Today is the future that you talked about yesterday. Today is the tomorrow that you referred to yesterday that would be when you started your plan for a new and improved you. This is the most powerful moment of your life. This is your “Now.” If we are going to be completely honest, Now, for most people, looks quite a bit like all their yesterdays. The word for this is ‘routine’ and it is what kills Big Dreams, and passionate and purpose-driven living.
One day, in the future, will be our last day and we all will have one question to ask ourselves, “What was my life all about?” On everyone’s tombstone, there will be a date of your birth and a date of your death. Right there in the middle, there is a small, barely noticeable dash. That dash represents everything that happened in between the dates. A Life. That dash represents the loves, friends, jobs and all the activities that you packed into your eighty or ninety years. For many, it represents over 87,000 hours of watching television, social media tinkering and texting. For others, who hear the ticking of the clock getting louder, that dash is filled with ideas and dreams of a better life for themselves and for as many people as their passion and imagination can reach.
Humanitarian minded people were not born that way, they were developed. It is different for each individual, but at some point, something went “Click” and life took a turn toward an intolerance for “The way it is” and exchanged it for “The way it could be.” We begin to see opportunities in challenges. We feel a gravitational pull toward the cold and forsaken around us and in the world at large. We start looking for solutions to benefit those who can not help themselves and we find them. Our hearts pound harder each day with a wake-up call of passion and purpose. Our brains release serotonin, endorphin, and dopamine into our systems and we feel an inner joy and happiness every day and we realize it is not all one-sided.
That Dash starts getting filled up with a multitude of activities that we can hardly keep up with and our environment takes on a flavor and look of our own creation. Life becomes a beautiful thing and nothing can interrupt it. Not for long anyway. Humanitarians are not a special breed of humans. We all have the capacity to make the world, even a small part of it, a better place. What is the secret? Come a little closer and listen carefully… they are the ones who started. Nothing else. They applied to volunteer somewhere, they picked up their phones and called a charity to ask, “What can I do to help?” and they make small changes in their lives that have major impacts. They turned off the television, stopped texting every few minutes, they got outside of themselves and saw the world as it is and decided that they could effect a small change somewhere…. and they started.
(Photo: Jim Killon/Facebook)
These are the ones who will lay on a bed in a few decades from now, watching the blip on the hospital monitor getting slower and slower with a huge smile of total satisfaction on their faces. They will ease on into the Great Beyond completely spent, used up and on empty because they gave everything that they had to share behind. A life well lived with purpose and passion.
I want to leave you with this quote that I find particularly inspiring from Marianne Williamson. I think it summarizes my point quite well…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?…Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Let this message mean something special to you today. This is your “Now”.
Until next week, live large my friends, live deliberately.
Please be sure to check out the all new June issue of The Changes for New Hope Humanitarian Awards Magazine, here.
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