Have You Lost Your Way?

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.”
~ Francis Bacon

A recent Gallup Poll conducted in 155 different countries posed the question:What is most important to you for your happiness?”

Contrary to what our knee jerk reactions might tell us… things we’ve been programmed to hold in high value such as money, family, friends, social circles, marriage or fame, the answer that came back was none of these things.

Not even close.

The resounding answer was “A good job that is meaningful, purposeful and valuable.”

Masterful and meaningful work is life’s greatest reward.

Your work is your love made manifest in the world. Read more about how Your Work As Art here.

This even shocks me to some degree. Not because I don’t know what we really need and value deep inside. Rather I know how deeply we’re programmed as to what we should value. We’ve discussed the objective and strategy of the Western mind in some depth (reference UHP10), and meaningful work was the most common answer even outside the West.

Once again, in 155 different countries!

You’re hard wired to meaningful work, to your own Ultimate Performance, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. We’re all here to contribute and provide value to the world.

Each in our own way.

Each with our own unique gifts and Innate Ability.

I was interviewed in an online summit some time back and the host stated, “When I first heard you talking about using my Innate Ability, my first reaction was;

“No! I don’t want to be good at that!”

After working with literally hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, and all walks of life, I can promise you this is commonplace.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve taught a typology test of some form, from Myers-Briggs to Enneagram; in which at least one, if not dozens, of the participants where not happy with the qualities and characteristics the instrument told them they possessed.

In many cases they were categorized as a type they perceived to not be as “sexy and exciting” as they would like; and therefore they were disgruntled with the results.

To know who we truly are;
and to know our true gifts and genius, is the greatest gift of all.

It’s unfortunately rare.

We have been born into a society infatuated with celebrity. We no longer want to so much to keep up with the Joneses, as much as we want to “Keep up with the Kardashians.”

Paris Hilton is in the spotlight because of a rich daddy.

Kim Kardashian does a sex tape.

Justin Bieber flips up a YouTube video and becomes an overnight sensation.

I’m not suggesting that these three, and others, don’t have anything else going for them. Frankly, I really don’t know that much about them. But what I am suggesting are several things:

  • We’re definitely a culture completely infatuated with celebrity and fame.
  • We often don’t really care about why or how they’re famous—just that they’re famous. Many are just famous for being famous.
  • We romanticize their lives and think that in some way or fashion (even if unconsciously) we want to be like them.
  • We’re programmed into a mindset, from examples like these and others, of maximum return for minimum investment. “Instant success is best.”

All of these things are childish romanticism at its best. Life doesn’t work that way.

Let’s not forget that Paris went to jail. Kim has had her share of bad press and challenges; and Bieber continues to have a plethora of problems.

The unseen future will take care of itself
if one just keeps growing up a little every day

~ Walt Disney

An additional poll recently taken of young adults posed the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The most frequent answer was “Famous.”

Famous for what?

And yet, there are study after study that we’ve quoted in this series which tell us that following money and fame falls flat.

  • 71% are unhappy and unfulfilled with their work.
  • Hundreds of thousands from all over the world, in the research of Csikszentmihalyl, tell us that we’re most depressed when alone with nothing meaningful to accomplish or do.
  • And 155 countries told a Gallup Poll that we all have a deep need for meaningful and purposeful work.

The mass majority have forgotten what’s truly important in life.
We’ve lost our way.

We’ve discussed the necessity of solitude over the last two week. Not only to the experience of Focused Flow but to the achievement of your own Ultimate Performance.

Your own Ultimate Performance is actualized when you access and leverage your own greatness. And there’s a price to be paid for greatness. Actually there’s a price to be paid for mediocrity and regret as well. It all depends upon which price you choose to pay. For pay you must.

You either choose to pay the price of mediocrity and regret.
Or you choose to pay the price of greatness.
But either way there’s a price to be paid.

In a quick fix, magic pill, secret sauce, maximum return for minimum investment world, the aforementioned is not popular. Yet I can promise you it is true nonetheless.

Who do you choose to be?

Are you willing to pay the price?

Or are you looking for the next best instant solution?

The choice is yours.

Yes once again, solitude is the price of greatness… but it’s far from the only price.

There are many more sacrifices and commitments and perseverance practices that must be present. For as we’ve discussed many, many times: There’s always a price for the prize.

In our next installment we’ll continue our exploration of the price that must be paid for your greatness; and to live at your own ultimate potential.

For make no mistake, your own Ultimate Performance is your greatness!

So schedule regular time in solitude on your list; and most importantly find it!

And there’s more…

There’s always more…

Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic!

james arthur ray


3 Responses

  1. When I took the Myers-Briggs the first time, perhaps the first five or more times, I rejected its labeling me an introvert. It wasn't until I understood introvert is not a way of being in action so much as how I recharge and gain energy. I am now delighted to engage in two to three hours daily of alone time. I have typical extrovert actions available that cost me energy while a regular extrovert would recharge from the same. Perhaps alone time is more difficult for an extrovert! A recent conversation with a long time friend revealed another label I have come to reject in kneejerk fashion. ‘Value’ appears to me as a conversation ripe with manipulation and deceit. Letting my 'monkey mind' rule this way likely had me miss numerous times where I would have found excellent value but I couldn't see it. Value, worth, utility, cost and price if controlled by some three year old monkey or even a 60 year old one prevents 'thinking' of any kind. Perhaps everything is overpriced until it isn't! How do you tell? Another word that kicks in the lizard brain for me is 'greatness'. As in when the word appears, my always all ways reaction is "I don't want it!" That reaction keeps me locked in the box of current safety and more often than not prevents any way out of the new mediocrity I have become. ‘"Selling" is the world's highest paid profession.’ Earl Nightingale said, "To be successful in selling, and remember each of us succeeds in life to the extent of our ability to sell, selling our families on our ideas, selling education in schools, selling our children on the advantages of living a good and honest life, selling our associates and employees on the importance of being exceptional people. But to be successful in selling our way of the good life, we must be willing to pay the price." I suspect ‘selling’ stops too many people completely. Thank you James for offering ‘there is a price to be paid’ no matter what you do and the cost is identical while the outcomes are completely different.

  2. Well in that case I must be a wild beast god!! 😉
    I believe paying the price sounds overwhelming until you learn that paying the price is something you can enjoy because you are doing what you love to do. So paying the price becomes a blessing and you being enjoying it more than reaching the goal.

    "Many are famous for being famous " I loved this phrase, unfortunately it is very true, most people I know who are studying acting or Radio, etc just want to be famous, they don't really love or care about good acting techniques, they don't care to learn to speak properly or some people on the media no longer "prepare" their radio and TV shows, they just want to bbe in front of the camera or microphone, to become "celebrities". That is one of the reasons why the media is a worldwide mess.

    Well I better stop here and better go in a long walk to "pay the price of solitude" and I am loving it.
    Thank you James for more concepts to ponder upon. I´ll go and get my thinking cap!

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