Deep down the source of energy and drive lies in the passion of the heart. One would spend more time and effort on those things you truly value and cherish than your energy levels actually allow when you
Restoring with passion
believe in what you do. Passion grows on the inner drive that provides vigour.
The challenge is to identify that drive as early in life as possible. Then it can start to germinate, root and spout to become a passion.
No success or achievement is possible without passion. How can you pursue significance without something you believe in. There cannot be drive or energy if you do not actively strive to satisfy your love for that which you believe in.
If you express your passion in art, paint for your passion, not for the people. If it is in dance, do it with and for your heart, not for the sake of the audience. If it is building or restoring, do it to fulfil your vision and not for approval.
Passion gives purpose, direction and a sense of accomplishment. That is the “why” in chasing your dream.
It is not what I can consume but what I leave behind which is significant. Achievement is not what I manage to collect for myself, but what I can provide as a result of my efforts. At the end of it all the true test will be what impact I had on my social environment and on the world in general.
A parasitic attitude of selfish acquiring, drains the pool of sharing. Consumerism depletes the resources that were meant for the general good for all. Before you can even start to ask the question; “What is my purpose in life?”, you need to make it out for yourself what you want to leave behind.
A decision about one’s own legacy provides a focus on your ambition. Then, every aspect of life becomes a driver towards meaningfulness. A suitable starting point would be to formulate a “legacy-will” towards which, one can live purposefully.
Who I am, is determined by my past. Whether the memories of my past are good or worth forgetting. I am either what I am now because of the past or despite there of. That depends on how I dealt with the issues that crossed my path.
One thing though which we cannot change is that my “now” depends on whether I managed to leave behind the insignificant things. Those I cannot change or influence.
“Forgiveness is the only way to free ourselves from the entrapment of the past” said a wise man once (Richard Röhr). The pains of the past stick in our being and are very difficult to let go. But letting go of negative and painful memories allows growth. It is the only way we can define ourselves by the present moment. I cannot be defined by my failures of the past. What I am now is who I really am.
Growth has to do with the creation of options. Once you run out of choices, there’s not much to live for any longer. Functional and happy people are those who manage to create options in life. This ability is embedded in the human DNA and it is one of the skills that separate us from the other creatures we share our world with.
But unlike other natural abilities, this is one, when neglected, it fades into obscurity.
There are mainly two ways of ensuring progression in this area. The first being the constant development of the number of skills you have. While keeping those you possess active, learn something new every year. The increase of abilities is direct proportionate to the number of options you have in life.
The second is to develop an eye for the gap. The skill to see an opportunity needs to be trained and nurtured.
Having options put one in a position of power, the power of choice.
Life without risks is nothing different than unconsciousness. To “run into danger” would sound foolish, yet in it’s original form this is what it means. One of the first discoveries every young human make, is that without risk there’s no growth. The first effort to crawl, to take the first step is filled with danger. Overcoming that fear induces development. We learn quickly that all the new experiences in life are challenges to our equilibrium and comfort we nonetheless engage them without hesitation.
As we grow up we tend to lose that inclination to risk-taking as we curl up in our comfortable existence. We convince ourselves that life should be as uncomplicated and plain sailing as possible. That is when mediocrity and complacency sets in and any possibility of growth evaporate.
The older one gets, the more you need to force yourself to take risks. Discover new experiences, develop new skills and read something outside your interest or expertise. Overcome the fear of stepping out of the known and the ordinary. Grow to become more you.
I am, because we are. “Ubuntu” is the African word for describing the essence of co-existence and the importance of my own position in society. Although my own place in humanity is largely defined by the group I find myself in, my value is determined by myself.
The position I occupy does not establish my worth. The influence I have on my environment does. That is the reason why statues are only built for people who influenced society. Usually having to go against the flow of the usual. Not allowing the way of least resistance to direct their actions.
Standing alone amongst my peers and facing the challenge of the strong current of opposing the institutionalized wrongs that will define me. That is why no statues are built for people who had an easy life.
Whistleblowing is not seen as a virtue among those who have vested interests in mediocrity and the iniquitous.
My attitude towards my own purpose should then rather be: “We are because I am”.
Call it Utopia, Paradise or any other name. It remains the ultimate dream of society. An imaginary place of perfection in all social systems. The irony lies in the word “Utopia” itself. Literally it means “nowhere”. In the mind of most people the concept of a perfect world lies outside and beyond what we know in this life, so it can only be possible in a place and time on the “other side”.
If that is your belief, you have accepted the brokenness of this world as your destiny. Then you gave up on good, well and contentment.Utopia is not a destination, it’s a direction. Even if my influence is limited and does not allow me to change the world, I can at least direct my own life. Living in the direction of perfection allows me to alter my own little world.
Amidst a chaotic and uncomfortable space, my drive is to build a bubble of happiness where I make the rules I live by. I will not allow the negative environment to dictate my quality of life. I will not allow my lack of resources to set the level of joy. I will find my Utopia in my relationship with the important people in my life. So, Utopia is not “nowhere”, it is “everywhere”. A borderless paradise.
In Africa there is a saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far go together”. In venturing through this life one quickly learns that going alone is very dangerous, very risky and extremely lonely. Somewhere in the late teens of one’s life the main objective is to go alone. Be independent, do your own thing. It is only in the first major predicament that the realization dawns on you that you actually need others not only to survive but also, and especially, to get ahead – to grow.
Soon you also get to understand that although you may need the others around you, you cannot “like” everyone. Some of those you come across just cannot fit into your template of like-ness. Usually we then try to avoid those or at least evade them to save yourself from having to deal with them. Yet, the sooner one learns to grasp the fact that not to like someone is not to be confused with not to respect or even endure those.
We often hear the phrase that we should “love” one another. That does not mean to “like” everybody is even possible. It means to respect the others and acknowledge the contribution they can make in assisting me to develop my own strengths.
Alone, personal growth is just not possible. Only when you recognize the value of those around you- the ones you like as well as those you don’t- growth towards maturity can commence. Together is more.
Fear is the energy you need to advance. Our fight or flight energy is coiled within us, waiting to be released. It is inherent to every living creature. Especially true in us as humans. This is the reason why we’ve made it thus far to the top of the food chain.
This is the latent driving force, which can either destroy or develop. Utilizing this fear in a positive way is called courage. Unleashing this underlying power is essential for progress and ultimately success.
Overcoming one’s fear allow you to discover, venture out of the comfort zone and grow. To reach the top, you need to take every challenging step into the unknown. Remaining in what you know kills ambition and restrains forward movement. The test will be the level of uneasiness you feel before taking the next step. Total ease might indicate only activity, but little or no progress like running on a treadmill. Apprehension should be the trigger that you need to set the hidden energy off. Courage is the ability to break through the barriers of doubt.