Monday, February 22, 2010

"Questioning Our Relevance"

I know from time to time I share these. I know they're long. But honestly it will only take you 5 minutes and this one really is worth reading. Take a minute, will you?
One of the big questions for every one of us to ask ourselves from time to time is whether what we're doing and what we are is relevant.

Considering the people we know, work with, socialize with and associate with in other ways, and considering what goes on in our average day, is how we're spending our time and investing our skills going to have any significant impact?

On the surface, that may seem like an ambiguous and foolish question, but I think it's an important question; doesn't it make some degree of sense to want to spend our life in a way that leaves a mark in some positive way? Years ago, I bought into a philosophy that suggests that life and how we live it should be more than a birth certificate, a grave-marker, and about $1.6 million in consumed goods and services as the only evidence of our existence. And, on that grave-marker, what can be said of the "dash" between the year of our birth and the year of our death?

I have long held to the conviction that a job is a form of enslavement in which we work just hard enough to keep from getting fired and the boss pays us just enough to keep us from quitting. Now, having stated that, I realize that having a stabile source of income is necessary, but I also think we should pause on occasion to ask ourselves whether that source of income should be our only source of income, and whether the job should be accepted as a permanent condition.

For many people with a host of personal skills and virtues, a job is somewhat like putting a championship race horse in c ten-foot by ten-foot corral and leaving it there: the thoroughbred champion will, over time, lose its ability to run like the wind; it will lose its zeal to compete and to improve and advance the "gift" that it has. A set of skills and a level of ambition for using those skills will, if unused and with the passage of enough time, begin to diminish and will become eventually lost.

Now, a relevant activity for the championship thoroughbred would be to run every day so that its skills could be honed and refined. In the same manner, a human being with ambition, with imagination, with inherited and learned skills, and with the desire to become someone unique by using those virtues and gifts should seek out a place that enables him or her to increase their values by using those skills. Instead, millions of people settle for working an 8-hour, 5-day a week job where - instead of taking their skills to a new and higher level - they settle for doing their "job" as dictated by a corporate "job description sheet." True, by doing so we get our paycheck every two weeks that lets us pay our bills (or at least pay some of them), but at the risk of losing the human attributes that could have enabled us to do so much better in life, and to become so much more than the job allows us to become. Let me urge you today to take an "inventory" of your current circumstance; become more relevant by doing something that leads to a host of new freedoms and to enjoy a degree of personal and financial independence that is beyond what you may currently have. And finally, if you could do better, should you? Now there's a very relevant question the answer to which could launch you into a new orbit of achievement. Why not do something to make your "dash" highly relevant even long after you are gone?

No comments: