Insight and Inspiration for Flying Higher in Endeavors that Make a Difference
It's no secret, setting intentions alone does not manifest change. Sending your intentions out into the universe is a one way conversation.
Intentions matter, of course. Set them with care and integrity. But destiny rewards pursuit. You must step into possibility to make change happen.
Here are three questions you can ask yourself after you set you intention that will encourage you to lean in and leap into worthwhile efforts.
And then... Take that step.
Let's keep flying higher together!
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Legacy isn't what you leave behind, it's the impact you're making now.
“While we wait for life, life passes.” - Seneca
It’s Time to Make a Difference
You are enough. Yet, capable of more. We need you.
It’s time to make a difference. It’s time to fly higher.
You have choices to make.
Haven’t you wasted enough time traveling the well-worn path of what’s expected?
Are you done with following the map drawn by the status quo and leading to where everyone else is headed?
Do you want to settle for the tried and true, the ordinary, and the unremarkable?
Or are you ready to chart a course and draw a map of your own?
It’s time to embark on a voyage of discovery. Who are you? What are you good at? Where do you belong?
You’ve answered these questions before. But you’re not the same person, nor in the same situation, and not surrounded by the same people now as you were then.
Answers to these...
"Character is fate." - Heraclitus
What if character is fate?
What if to live a good life you must be a good person?
What if the path to better living goes through character?
What if destiny is determined not by what you do is defined by who you are?
What if instead of answering these questions, you acted on them instead?
Step into possibility with intention and integrity. Be creative on purpose.
Let's keep flying higher in endeavors that make a difference together!
It’s in looking back and reflecting that a life journey is sorted and makes sense. Marcus Aurelius knew this. Marcus Aurelius was the last of what are known as the Roman Empire's Good Emperors. Meditations is a printed collection of what remains from Marcus' private journals.
Creativity is a fundamental human impulse. Along with our capacity for reason and social instinct, it’s a defining characteristic of human beings. Creativity is the simple human act of making change happen. You employ your creative inclination every time you send a message, prepare a meal, make a mess, or make amends.
Stoicism is an ancient philosophy of life that, like any worthwhile metaphysical pursuit, answers the questions, “What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be happy? And, how can I be more of both?”
Stoicism suggests that our rational and social nature are defining human traits and that developing and employing both...
"The thing ordained for you – teach yourself to be at one with those. And the people who share them with you – treat them with love. With real love." – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Fate is who you are and where you're at now. You can't change what brought you to this moment.
But if you acknowledge and accept fate, you can frame yourself, your situation, and the possibilities and potential ahead.
Destiny is what's ahead. You can't know exactly what opportunities and obstacles await. But you can choose and take your next steps into them with intention and integrity.
Those choices and actions inform who you are and inspire your perception and posture as you continue stepping into your destiny.
Life doesn't happen to you. It happens through you.
Legacy isn't the money and monuments you leave behind. Legacy is about living fully and well with what fate has bought you in this moment.
Legacy is the difference you're making right now....
You are, of course, sufficient just as you are. At the same time you recognize that you have undeveloped potential and unfulfilled promise. What's keeping you from stepping into possibility and a better you?
If you had to choose one primary obstacle from the list below, what would it be?
If you're being completely honest, is there any truer answer other than the last?
What if you assumed agency over the way you frame yourself and your situation? What if you surrounded yourself with the right people? What if you developed a mindset for seeing possibilities and a posture for stepping into them?
Do you have the courage to take responsibility for developing yourself through endeavors that make a difference? What if courage is something you cultivate through engaging with these challenges?
Let's keep flying higher in endeavors that make a difference together!
What does it take to make a difference?
It helps if you’ve considered the Ancient Greek aphorism, “Know thyself."
You also need to see things as they are. What’s within your control? What’s not?
Most things are not within your control, but some are within your ability to influence. There are always possibilities to choose from.
And to make a difference you must choose and then step into possibility.
Life doesn't happen to you. Life happens through you. You have a role to play. Play it.
If you do that repeatedly with and for others with intention and integrity, you can help make things better.
Are you ready to make a difference? Let's go!
And let's keep flying higher together.
"What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him." - Viktor Frankl
Work worth doing is fraught. There will be delays, obstacles, misfortune, and failure.
No amount of learning, preparation, or practice can prepare you for how to handle hardship. Only experience teaches the virtues of acceptance, patience, humility, and resilience. All of these are required to remain resolved and committed to work worthy of your time, talent, and effort.
If the work you seek to do is important. If it's going to make things better. If it's going to enhance the lives of others while you're cultivating excellence through it. It will be hard and, the effort will be worth it whether or not you succeed.
That's the gig.
Striving doesn't require suffering. But it rewards the will to embrace challenges. Accept that, and you can lean into all of this with passion, purpose, and a determined smile.
Let's keep flying...
When someone is celebrating an achievement or sharing a moment of joy, the signals sent are clear and easy to read.
When someone is anxious, angry, fearful, or suffering, the signals they send can be conflated, confusing, and conflicted.
When confronted or engaging with someone who's in anguish, it's easy to get sucked into reacting to those signals or rejecting them. A more compassionate approach is to not lose sight of the soul on the other side. A hurting human is sending those signals.
The suffering signal sender is an imperfect soul striving and struggling. Someone just like you.
These moments don't call for tough love. Theses are moments for practicing real love.
“Kindness is invincible, but only when it’s sincere, with no hypocrisy or faking. What can even the most vicious person do if you keep treating him with kindness and gently set him straight - if you get the chance correcting him cheerfully at the exact moment that he’s trying to do...
"Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what’s left and live it properly." - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 7.56
When your time on earth is done, who will remember you? How will you be remembered? What will you be remembered for?
Too often we treat legacy like a social media profile, something that can be contrived and crafted. If you have means, you might believe legacy is something you can save up or set aside funds for, a commodity that can be bought through a trust or donation.
But in the end, your legacy is based solely on who you are, how you are, and what you do right now.
Live now. Do all you can now. Be the best you that you can be now. Share all you that you can now.
That's the best way to confront mortality, "live" beyond the grave and leave a legacy worth remembering.
These thoughts on legacy are deeply influenced by a conversation I had with my friend Chris Gill, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Thought at Exeter...