We grow up in a system that trains us to be cogs in an industrial wheel.
There are many positives to this, but there are also drawbacks. And those who don’t want to be part of the wheel either become rebellious in a positive way or rebellious in a negative way.
The negative ones end up in habitual trouble with the law and the positive ones end up being leaders (which can also get you in trouble). Not managers, but leaders. Managers keep people inline — good cogs in the machine. Leaders present new paradigms — new ways of thinking. And they go after their life’s purpose. Without them, innovation suffers. Without them, social justice breaks down. Without them, it requires even more courage for the rest of us to do what we’re meant to do.
Anyone can be a leader. You don’t need to be in an official position of authority. You can build authority through your reputation. Now more than ever we have the tools to be leaders in our own unique way.
Everyone has value to add to the world. In what way are you most gifted and most inclined to add value to the lives of others? Unfortunately, some people aren’t able to make that choice for themselves, but more and more are.
This doesn’t mean we should quit our day job today, but it does mean we can begin making it possible. If you resign from your vocation before you even start it, you’ll never be able to resign from your occupation. An occupation merely occupies our time, but a vocation is something that occupies our hearts.
Most people resign from their vocation before they even start. Most people choose an occupation to pay the bills and never take the first step to create something more valuable for themselves. For many of us, this is a choice, not an inevitability.
What problems do you find easy to solve? In what way are you most creative? This is where your personal genius resides. This is where you’ll identify your strengths and what you can offer to the world. We tend to focus on the things we’re not good at when we should be focusing on our inherent strengths.
If you want to be more than a human-robot in service of someone else’s ideas you’ll have to start sharing your own. They may not gain much traction, but you have to try in order to find out. And it’s not always a matter of thinking of something no one else has ever thought of. Sometimes it’s about doing something more consistently or efficiently than others.
You can begin training yourself anytime. You can start by spending some time alone, somewhere quiet where you can read books, think, and write down your thoughts. Be short-term focused in terms of getting started, but be long-term focused in terms of getting the results you want. Like a good business, it takes time to build equity. Like a good investment, it takes time to start seeing great returns.
We’re not able to do everything we want in life, but we are able to do more than we realize if we’re willing. Are you doing something you’re proud of? Or are you doing what others have said you should do?
If you’re doing what you love it will probably feel like you’re cheating. Do it anyway. Society has convinced us that we should only do jobs we hate.
Your time here is finite. Do what is most important to you. Don’t wait.