“Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
As we look ahead (not an easy task when we don't know what's ahead...), I've always found it helps so much to physically write my plans for the coming year. Inspired by a discussion I read about how Warren Buffet prioritizes success, I sweep out the dust and the grime and narrow it down to the nitty gritty. The Top Five things I want most in my life.
And I document it – THIS is what I want. THIS is what I don’t want.
“When you can look a thing dead in the eye, acknowledge that it exists, call it exactly what it is, and decide what role it will take in your life then, my Beloved, you have taken the first step toward your freedom.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant
While that quote is from a book on relationships, it relates to everything in life. What do you want to consume your thoughts? What has hurt you? Ignored you? Left you? Betrayed you? Cheated you? Or should your mind instead be filled by all that you want your life to look like? The steps you want to take next to build the next bridge, open the heart, spread the wings, bring in all that is beautiful?
It’s not about leaving things behind, it’s about making sure that you don’t let yourself be defined by negative forces. It’s about knowing who you are, and that you are going to be just fine no matter what happens with that person or situation. It’s about knowing when to fight for something and when to put it behind you – or finding that balance where you are standing up for what’s right, but not letting the anxiety surrounding that take up all your time. Oh yeah, that sweet spot.
Leaving the corporate daily grind for a different kind of role has taught me so much. I’ve seen companies from perspectives that are unlike any other. I’ve lost respect for some and gained a ton for others. I’ve seen incredibly unethical behaviors and shady business practices that have left me feeling dirty after interactions. And I’ve seen great passion and generosity that remind me why I’ve been doing what I do for so long. But the experience has sadly made me more skeptical, more disillusioned, of how businesses operate. That being said? It is what it is.
“Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.” ~ George Carlin
So you have to find a way to avoid cynicism and the overall distrust. You have to protect yourself without putting on armor. And you have to decide if this is the kind of environment you want to surround yourself in. In How to Live Your Legend, we’re encouraged in this process to ask ourselves these questions…
How is what you’re doing making you a better person?
How is what you’re doing making the world a better place?
What beliefs are you most passionate about?
Does your current work embody those beliefs?
Too much time is not spent even thinking we have a choice in this matter. We do.
I love connecting people. I love guiding people in the direction of their dreams. I don’t want to do it for them, rather I want to empower them – give them the tools and help them own their next steps.
I love being a part of an environment that supports the community at large, where I am not just part of the almighty dollar. And that last has become a Must rather than what some consider an Optional for me. It’s why 8 years ago decreased my life from an eighty hour workweek to one where I work in environments where I have impact, where I am in my element, where I have the independence and creativity to forge my own path and deliver results that improve the lives of others.
The people I’ve met over the past 8 years are artists, builders, gardeners, community leaders, writers, and those who support them. The initiatives that are important to me have always been important:
Even as the world now spins very differently, some themes remain. Everything I do will be rooted in my primary goal – to positively impact the lives of others, whether it be through my coaching, my programs, my recruiting, my volunteering, my education, my living.
What are you doing? I’d love to hear your stories, your thoughts, your questions. Bring it on – we’ve got so much ahead of us…
“Life is too short for anything else, and too long to be doing something meaningless. Either find the meaning or create it.” ~ Scott Dinsmore