During the last 40 years, it became popular to build up children’s self-esteem by telling them they had infinite potential, unlimited opportunity. “You can do anything you want!”
In a certain sense that’s true, but in another sense it’s misleading. We all have different natural talents, different bodies, and different upbringings. If we were all able to become Supreme Ruler Of The World, we’re going to have a lot of competition – and a lot of unhappy people!
Our parents wanted to give us the courage and confidence to overcome hurdles, and I appreciate that. But I believe that I have a unique and important journey that I’m on, different than everyone else on the planet.
It’s similar to snowflakes. We all know that every snowflake is unique, although I haven’t yet found the person who has checked. To most of us, being so much larger than the snowflakes, we don’t much care. They all look pretty much the same: small, white, delicate, and cold.
But to the snowflake, the uniqueness matters.
In the same sense, at the scale of my personal life and the few hundred or thousand people I interact with, my difference matters. And it gives meaning to my life – something for me to accomplish and grow into.
Why is this interesting? Because each of us is struggling with the same challenges of fitting in to society, while trying to figure out what the purpose for our individual life is. This struggle gives us a common experience, but each of us ends up with a slightly different answer.
When you get some clarity on YOUR answer, the result provides some strong direction to your decisions. It gives value to your life, and guidance both for what you DO and what you STRIVE FOR.
Perhaps your own answer has a heavy influence of spirituality, a belief that there’s something larger than you from which you can draw direction. Perhaps it is built upon an understanding of yourself, your skills, abilities and interests. Perhaps it comes from observations of the needs of the world around you, where others need you to make a difference.
Or perhaps it is an integration of all three areas.
“Your work is to discover your work, and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” – Buddha
Where are you on the path of discovering your unique journey?
by Carl Dierschow