“What I really lack is to be clear in my mind what I am to do, not what I am to know.…The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wishes me to do…. to find the idea for which I can live and die.”
Working for success often does not bring us the fulfillment and sense of an idea worth living for, rather it leaves us wanting more. Discovering our strengths and using them to help make a difference that changes the world; that is the idea that Kierkegaard struggled to define. Where do you start to make such a big difference and capture an inner heartbeat that sets the timing for your life?
In most of the western world people have “two lives”. Our first life is the typical work life from 20 to 60 years old. Our second is the 20 to 30 extra years of life. In the developing world like Kenya, where I’ve just returned from, the average life expectancy is 45 years old. Like generations before us, they don’t have the benefit of this second stage of life.
“The 20th century is the first in which substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have real choices about how they will invest their time and talent. . . . Most people are totally unprepared for it.”
Peter Drucker, Renowned Business Expert
If we have no historical framework to base this extra time on what are we to do? How are we to find that one ideawe can live and die for? With 5,000 advertising messages high jacking our attention, how are we to know if we are being effective and doing the right things?
God provides illumination, meaning, purpose and hope in his word the Bible.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
When you watch a movie or read a book it summons a response from you. Some you either love, hate or are unaffected by. You’re engaged by the characters and themes or disenchanted with who they are and the lives they live. What if your life was unveiled as a “story”?
Did you know the most impactful and memorable are based on true-life stories? As Joseph Campbell mentions in The Hero With a Thousand Faces it’s human nature to relate to story.
Up until this year my life story was concealed, shared only with those who lived it alongside me. Most of us share safe “bullet points” – basically demographic information that keeps us in a safe zone because we fail to understand the impact of our own story or know how to live a better story. If you think that you are watching a badly lived life unfold before you watch this 2-minute video called A Better Story.
Learning to live and tell a better story are skills we can learn.
Last week I gave you a glimpse of an opportunity to be a hero! Is it a hero’s task? When 2.6 billion people lack adequate drinking water and safe sanitation and 3.4 million die annually from unsafe water and water related diseases?
Yes – hero’s take on an impossible task and give it everything they have!
As a businessman, when spending money, my #1 question is : What’s my Return On Investment, my ROI? Whether it’s making a purchase, an investment or donating money.
I visited Kenya, three years ago, and helped provide clean drinking water solution for two villages. And, yes, undoubtedly, the clean water provided saved lives. But wasit a good return on investment? The cost of providing clean water to two villages was over $100,000. To some, this may seem a crass and calculating – why am I telling you $ amounts? Isn’t every life worth saving regardless of cost?
Humbly, I want you to learn from my experiences and be a better hero! There is a much better solution to the clean drinking water problem with a much higher return on investment.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Every day, 1 billion people wake up to another day without safe drinking water. Children are sick and weak. There’s a constant struggle to find the most basic of human needs. Poverty grips 80% of the worlds’ population and won’t let go. The lack of safe drinking water is a crisis worldwide.
Here’s how this applies you. Watch this 3 minute video.
This young girl wants to buy 1,000,000 chickens – doesn’t that video make you scream – “what can I do to apply this teaching to my life to make a difference?” Through this and other events in my life, I realized being generous meant drilling wells as the most cost effective way to help the most people. But not everyone’s called to do this. However, everyone can make a difference by asking “how many people will I try to help”?
This is thin ice I’m stepping on; after all as Canadians we pride ourselves in helping around the world. But I really want you to wrestle with this for yourself. Don’t think about an image that we project and protect. Think about reality!
Sometimes you need to look back to move forward. Looking back in history we uncover how people connected on the basis of their shared values and ideas. When they connected they started communities, companies, revolutions – they made a difference. What about BIG differences today?
Do you want to begin making a difference ?. Someone who has already made a huge difference is Seth Godin. Seth is an entrepreneur and the most popular business blogger in the world. He makes some profound observations about marketing ideas in this digital age. He often tells people “Go make a difference”. I wonder how to make big changes first in myself, then in people around me. All leadership starts with self, then leading others.
There are probably some things you believe in. We all have dreams, passions and desires. But how do you lead others to believe in your hobby, interest, business, or cause? William James said “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”