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I suspect that we could all do with more moments that make us stop and say, “Wow!”
We could do with more brilliant art, phenomenal music and lyrical prose that takes our breath away.
More phenomenal service that surprises and amazes us.
More acts of love that change and move us.
More intelligent insights that make us think and force us to act.
More innovative ideas and products that help to solve our daily challenges.
As you look at every area of your life, are you living by default or by design?
What I mean by that is, are you floating along, with your future controlled by the ebbs and flows of the world around you, or are you in control of your destiny, with a clear purpose and actions that are aligned with your goals?
It’s easy to float along and I can see the temptation, but living a successful life requires greater determination and taking responsibility for your current and future circumstances.
Chameleons are remarkable creatures.
They have separately mobile eyes, prehensile tails and long, muscular tongues to catch their prey.
One of their most unusual and distinctive features is the ability that many species of chameleons have to change colour to match their surroundings.
It’s an extraordinary ability and one that we share.
We too have the propensity to change according to our environment.
Good intentions aren’t action.
Dreaming isn’t action.
Planning isn’t action.
Believing isn’t action.
Checking and re-checking the data isn’t action.
Imagining the possibilities isn’t action.
Talking about it isn’t action.
In some way, we are all living a life that reflects one of the following statements:
“The world is a scary place, so I’ll just look after myself and hope that I don’t get hurt.”
“I don’t have anything to offer, I couldn’t possibly make a difference in the world.”
“Maybe it’s possible, but I’m not ready yet. Maybe I can do something meaningful in a few years when I’m older/wiser/more educated/the kids have moved out.”
“Perhaps I can make a difference in the world, I just need the right opportunity to appear.”
In a garage somewhere, iconic businesses such as Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Mattel and the Walt Disney Company started.
In a garage somewhere, great bands such as INXS, the Who, Nirvana and Creedence Clearwater Revival started.
In each of the above cases, people started with an idea, tinkered around for a while and developed the skills that would make them household names.
In the second half of last year, we converted half of our garage into a home office.
It has become a great location to meet clients and write in, with everything that I need to work from. I just need to provide the lofty dreams, the ideas and the willingness to work on my craft.
Do you have a garage or somewhere else where you can start to work on your dreams?
Do you have a dream or goal?
Is there something meaningful that you want to do with your life?
Do you want to write a book?
Assist people in need?
Start a business?
Share an important message?
Become a leader?
Build a brand?
How many grains of sand does it take to make a beach?
How many drops of water does it take to make a lake?
How many blades of grass does it take to make a meadow?
How many small pebbles does it take to make a mountain?
How many stars does it take to make a night sky?
Through my business, I hear many of my clients use the phrase, “I’m looking for a new challenge,” when describing why they are moving on from their current role.
Then, when they talk about the next role that they would like to go for, it seems remarkably similar to the job that they are looking to leave.
There are no additional responsibilities, no opportunities to utilise different skills, no stretching of boundaries.
In essence, when they use the phrase, “I’m looking for a new challenge,” they’re really saying, “I’m bored, surely anything else must be better than this.”
Nahum of Bratslav once said:
“When I appear before the Heavenly tribunal and I am asked, ‘Why did you not lead your people like Moses?’
I shall not be afraid.
‘When I am asked, ‘Why were you not a David who worshiped me and shepherded your people?’
I will be calm.
‘When they query, ‘Why were you not Elijah who spoke the truth and brought forth justice?’
Even then I will not shake.
“Ah, but when they ask, ‘Nahum, why were you not Nahum?’
It is then I will tremble from head to toe!”