“Here’s what’s not beautiful about it: from here, you can’t see the rust or the cracked paint or whatever, but you can tell what the place really is. You can see how fake it all is. It’s not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It’s a paper town. I mean, look at it, Q: look at all those culs-de-sac, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.”
― John Green, Paper Towns

It’s time for a level set. I have the opportunity to speak to a lot of people. One of the things I notice is that, with rare exception, most humans are walking around this planet carried around on the wind with no real sense of stability of direction. Stuck in a dead end job, with a dead end life and brokenness leading them around like a puppy on a leash.

If you are sick and tired of being that person

…if you want more out of your life,

……if you really want to make an impact and live a life of meaning read on.

If you are happy living a mediocre life, close the window now and move on.

I’d like to start off asking some pointed questions and ask that you take a moment of reflection before you read on.

  • In the grand scheme of the universe does your life matter?
  • How do you know if you are making a difference at all or if you are just another paper person waiting to be blown away by the winds of time?
  • How does one find their purpose in this life?
  • What would your life be like if you did find it and you pursued it with every ounce of energy you have?

There is no such thing as one single path for everyone. Anyone that tells you there is, is likely selling you something and you should smile and walk away. Throughout your life you will develop and as such your driving purpose will change and evolve. The sooner we realize, accept and embrace this self-evolution, the better off we’ll be. While it might be an easier path to think we all have one overarching calling to our lives, this thought removes the option for contributing to the world in larger ways and accepting opportunities presented to us that are outside the scope of our current calling.

So how do we go about figuring this all out and navigating the waters to embrace the universal drive?

I wonder, what are you curious about right now?

If you had all the time in the world and no restrictions, what would you pursue?

That, my friend, is where you begin. Start by making a list of subjects or things that you are curious about. From that list whittle it down to a few items that you are really curious about. Enough to get after with a sense of deep passion and vigor. Here’s what I am getting at. When you go through and make this list you might have ten things that peak your interest. That’s ok. Give yourself permission to follow one or two of those for a period of thirty to sixty days and see where it leads. You never know what you might find. Think of it like going on a hike. If you stay on the path you started with you’ll end up coming to the end and that’s great. But when you are going along you’ll certainly see smaller trails to your left and right. Take time to explore those paths and you will invariably find one of two things occurs. Either you will have an amazing experience or you will end up having to go back to the original path and carry on. At the end of it all, you will know that you tried and you will be all the better for it.

Society is insane to think that graduating with a piece of paper means that you now have your purpose in hand. Really consider that, what 18-year-old do you know that has their life figured out, what they want to do and what will drive their lives for the next 60 years?

If you don’t know what you want to do, at any age, it’s ok. You’re in good company.

As you continue this journey, or begin this journey I’d like offer a few key thoughts.

1. You will be remembered, you will have an impact

Think about the most famous person that you can right now. Aristotle. John F. Kennedy. Buddha. Jesus. What do they all have in common? They have all made significant impacts to society, but it’s simpler than that. Their character left an impression on those they had a relationship with and those relationships left meaningful contributions which were then handed down to others who handed it down to others. So, what does that mean for you? Understand that you have an impact on those you have a relationship with. When you hold yourself to a higher level, when you are positive, when you are driven those around you will do the same. This is turn will impact their relationships and so on. In its simplest form, all you need to do to make an impact is connect with people by being authentic and meaningful.

2. There is only one you

Currently, there are 7.6 billion people on the plan. If you would like your mind blown check out http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/ Beyond your specific genetic code, there truly is only one you. You are the culmination of very specific events that have created the person you see in the mirror. In the history and future of the universe, there will never be another you. No one will have the opportunity to experience the world the way you have or you do. When we describe people, we will typically ascribe and focus on their personality traits more than their physical features. This point alone means that you stand out as a one of a kind being with an enormous prospect to express that personality for the good of future generations. You may not be fully comfortable with who you are but you should be. You are not alone in your uniqueness, which technically takes away from that uniqueness, but it also means that you are not alone in your discomfort. Embrace the person you are and embrace the opportunity to spread that to others.

3. Since there is only one you never replace what you love

When you find yourself speaking negatively about yourself ask this question: “If someone was speaking like this to my significant other/kid/parent/loved one would I stand for it?” We talk so harshly to ourselves and in such a way that we would never allow someone to talk to someone we love that way. So why do we allow it for ourselves? Similarly, when you find what you are passionate about, why would you allow that to fall away? Chase it. Pursue it. Be true to that passion and to where it takes you. Allow yourself permission to do what you love and to love who you are.

4. You suck at some things and that’s ok

You will screw up. You will not be perfect at everything that you try. Do not ever try to cover up or deny your mistakes or “flaws”, but also don’t allow it to paralyze you. Accept the failure, review the failure and then move on.You’ll hear it said that people are where they’re at because they got “lucky”. I can tell you point blank-Luck is earned. There is no easy way. You will need to follow those side paths and bends and crooked ways that lead nowhere before you find the paths that take you to the perfect apex.

5. You are where you are because of the decisions that you have made along the way

The last and final point I’ll make is simply this. You are where you are and who you are because of the choices you have made along the way. If you don’t like the direction you are headed, make better choices. It is time to belly up and accept full responsibility for the person you see in the mirror. There is no one else to hold accountable but yourself. Rather than letting this undermine growth because you cannot blame anyone, allow this to inspire and calm you. You now know who you need to go to in order to get stuff done…You. Throw off the lines tying you to unhealthy harbors, (relationships, jobs, debt) and move on to smoother harbors. Make this decision now.

We started this journey off with several questions:

  • In the grand scheme of the universe does your life matter?

Hell yes it does. You will impact those closest to you who will impact those closest to them and so on and so one for generations.

  • How do you know if you are making a difference at all or if you are just another paper person waiting to be blown away by the winds of time?

Simply look around you. You are making a difference. The real question is what kind of a difference are you making. Are you adding to the universe good or bad?

  • How does one find their purpose in this life?

Again, simply put, follow your passions. Have the guts to get off the main trail and follow the side trails for a bit because you never know where it’ll lead.

And the final question-

What would your life be like if you did find it and you pursued it with every ounce of energy you have?

Well? What of it?

What would your life be like if you pursued it with every ounce of energy you have?

What impact can you make?

What will you leave behind to the generations to follow?



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