A friend recently shared a quote that I believe is vital to today's topic:
"Life is not a rehearsal, you either leave it or live it."
Have you ever reflected back on your life? Where you came from, how you were born, what your parents taught you whether wrong and right, what you observed growing up? The low and high moments in your life. Where you are now? Where you want to be in 3-5 years? What you are potentially able to do? I'd like to think of this as a graphical representation of your life.
I believe that we are all laden with unlimited potential. There are resources, people and opportunities around each of us but they are hidden in plain sight. Just because you can not physically see something doesn't mean that it is isn't there. All these will be vital in attaining the goals, and the vision you have in life.
All the people that ever died having emptied themselves of their potential have various things in common. It did not matter what religion they were in, what mattered is that they believed in a greater power than themselves. They believed in a cause greater than themselves and pursued those causes even unto death. Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gadhi, Mother Teresa, and our very own Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathae are a few examples. They were not driven by material gain, popularity contests, awards, “followers” or none thereof. Their significance was measured by how well every activity they engaged in tied with their purpose. Nothing deterred them from pursuing their calling. Yes, they generated a lot of criticism, but none of them resulted to war as a weapon to champion their causes. They were peaceful even in the midst of turmoil. They remained steadfast and ultimately lived fulfilled lives. Isn't it better dying trying to do something than to live doing nothing?
Have you read the story of one Anne Sullivan? She was an American teacher best known as the instructor and companion of Helen Keller. She epitomizes a life fully lived. She died empty.
The world is devoid of action only small-talk.
What is sad is that many people walk around doing nothing and changing nothing? Always complaining, blaming and excusing themselves from what is essentially their duty. Where you complain the most, please take a moment to see whether you are the missing change agent? Most probably you are the one who'll make a difference. You are the one who needs to change. It's not so much about making a big change in the shortest period of time, rather than making steadfast small changes, one day at a time. It is also not about being perfect as much as it is about striving for excellence.
Maybe the guy who is always throwing tantrums in your office only needs a smile. Probably, no one has ever cared enough to smile at him.
Maybe your small brother just needs someone to tell him, he can do it. All he has been hearing around is that, "It's not possible." No wonder, he's always in his room watching TV from dawn to dusk.
Just maybe, your boss, or the president of your country is not the problem. You just need to wake up from your dream of 'freedom' and take action.
People find it easier talking about others than being introspective and talking about themselves. It's not about being overly self-conscious or on the extreme and being arrogant. It is much harder to look within yourself, and admit that you are fearful of failure, that you can't ask for help, that you never delegate routine tasks because you don't believe that others can do a better job.
What do you love doing most? Give it some thought. What do you hate most and would want to do something about, if given opportunity? If there is something you could do for free and not mind if no one paid you, what would that be? What gives you tremendous energy? These are pointers to what your life's purpose is.
Until you do what you love, your life will be controlled by emotions such as fear, anger, shame and regret. Until you stand up for what you truly believe in, you will always have to compromise, settle for second-best. Opportunities will pass you by in broad daylight. Remember, you are not getting any younger as you age.
What footprints will you leave behind after you die? What is the legacy that you will leave? Will you have made the world a better place to live in? Will you have made it easier for another soul to breathe better in the world? The change has to start inside you, but you have to take actual steps and make an impact.
Dr. Anthony Campolo, Professor of Sociology, Eastern College, St. Davids, Pennsylvania, shares the results of a survey where 50 people 95 years and older were asked: “If you could live your life over what would you do differently?” These old people said they would do the following:
- Reflect more.
- Risk more.
- Do things that would live on after they died.Do you have to wait until you are ninety to reflect so painfully? (excerpt from Made for Greatness, Anthony Gitonga)
I pray for you my friend today as I do for myself, may we empty ourselves of the uniqueness we have in us. May we pursue our purpose. May we fulfill God's calling of us today. Whatever you do, wherever you are, the Maker is calling for you to touch the life of another, and by chain effect, many others and ignite them through your purpose. Choose to spend your life wisely today, you only have one (life).
What steps will you take starting now? Your “Hellen Keller” is waiting!