Stand for something… or fall for anything.
Gandhi once said, “My life is my message.” His words have long inspired me. They’ve also challenged me. Particularly on those days when I’m feeling a bit stressed about nothing that truly matters or when I seem to be spending more time in complaint about my woes than I have any right to be.
I’ve had a few of those of late. Too many to be honest. I could unload on you all the reasons why – from a sore back from a horse fall over a year ago, to my frustration at an unresponsive vendor – but the truth is, compared to the big challenges many people face, they are pretty petty.
Last week I was very blessed to have a week with my family in Broome, far northwest Australia. Broome is the most remote regional centre in the world, being 2,000 kms from the nearest state capital of Darwin (a remote regional city itself.) We had a lot of fun adventures (you can see some photos here), but in between the fun I had time to reflect on some powerful questions. Foremost was what do you want your life to stand for?
As I wrote in Stop Playing Safe, unless we are clear about what we want our lives to stand for (our big WHY), it’s very easy to fall into the path of least resistance, of greatest comfort, least uncertainty and often, greatest self-interest and minimal contribution. When you know that big Why it helps you to find your courage to executive the Hows.
It was no small irony on Friday to be sent this photo of Jamie Green who was spending 24 hours of his life standing up to raise money for youth who are doing it tough and sleeping rough (all while reading my first book Find Your Courage!). You can support his One Night Stand fundraising effort for the next 4 days at www.startsomegood.com/onenightstand.
While we may not all be inspired to stand upright for 24 hours to champion a cause we believe in, we are all called to stand for something that is bigger than ourselves; to live our lives so that when they reach their end, the world is better off for us having walked through it.
My back is still sore, and I have yet to sort out my vendor issues. But having taken the time out of my busyness last week, I have a renewed clarity about what matters most, and what doesn’t. I hope you will also take some time out to think about the message you want your life to share… does it reflect compassion for the suffering of others? Does it honor your talents and dreams and the blessings? Does it leave people better off for having known you? Does it challenge you to learn more, to do more, to grow more and to become more?
Anne Frank once wrote, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” I hope her words will help you improve the world of those around you today and long into the future. I hope that Jamie’s courage to stand for something will too! 🙂