There is something about committed, uncompromising people that can be easy to admire. Perhaps, we yearn to “believe in” something deeper, greater than ourselves and when we see it in others it strikes a chord in our own heart. This is certainly a popular notion. If Rasmussen were to take a poll this might be number 1 on the list of explanations. However, maybe we desire to live our life connected to something we “believe in” that is not grander than ourselves but uniquely connects “ourselves” to this world with purpose. Consider that inspiration is nothing more than living your life authentically and uniquely as…well…you. “People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.” (Saint Augustine)
Have you passed by yourself without wondering? I spoke at an event a few weeks ago and asked everyone to consider what they would really like to do with their life. I asked the proverbial question “what is your purpose” and we played a little game around this subject. In short it went like this. Take 60 seconds and speak this one sentence to as many people as you can: “I can’t _______________________ (fill in the blank with something you would really love to do) because _________________________ (fill in the blank with why you believe you can’t do this)” The reasons people described as to why they couldn’t do what they wanted were similar across the crowd. “I don’t have enough money.” “I don’t have enough time.” “I am too old.” “I’m too young.” “I‘m too tired.” “It would be too scary to start something new.”
Then, we changed the question. Take 60 seconds and speak this one sentence to as many people as you can: “I CAN _______________________ (fill in the blank with something you would really love to do) because _________________________ (fill in the blank with why you WILL do this)”. Can you guess as to which 60 second game had the most laughter and energy. I hope it is obvious that it was the second game we played. Plus, very few people could restrain themselves to just saying the one sentence in the “I CAN” game. Fun and joy spontaneously broke out across the room.
I grant that playing these games did not have everyone leaving that day with their life purpose fully identified and their invented ego terminated. That would take a little more individualized coaching but probably not much more. Yet, people left “up” and several commented that they had not thought about “why they are here” in years, in decades. Some had even felt that it was “selfish to do what they wanted to do.” They felt some relief knowing that they could possibly be and do what they felt a longing to be and do.
Regarding ego and to be clear, your ego is not you. Ego is in the way of grasping who you really are. Ego is how we live to impress and please others. It is a fabricated answer to “what value do I bring to the world” and so it is defended with tenacity. Regardless, it is not you. Our worth was not and is not determined by what we have been taught, what degrees we have, the grades we made, how much money we make, how long we have been unemployed, our life’s vocation, the car we drive, the spouse we married, the kids we have or our family heritage and ancestry. Our worth was established by God. To consider anything else is to be lost in a world of fear and in the struggle of what is inferior or superior.
To live inspired all you have to do is be the incredible person you are. Don’t pass yourself by. You are worth discovering. We need you to be a powerful and genuine influence. You do not serve us by choosing not to risk your own significance.