It is your choice how you live your life. Just for a moment, take a guess at what percentage of the world’s population woke up today with a mindset of peace and happiness.
Some people are living in the lap of luxury, yet they are totally miserable. Many other people live in horrible conditions but have risen above them by changing their mindset. They have found a way to live a good and satisfying life despite the hardships of an unfair world.
After years of study, I found a quote that sums it up for me. “The quality of your life is a reflection of what is going on in between your ears.”
Problems are everywhere
Think of the people who don’t know if they will have anything to eat today. Consider those who want to destroy other people. How about those who haven’t a clue how they are going to survive financially or physically? Include those who believe they must steal in some way from others in order to survive today.
My own estimate only a small portion of people currently living on earth are actually living up to their potential. Others are trying to exist in a perpetual struggle each day and draw one day closer to their grave. In the richest country on the planet, many people survive at the most basic level. There is little hope or optimism for a rewarding life. Some people buy guns for the purpose of killing others or for “protecting themselves” by killing others. I think it is really sad.
Think of the potential
Now let’s flip to the other extreme. Whenever a new human infant pops out of the womb, think about the potential that little package represents. Every soul has the potential to become someone of significant positive value to the world. What are the odds that a particular infant will grow up to be a Mother Theresa or a Nelson Mandela? The odds are infinitesimal, so much of the wonderful potential that is born with each new baby disappears.
How about you?
Now let me bend your mind a bit more. If you live a comfortable and productive life, do you use your good fortune to make a difference? You have a choice just to enjoy your luck as you move through life, or you can make a difference in the world. It may seem like lunacy to actually try to make a difference because the problems are so immense. You can shrug your shoulders and go for hedonism, or choose to dig in and try anyway. It reminds me of a line from an old song by Buffy Sainte-Marie. “Ah, what can I do say a powerless few? With a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye, can’t you see that their poverty’s profiting you?”
There is no solution to this musing and no magic wand to wave that will have a noticeable impact. I just wanted to recall that the choice of what I do with my gifts is mine.
I need to realize that if I decide to make a small change in the world, that is a good thing. If enough of us do some good things, the aggregate impact may be large enough to notice. So, I rededicate myself to helping to grow leaders in every way I know how. That is the gift I bring to the world and my reason for living. I invite you to join me and live your purpose too.
Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of: Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change, The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.