Own Your Life: There Is More to You Than You Know
Creating your own reality.
Posted September 14, 2020
I have long held onto a small, sometimes dangerously flickering flame granted with love to me when I was many years younger and in anguish for all my losses. Brother Power of the Christian Brothers Order looked at me with deep blue, knowing eyes and said, “If at times you feel you are not part of this world, perhaps it's because you were born to make a new one ... Believe.”
The world is full of unborn greatness because of our inability to see beyond the obvious; too many of us are held captive to conventional wisdoms and the cages of rules and norms.
There are never any ceilings, just sky and opportunity, if we chose it to be so.
Transformational excellence, like genius, lives right at the edge of catastrophe.
But where it lives, there you will not find faint hearts, barren passion, or the paucity of belief.
In a world so populated by enterprising talent, filled with desire and driven by impatience, now more than ever, it's the finest inflections, those small drops of magic that can make the whole world of difference. So often, that is our very problem, we miss so much, not realizing that anything that is big is no less than the gathering of all the vital small.
Who thought up the question, ‘Do you live to work, or work to live?’
I truly do wonder at that!
It is too fundamental, too stark. Does it really have to be one or the other? Do we live one half, so to die the other; trudged through, discounted, irrelevant?
The business of life is inextricably linked to the life of business. We don't work to live or live to work. We live.
And within the ephemeral cocoon that is human life we do all manner of things: We grow, we learn, we love, we fail, we succeed, we play, we make life, we dream. And finally, we go.
We have been many people at different seasons of our lives: a friend, a fool, a foe and many things else besides.
In the quietness of our own time, as we reflect, we are both proud and saddened by the good and the not so good that we see daubed upon the canvas of our lives.
Finally, we must ask: Are we stronger for it all? More hopeful and happy? Do we own our own lives?
It seems to me that we give away too much of our lives, believing we are not able; we are our own limiter, bridle and rein. The French have a lovely saying: Plus et en vous—there is more to you than you imagine! How true—if we make it so.
The fact is that work, rest and Play are inextricably linked; one side need not be a relentless place, all that darkness endured for just a few sunny shards of escape.
Often we limit our choices through preconceived notions of what is allowed and what isn't. We think “yin” and “yang” are clear-cut and absolute.
How do we get ourselves into such knots? Well, we listen too much to others, forgetting to hear our own inner voice, our intuition. We are often too hard on ourselves. All too often we listen to others (which is not a bad thing to do to), yet we forget to pay attention to our own inner voice, our intuition.
We decide how to plant the acreage in our lives before we know whether the crop we are sowing is really what will make us happy. Why one crop? Why in any fixed and given season?
Why live by the rules of others—so far away, so removed?
It’s far better to find alternatives that work for ourselves; doing it differently without blighting others.
What we be believe we innately know isn’t always a universal truth. We limit ourselves because we don't look beyond.
Is this moment of pause important to business? Yes, I believe so.
If we are unable to pause, to think beyond the obvious and understand what we are and what we stand for, then I think there is little hope it will all suddenly come good when we step into a final decision.
Belief is important. Blind belief is dangerous. Finding the middle ground through the power of pause and the pursuit of inner belief, calm and honesty is crucial. And so it is often difficult.
Nothing worth protecting comes with the fullest ease. Ever.
The fact of the matter is that accumulated knowledge does not guarantee any future certainty; it only gives us higher awareness—perhaps. It is the nature of us humans to seek knowledge, but mostly when we least expect it, the knowledge that truly matters comes to find us. The only certainty in life is uncertainty. But belief in yourself can be a permanent resident.
The sum of all that we do finally becomes who we are.
There are always a few defining moments in the life of any person, decisions and actions beyond the daily existence, moments that craft the true signature of one's life, what our passions and convictions are and how we serve them.
We don't give ourselves the scope or seek their perspective. We trip from one event to another and we hope that the eventuality of life will play its part in making it all just right.
Often sadly, it is only at times of great emotional and physical confrontation that we come to discover we are not in the place we wanted to be, we are not the person we thought we were and that the journey is pretty much a maze of endless turns, stops and starts.
One is lost only if they choose to assume so. If you are still exploring and unsure, then that is what it is, exploring, not lost. It is good to search.
Some of us take years and others are lucky enough to find the resting fields sooner.
But to make the best of things, sometimes calls for separation from the outward noise and the common activity of daily life.
"It's too late" is a term I truly despise; it's the resignation of a hope and the abdication of possibility. It is never too late, just like nothing is absolute.
Life in my opinion should be less about rules, for, like fragile vases, they wait for carelessness to find them.
It is often when one separates themselves from convention when it happens: the chance to raise hope upon the shoulders of possibility. But of course, one has to embrace trial and error, for its invariably a part of discovery.
The measure and impact of newness can be great—and sometimes beyond our will and choosing. And yet it is my belief that finally we alone must own the canvas and command the brushes.
Belief and opportunity often live at the cusp of the smallest margins. The smallest slight or the slightest margin of error can cause the end of an opportunity, sometimes even life itself.
It is often what we care not to see or hear what matters the most.
Listen to the whispers, they can become a shout, take note of the incidental lest it becomes prominent.
Tiny snowflakes gather and can stop the traffic.
Small is big. That is often the fine truth between difference and absolute distinction.
There is much recorded about what successful people do and think, but much less about what makes them truly the people they have become. People from all walks of life and at all levels of the social strata, who are masters over their own lives, all have a few important things in common:
- They allow their passions to shape them
- They don't conform, neither do they insult
- They take calculated risks and solve constructive challenge
- They possess transferable wisdom, which they willingly share
- They own conviction, fully committed to work, play, and rest in fair measure
- They know the fears and sorrows of life, but they live for the hopes and the joys
- They possess tremendous personal authority and a steely will
- They don't take themselves too seriously all of the time.
The above is the known list. But it need not be yours.
Every story that could ever be written is not yet done;
All there is to know is not known, and that is the joy and the eternal challenge of our existence.
Often the knowledge that really matters comes to find us. How we deal with it, becomes the proving ground for who we are and what we can become.
Find your inner quietness. Don't let others tell you who you are or what you will become. Only you have that power in the end.
Your actions will be an expression of your priorities.
Let those actions be a reflection of the best of you.
And through it all, remember this:
It is never too late to own your life.