sure our mind will still be up to understanding the world and why we are a part of it?
Without purpose, we’ll still go on breathing, go on eating, imagining things, feeling urges and so on but not getting the most out of ourselves, calculating where our duty lies, analysing what we hear and see, deciding whether it is taking us a step closer to who we are born to be.
So we need to hurry. Not just because we move daily closer to death but also because our understanding, our grasp of the world, may be gone before we get there.
There is only a few days left in 2018, define your why now and begin to move toward it.
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