The world in general will admonish you in many ways if you don’t care enough about things that other people deem to be important.
Our society is full of strong-willed individuals who have no problem whatsoever believing that everyone else should also see things their way, and then attempting to “re-educate” anyone who isn’t quite up to snuff.
- If you don’t take care of your health, there will always be someone there to give you a hard time about that.
- If you don’t spend enough time with your family or your friends, there will surely be someone who is quick to lay judgment on you.
- If you don’t have a steady job or a bright enough financial future, there will always be people who openly and/or discreetly look down their noses at you.
- If you fail to do enough for other people or for your community, someone will always be happy to attempt to lay a guilt trip on you for your lack of participation.
The simple truth of the matter is that you owe allegiance to no person or ideal other than yourself!
I was recently asked by two excellent bloggers to take part in writing projects that they are involved with, and I realized that this would be a great opportunity to “level the playing field” when it comes to people who are very interested in personal growth and development, and the people who couldn’t care less.
I was first tagged by Lola at Real World Spiritual and Personal Development to take part in the What gives you courage? project, and then a few days later I was also tagged by Alex at Practical Personal Development to put up an entry in his very cool Caring Compassion Charity project.
One project asked me to expound upon an experience that demonstrates what gives me courage, while the other project required me to tell whatever it is that I am seriously passionate about when it comes to helping or caring about others.
Here is where these 2 excellent projects come together in today’s life lesson:
I have the courage to admit in front of the millions of people who will read this post that my “life purpose” is not based on a passion for helping others.
Can you believe it?!?
- Can you get your head around the fact that the author of a very popular personal development blog is not fueled in life solely by the desire to do good in the world?
- Is it possible that someone who was a personal trainer for 3 years is not in it simply to help other people maintain their mental and physical fitness?
- Is it possible that the person who went to considerable time and expense to create the Personal Development Partners social networking community is not chomping at the bit to reshape the world into his own image of perfection?
It’s all true. My “mission” in life is not to help other people. My only mission in life is to enjoy my life and to expand the human consciousness via my experiences here.
That’s it. That’s all. No “higher meaning”. No “calling”. My only goal in life is to have fun and do my part to learn all that I can in the process, thereby expanding the knowledge of the universe as a whole.
- Do I enjoy helping people? Absolutely!
- Would I do it for free if I could still provide a good life for myself and the people that I care about? Yes!
- Do I often give up my own time and financial resources in order to help other people? Regularly.
- Have I put my own desires aside frequently in order to tend to what other’s want? All the time.
- Do I fully, 100% endorse giving in order to receive? Yes, and I do it daily.
- Will I ever stop helping other people? I seriously doubt it.
What does any of this have to do with what gives me courage? Being honest. That’s my answer. Doing or saying what other people expect of you is not courage. In fact, it’s closer to cowardice. Courage is telling it like it is, living your life out loud, and if other people don’t like it, well that’s just tough.
How does any of this relate to caring or compassion? Our ability to care for other people is a moot point and an impotent act if we don’t even know what it means to take care of ourselves. How can we give other people the tools and the knowledge for living a wonderful life if we ourselves have no life to give? How do I care and show compassion? I lead by example.
I’m not teaching people to make their lives into some completely selfless act so that they may someday reap the rewards of those years of not enjoying themselves. To the contrary. I am teaching people that if you want to help others, live your own life first, thereby showing the fact that life is about living.
To Lola and Alex: Thank you both for providing me with the idea generation that allowed this little life lesson to come into existence. Now that it is down on paper, I am stepping away from my desk. My life is out there waiting for me!
p.s. – Lyman, Ed, Debra, Rick, Steven, Wendy, John, Shauna, Peter, Jason – If you’ve got the time and the desire, consider yourselves officially tagged for both of these projects if you haven’t already taken part. If you don’t have the time or the desire, then lead by example by NOT taking part!