“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys! Make your life extraordinary.”
–Tom Schulman, Dead Poets Society
“You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend or not.”
–Isabel Allende, novelist
Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Lately I’ve been reflecting on my own life. I can say there are times in the busyness of my life that life can go on unexamined. Can you relate? We are always moving fast, driving hard and we can get used to being busy and not finding meaning.
How do you find meaning? It’s likely to be found in the difficulties of life rather than when life is calm. The difficulties of life will allow you to notice certain things that you never paid attention to before. Why? Because they didn’t apply at the time. For example:
- I think of a friend of mine who lost a teenage son. He has a certain compassion for people that he otherwise wouldn’t have without having experienced such a tragedy.
- I think about Peter Barton, who was diagnosed with cancer and said, “I began thinking less about what cancer was doing to me and more about what it was doing for me. And I realized something wonderful. Cancer was giving me the opportunity to live more attentively, more wholly in the moment. It was letting me be as free and as focused on the present.”
- I think of a a friend who has chronic migraines. He finds it easy to be patient with people and doesn’t have an arrogance about his health.
Each one has found meaning through examining their life in the midst of pain and tragedy. Unfortunately finding and living in our passion always comes with a price.
Take a day and just get alone with yourself. Are you caught in the busy trap? Ready to quit chasing some magic success pill? You won’t find it. Examine your life. Find what really matters and live it. That’s passion. Live what you really believe. Watch your business and life grow.