Shaken, not stirredWritten by Will Lucas | | firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a popular passage in the Bible that talks about “stirring up the gift” that is within you. It means essentially to mold the rough talents, skills, and natural abilities that we are born with into an expertise that will bring you success. I don’t mean success to strictly imply millions of dollars, however I don’t discount money in the bank either. Think of the overall implication of success when you think of this. Think of abundance in areas of your life such as personal well being, love and family, happiness, and purpose.
The problem with us is that we’re too lazy to stir our gifts. So we must be jarringly shaken into them. We tend all to often to become lackadaisical in our quest to better ourselves. We skip too many days with our fitness club memberships, we grow tired of going to school and ultimately fall behind, we get bored with reading books that should inspire us or teach us something new, and we show up late to work or meetings. Essentially, we procrastinate on just about everything else that may be beneficial – yet requires work. Until.
Until we get a letter from our jobs that say our positions are being terminated, or we get a bad report from our doctors.
All of these things that we don’t take seriously enough are usually the things that are required most for our success and ultimate happiness in life. But our complacency or neglect allows our natural gifts to mold.
All over our country our friends and family are losing their jobs and pensions, which is then causing them to lose their hair. All because they were sleeping when they were supposed to be designing the next generation of automobiles that will take us into a more energy efficient future. They were in the bar when they were supposed to be building bridges, roads, or great buildings. Or, they were just plain wasting time when they were supposed to be mentoring our kids.
I’m reminded of my favorite line in the “Batman Begins” movie where Bruce Wayne tells Alfred that, “People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy.” That was such a powerful line and intensely prophetic. It took a national economic crisis for you to realize what you already knew – that you were working in the wrong industry. And it took you losing your savings to notice that you were all the while supposed to be in school finishing your degree. You had to be shaken from your comfy seat and forced to do what you are actually supposed to be doing. You were supposed to be living.
Needless to say, I speak in a manner that would imply that you actually do get the notion that there is a problem in your life that isn’t your employer’s or the economy’s fault. What should have all of us singing from the mountaintops is the fact that a lot of people still don’t get it. They’re still waiting on someone to rescue them, or waiting for their job to call them back when the truth is a great number of the jobs we lost won’t be coming back. So what are you going to do?
My advice is this. Take a day, no more than 2 or 3 to do some soul searching. You don’t have the luxury of time – rent’s due. Go back to those dreams you had before you got that “secure” job and remind yourself of what would actually make you happy in life. The ideal picture of life that you couldn’t script it any better yourself if you tried. Now, take the first step to living in the actuality of that. Whether it is taking a class, networking in a different circle, or simply getting out from in front of TV to read a book that’s beginning to collect dust.
Do it to the max like your life depended on it. It does.
Will “King Keyser” Lucas is president of BELIEVE1.org.