Do you want to leave a legacy worth remembering? Here’s how I’m doing it.
I’m asked regularly what makes my work different. Some have told me it’s because I cut straight to the truth of things. Others feel accepted – warts and all. Still others seem to find me a useful sounding board for their ideas and challenges. I suppose the combination of all of that is important. I am able to be forthright in challenging people, but it doesn’t come from a shaming place, rather it comes from an encouraging and supportive place. One thing that has been on my mind this past couple of years is how masculinity has become tarnished with the misdeeds of some men. Admittedly those men whose accumulation of power enables them to cause more than their share of mayhem. Since I am not (at least yet) in such a powerful position, it is perhaps easier for me to be forthright, blunt and direct with people without getting chucked on the “oppressive patriarch” pile.
Yet should I be fated for a public position in society, I hope that I will be able to retain my beneficial qualities in the eyes of the public. But in all likelihood, I will be shamed by the victim-hood of an extraordinarily privileged society seeking to cut down any exceptionally tall poppies.
What I can say is that I practice what I preach and its hard bloody work. I tell people to practice consistently, yet I still kung fu a challenge. I tell people to have difficult conversations, yet I still fear that I’ll lose the love of those I must confront. I tell people to work toward a deeply meaningful life, embracing all of the difficulty and strain and upset that will definitely cause, yet every fast food company I pass, still draws my attention. I tell my clients these things, because they are what I most need myself. Being reminded about what I need to do so consistently certainly helps me to keep on track. But I fail. Regularly. I feel bad about it. I get back up and continue on. Building my life gradually and determinedly.
… and it seems to be paying off so far. At least that’s what these folks are saying. If you followed the link, you would have found Fourthguides – the vision of the future I “downloaded” around a decade ago.
It’s been a tough slog since then. I’ve spent the best part of that time in crisis. Determined to do what I knew to be right. I spent a lot of time running away, drifting, being a let down to myself and others, creating infinite frustration.
But I had no Elder, no mentor to show me the way. This has resulted in a great amount of wisdom for my age, but in return for some perhaps wildly unnecessary suffering. I honestly don’t recommend doing it alone. Community and mentors are essential. Perhaps this is what sets me apart and has me achieve great results. I’m not claiming to be some super-human rock-star who has everything worked out. I’m in it with you!
I speak from the struggle that we all have. I refuse to give up and fade into mediocrity. I will not be a victim. Because I truly believe that we have the capacity to create the most just and peaceful society that has ever existed. That will be born of each and every one of us discovering what sets us apart and doing it, a lot!
If it hasn’t become evident by now, I stand by the idea that we all have a unique life purpose. We are like pieces of a jigsaw. Every piece must be in place for it to work. Every single one of us is needed to do our specialist job. That can take a long time to identify and apply, but the process of looking is a hugely enlightening one and leads to a fulfillment like no other.
The roles that seem to make up my purpose include visionary leadership, fatherly command, social responsibility and inner strength. All of this contributes to me providing guidance that will move humanity forward, though quite how that will look in full swing is as yet unknown to me.
This is the way I need to go.
There’s really no other way for me. I tried going the corporate route. I tried doing a regular job. All I feel in these places is a great depression, a lack of life, a sense of despair and “is this it?!”
I know it doesn’t need to be like this. I am (you are, *|FNAME|*) able right now to take a risk and try things, see what works, see what doesn’t, adjust and move on, learning as we go. Only this way can we grow and live real lives.
But making mistakes in life is something else that’s become extremely unpalatable to us… How unsophisticated our taste for life has become.
This morning I considered how the fear of making mistakes is inseparable from the desire for everything to be known, already. Imagine a world where you knew everything. That would be a world with no adventure, no discovery, no excitement about anything new, because there would be nothing new. So why do we frantically avoid making mistakes and no longer step willingly into the unknown?
A better approach would be to accept that we know infinitely less than there is to know and will never be able to gather even the most microscopic spec of what there is to know. We must just accept this and do the best with what we have now.
Through most of human history, that has been the way.
We could turn our attention to the fact that it’s the same for everyone else too. We could recognise that the best way to make our way through life is to seek ways to help others. You help someone, you are given help in return. Isn’t that called…. Trade?!
Who needs help in your life, your community, your society, right now? You’re seeing that for a reason. Perhaps that awareness makes you more capable than anyone else at providing the support that’s needed.
What skills and experience do you have that has been hard earned, through study, application or in your response to adverse conditions? These are what will help you to help others and initiate trade.
Think about it…
Try, fail, learn. Try, fail, learn. You will definitely make more mistakes than you will get things right and indeed that is the only way to eventually get things right. Elimination of the possibilities.
Another big lesson – holding on to all of the opportunities you have, isn’t a good thing! It’s paralysing. Through limitation, comes the freedom to move forward effectively and gain momentum… Then if we need to, it’s easier to change direction on the move than to start the engine from cold. Work with what you have now!
It’s important to recognise that the possibilities are endless and that some may be useful for a while until they’re not. That’s how everything works. We do the best with what we have and find ways to improve, gradually.
So my plea is for you all to stop avoiding discomfort, stop being a victim, stop messing about with the life you have. There’s nothing magically on the horizon that’s going to come in and make things different for you. You have to make them different. So if you’re not living your life now, you need to change something or it will always remain the same.
Don’t be the 80 year old with no legacy. It will be the worse nightmare you’ve ever woken up to.
If you would like to find out more about how you can avoid this fate, you can visit my website at: www.purposeinaction.co.uk.
Through many inner and outer struggles I realised that our society is no longer set-up to teach wisdom. So I went about figuring out how that can happen - how we can turn ourselves into the elders our society sorely needs. I created Purpose In Action in order to enable people to gain the wisdom they need to fulfill their unique life purpose and contribute properly toward the creation of a better society.