When I speak, we take a journey.
Almost regardless of the event and the title of my talk, it will be a journey of identity and purpose. A journey whose path will include a cold, hard look in the mirror.
As we roll towards the end of the talk, the hammer begins to fall.
“Most people muddle through life and wake up one day going, how did I get here?” I state as if it was stamped into granite.
Faces around the audience will get a blank, nervous, “oh my God, he’s talking about me!” look on their face. But there is hope in these looks. Hope coming from the realization, “I have just been muddling, he is right, but I can find a real purpose, my life can matter.”
If that blank stare is etched on your face, what are you going to do about it? We spend so much time trying to fit in, to impress others, to lead what the world thinks is a good respectable life, we can forget what is was like to live a life of wonder. As you’ve aged, has your world gotten bigger or smaller? Have your possibilities increased or faded away? How did you get here?
Look closely at your life. Do you have an overwhelming purpose that motivates you and orders your life? Forget about priorities, what do you actually do from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed? You say your kids are important, but how much time do you actually spend in conversation with them? Are you more concerned about a 401k you’ll cash in twenty years or so from now than you are doing something rich and rewarding in the next 20 days? Living life based on society’s expectations as opposed to a deep identity and purpose usually just means you are muddling.
Still not convinced? Most fathers would say their children are very important to their lives. But according to a recent study the average father only spends about 19 minutes a day in meaningful conversation with his children. That average father spends more time on the toilet each day than he does in meaningful talks with his kids.
Don’t run, face the truth, and do something you love. Go on a hike. Buy a good bottle of wine and watch your favorite movie. Get cozy with your husband and bang his brains out. Take the day off and do everything for your wife she hates doing, then take her to her favorite restaurant. Step out, dream, do something that is a step forward.
There is nothing you can’t do if you’ll just be honest with yourself and take that first step toward a new life. I see it everyday in the e-mails, letters, and phone calls from the many people I’ve met on the road the last few years.
We have one life, live free! Finding and following your true identity and purpose can unlock the burning desire within your own soul.