Are you perfectly content with your life?
I hope not.
I hope you are driven by a divine discontentment. But I also hope that your discontentment leads to growth rather than grumbling, progress rather than protesting.
I once wrote that you should always be dissatisfied. But the truth is that I used the wrong word. There’s a profound difference, I’ve learned, between mere dissatisfaction and deep hunger.
The world calls us crazy.
The world has constructed a box of rules. From the womb we have been warned to never stray outside of the box.
Inside the box, so we’re told, is safety. Security. Comfort. The good life.
Outside the box is risk. Uncertainty. Shame. A life of struggle.
We say that inside the box is stagnation. Mediocrity. Impotence. A life of conformity.
On April 23rd, 1910, a commanding man stood at the Sorbonne in Paris, France and delivered a rousing 35-page speech, which has become immortalized for one electrifying quote within it.
As a child the man was asthmatic, nearsighted, and tutored at home because he was too sickly to attend school. As a teen, to overcome his physical weakness, he threw himself into bodybuilding and embraced what he called a “strenuous life.” Later, as a cattle rancher and war hero, he continually proved himself an embodiment of his famous quote.
You know the man and you know the quote. But do you know the full speech? It’s worth reading, pondering, and re-reading.
Suppose your daily source of water was a well, and someone were to put a low concentration of poison into the well.
The poison won’t kill you immediately, but slowly over time eats away at your organs and over the course of a few years will sicken and kill you.
Even in low dosages, would you still drink that water?
Seems obvious that you would either purify it or dig a new well, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not so obvious when the well is a metaphor.
An anecdote is told of a man named Jim who missed his chance to become wealthy during the gold rush days.
Surrounded by wealth and opportunity, he merely shuffled through life and never amounted to much.
His friend explained, “Jim has the gold fever, but he doesn’t have the digging principle.”
There’s a corollary to the digging principle.
You’re in a job or career that pays the bills, but isn’t your Soul Purpose.
You have an idea of what your Purpose is, and how to monetize it. But you’re not sure when and how to make the leap from immediate security to long-term Purpose and fulfillment.
Consider two possible strategies, as taken from Robert Greene’s book, The 33 Strategies of War:
There’s a certain song dominating the airwaves that represents everything that disgusts and angers me about pop culture.
I’m loathe to breathe more life into its stupidity and degeneracy. But to get us on the same page, I’m talking about “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor.
Here are the lyrics:
I wonder if there isn’t more to the story of Jonah than we’ve understood.
Consider the defining characteristics of the story:
- Call: Jonah receives a call.
- Escape: He runs away from that call, afraid of the unknowns and the consequences.
- Storm: A storm arises and threatens to capsize his escape vessel.
- Sleep: Jonah falls asleep during the storm, while the sailors struggle desperately against it.
- Whale: He is pitched overboard and swallowed by a whale, wherein he languishes for three days.
- Humility: He humbles himself before God and is released onto dry land.
- Submission: The call comes again and he follows it.
Although the Oxford Dictionary officially made “selfie” a real word in 2013, the truth is that selfies are nothing new.
Tina Issa wrote in the Huffington Post that “this selfie revolution is annoying. It has made people selfish and narcissistic.”
Not so, Tina; selfies merely reveal something about human nature that is as old as time.
You won’t believe whom he pulled out of that crumpled car.
It all started when he was in elementary school.
“I always wanted to be a fireman,” he said. “In elementary school it was a problem because at that age everyone wanted to be a fireman. But I really did want to be a fireman. As I grew up I couldn’t wait to leave school to join the fire service.”
In his senior year of high school one of his teachers asked the class what they were all planning to do when they left. Almost everyone talked about going to college. He said he was applying to join the fire service.