If you’ve ever been to London and ridden the Underground, you’re familiar with the famous phrase, “Mind the Gap” — a caution to rail passengers to be careful while crossing the gap between the train and the station platform.
There’s a lesson there: Potentially dangerous gaps are much more safely and easily navigated when we’re consciously aware of them.
But it’s the subconscious gaps that get us into trouble.
Viktor Frankl is known for another famous phrase related to different gap:
You can know with certainty that you have discovered a profound truth when you smack into a paradox.
Consider two quotes, the first from Robert Louis Stevenson:
“Extreme busyness…is a symptom of deficient vitality. It is no good speaking to such folk: they can not be idle, their nature is not generous enough.”
…and the second from George Bernard Shaw:
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
So which one is correct? Are we to be generously idle, or serviceably worn out?
My wife and I have been reading The Conscious Creator,” my friend says, “and it’s got her really worried.”
“Oh? Why?” I ask.
“Because she sees that it’s got me thinking big again.”
“Why is that a problem?”
“Because the last time we tried to go big we lost everything. We thought we were going to get rich with some investments and we ended up failing big time instead.”
I didn’t get killed by terrorists today.
In fact, I didn’t even awaken with the fear that I would, and I enjoyed the entire day without so much as a thought about the ravages of terrorism.
It seems like a strange thing to point out, doesn’t it?
I mean, no one in America spends their days in constant fear that a bomb could explode in their neighborhood, that this day could be their last.
And that is exactly my point.
This isn’t political.
I want to assure you of that from the outset because our journey today starts with a man in a concentration camp yearning for freedom.
Actually, let me start with where I was first introduced to that man, one of my greatest heroes.
When I was just a teenager — to my best recollection it would have been in 1992 — I read a book that completely altered the trajectory of my life. I consider it to be among the top five books ever written in the history of the world.
I know, I know. You’re frustrated. You feel lost, alone, confused.
You’ve been wandering through life trying to find your purpose.
You know Father has a purpose for you. You know you were born for something great.
But you just don’t know what that is.
No joke, no exaggeration, it happened just like this. You can’t make this up.
I’m standing in the hallway at church having a conversation with my good friend and neighbor Lee.
Lee has no degree or credentials. He’s a regular guy who lives on a regular hometown American cul-de-sac in a modest home. He also happens to be one of the smartest and finest people I know.
Lee is the inventor of Elastocrete™, the most innovative concrete product the world has ever seen, which will completely revolutionize the industry.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” -Henry David Thoreau
The following are the most inspiring, challenging, or just plain fun things I want to accomplish before I die.
These goals are posted on the wall of my office where I read them every day:
You really have it with you?”
“Yes,” Alex says. “I’ve been guarding it for a year. I’m anxious to get rid of it. It makes me too nervous to have it.”
“It’s really in your bag? The same one that your grandfather signed?”
“Yes, the only one that exists.”
I sit in silence as we drive through the desert landscape, soaking it in that THE Book is in my car.
I remember the first time I read about the Book in Kevin Hall’s book, Aspire: Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power of Words.
My first opportunity, I blew it.
It was the morning after I published this article, wherein I wrote, “Never let a day pass without doing something thoughtful, kind, and loving for someone else, no matter how small, with no expectation of any benefit to yourself.”
I was in the middle of my standard morning routine, which I’m religious about; it sets the tone for my entire day.
Queen Karina was in a rush to go to an event when she remembered she needed something from the store before she left. She asked me to go pick it up for her while she got the kids ready.
I sighed. I grumbled. I reluctantly agreed, bugged by the inconvenient interruption.