Today I was inspired by the most unlikely person. My brother and I were having a conversation and he made a comment to me that struck a cord and made so much complete sense. Don’t get me wrong, my brother is a very intelligent individual but there has been a lifetime of differences between us and I feel as though we have constantly been at odds with each other. Through it all though, there has been love for each other but conflict nonetheless. However, today’s conversation was different. Today I quickly agreed with his statement that we are all an “eventual tragedy”. When I first heard him say it, I thought I was in for a morbid and negative conversation to follow. Instead though, he proceeded to explain how frustrated he gets when he sees and hears people around him complain about things that are beyond their control, demonstrate ungrateful behaviors, or wasting their time in meaningless discussion instead of planning for something better and productive. His comment about all of us being an eventual tragedy meant that we are all going to eventually die and we all run the risk of losing our opportunity to do something spectacular with our lives by living in negativity and without ambition.
My brother has always been an ambitious man and an entrepreneur at heart which means he has always been chasing his dream. He has failed many times and succeeded others. Has had a series of bad relationships and made mistakes in his communications with loved ones. Has fought cancer and gone hungry and endured humiliation in many forms. However, he always comes out on top. He is a true hustler in the sense of always finding a way to survive. We have had many conversations which have left me frustrated because we have opposing views on almost every topic in the universe. This time though I was left inspired by him. I have always looked up to my brother’s perseverance despite our differences but never found myself aligning my goals with his. Except now. This time I wanted to have the peace of mind and conviction he had in his voice when he said “we are all and eventual tragedy.” His theory is why waste your life up to that day that inevitably comes our way. I completely agree. I also have a theory of my own.
I have had the opportunity to work with thousands of individuals throughout my 25 years in retail. Many of them have come from other walks of life which for one reason or another led them to the retail path. Others were there as a launching pad for something else better to come along. However, one thing that I saw in common with most of them was that an extremely few number of them were living with purpose. The same is true for me. Although I have enjoyed my retail career and have been very successful throughout all of my career transitions, I never really felt that it was my final stop. I always carried the internal question of weather or not this was all I was cut out for in life. Don’t get me wrong, a career in retail or any career for that matter is nothing to take for granted but in my case I always felt an emptiness that I could just not figure out. My theory is that like me, many of us have a crippling fear of what would happen if we did not follow the “safe path”. That was and continues to be the case for me except that I have taken control of the tricks that my mind plays on me and overcome my fears. We should not be afraid of trying something new, learning something new, changing careers, writing that book, starting that online company, etc. I am not telling anyone to be careless and irresponsible but instead to really tune into what gifts we have been given and what more can we do with that. Motivational speaker Mel Robbins stated that we are all one decision away from a different life. I believe that to be true. One decision drove me to learning how to start my own online business. One decision drove me to learning how to launch my own blog. One decision drove me to getting a higher education at the age of 35. Have I gone bankrupt and given everything up on a whim? Nope, I am still being responsible and providing for my kids but instead, I have discovered that I now function with purpose. Live with purpose. Inspire with purpose.
I encourage all of you to take a deep look at what your talents are. What gifts have you been given in life which you are afraid to explore because it goes against the expectations of those surround you or what you were conditioned to believe was the right path for your life? What can you contribute to the universe with your gifts? What kind of a legacy can you leave behind for those that come in contact with you and your loved ones? What is your purpose?
I leave your with this TED talk featuring Pastor Rick Warren who is author of “The Purpose Driven Life”. His message hits home on what to do with the gifts you have been given and living a fulfilling life. On a final note, I wish you all happiness and fulfillment in your life’s journey. Happy viewing.