I realize that you may be thinking, “Sure James, but I have bills to pay!”
I totally respect that; and I have bills to pay as well.
That being said, we’ve been conditioned in our society to pursue money versus meaning; and as a result we’ve lost our way.
Now I fully realize that you must have a certain level of security to even consider issues of higher purpose. If you remember your college psychology, this is Maslow 101. Even Gandhi so aptly stated, “You cannot talk to a man about God whose stomach hungers for bread.”
However, there’s a vast chasm between what we truly need for our comfort, and what we truly want for our own self-gratification. Now there’s something to ponder long and hard.
You need transportation.
You want a Mercedes.
You need food and shelter.
You want a large house, lobster and a pool.
You need clothing.
You want Armani and Ferragamo.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like the finer things in life as well. But after having them in spades, you may begin to develop the wisdom and realization that they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
If you’re worried and fearful when you have no money,
you’ll be ten times more worried and fearful when you do have it.
The bottom line is that the more things you have, the more things you have to lose. The fear of loss is greater when there’s more to lose.
Take it from a guy who’s had a lot and lost a lot, the less things you have the more freedom you have.
But then again, I realize you probably won’t listen to me because materialistic programming runs deep. So you’ll most probably just have to experience it for yourself.
Let’s go back to the meaning… which money and materialism will never bring.
Unfortunately there’s little to no value in our current society for a liberal arts degree any longer. Poll 99% of young adults and ask them what they’re going to study in school and I’d be willing to bet, that with few exceptions, it will be something in technology, law, computer science, or business management.
Few and far between will be the maverick who tells you that he’s going to study philosophy, art or music. Now please understand that there’s nothing wrong with technical and business degrees—but only if certain parameters are met for their choosing.
Only if these studies fulfill your true reason for being.
The objective of all of Life is to experience and express more Life. Please pause and contemplate that for a moment; for while it seems simple and straightforward at first glance, it can be profound if contemplated deeply.
Nothing can be contrary to its essence, and the essence of Life is Life!
Your ultimate purpose in life is to truly live!
Not to be confused with existence.
Not to be confused with survival.
Existence and survival are a part of Life, but true Life is vibrant and fully fulfilled and, well… just plain alive!
Therefore, true success is utilizing your innate abilities, your unique gifts and genius, and living your unique purpose. Properly understood, true success is being who you choose to be and becoming who you choose to become.
As a result, the objective of an education (or anything for that matter) should be to more fully expand, experience and express life. Do you follow?
Not to get a job.
Not to land a career.
But to have a full and meaningful life!
Furthermore in one of the most powerful documents ever written it states:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness.”
Yet how many of us are truly pursuing our own happiness?
I submit it’s often very few.
Or the happiness we’re attempting to pursue is something we been conditioned to “think” will bring happiness.
In a recent issue of US News, Money and Careers it listed the Top Jobs in 2020. It probably comes as no surprise to you that they were Math, Science, and Computers.
I wonder how many people are looking at these statistics to choose their career versus listening to what moves their spirit and soul?
How many are encouraged and deciding to pursue their calling?
What’s the difference?
A career pays the bills. A calling pays the spirit and soul.
A career may bring money. But a calling brings meaning and mastery.
A career might center on currency. But a calling is grounded in legacy
Have we forgotten that all important inalienable right “Happiness” in today’s world?
Have we lost the forest for the trees?
Is it any wonder that a most recent Gallup Poll found that 71% of the people surveyed are “unhappy, uninspired, and disengaged with their work”?
Education, as well as all pursuits, should facilitate and accelerate the ability to find more meaning in our life. Shouldn’t it?
Some have asked me “With all the challenges you’ve faced, why did you choose to do the same thing for a living? Don’t you know what you’re going to experience when you put yourself back into the public eye?”
Appreciate and be grateful for your critics.
They reinforce that you’re doing something worthy of their attention.
But what the questioner doesn’t realize is that you don’t choose a calling, it chooses you. If you listen to your unique purpose calling you, you realize that the only way to be truly happy is to follow your calling.
A vast majority of people interviewed on their deathbed experience a tremendous amount of disappointment and regret. Do you suppose this lack of listening to our own spirit and soul is the main reason?
I think you know my thoughts on that one.
Let’s face it, life is hard. Regardless of whether you sellout to a career or follow your calling, there are going be many uncertainties and difficulties.
But when you follow your calling, regardless of whether you acquire money, wealth, fame or not… you’ll still have your true happiness. You’ll still have what you love the most.
Good times are good, but the tough and challenging times make us great.
I was coaching a young actor recently who asked me, “What can you teach me so that I can become extremely successful?” I immediately asked him, “Tell me why you want to pursue this career?” I would ask you and anyone the same thing.
By the way… the answers money, success or fame are all the wrong answers. These answers tee you up to be a card carrying member of the 71% Club.
If you’re thinking this entire conversation is a bit Pollyanna, I understand, and I’m not surprised given how we’ve been conditioned to think, feel and act in today’s society.
But even from a purely practical point of view, at least as an entrepreneur, I submit that if you don’t have a pure love for what you’re doing you’ll quit when the going gets tough (and it definitely will get tough just given enough time).
It would be so easy for me in so many ways, in more times than I can count, to quit and go off into obscurity after my fall from grace; but when you know your true calling, you really don’t seriously consider that option.
I remember when Neo was speaking with the Oracle in The Matrix he said, “I can’t make that choice” she replied, “The choice has already been made. Your job is to figure out why.”
You could contemplate that for a day or three.
The choice has already been made. Your job is to figure out why.
~ The Matrix
One last thing, the same issue of US News, Money and Careers listed “counseling” as well among the top 20 careers for 2020.
I wonder if this is indicative of the underlying issue we’ve been discussing, unhappiness, lack of inspiration and fulfillment in our work.
Are you a member of the 71% Club?
When would NOW be the time to change your strategy and approach?
Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic!