On New Year’s Day I awoke excited —about the start of a new year of course, but I also began to wondered where this year was going to take me. Then I got a little flushed and scared because every journey starts with one step, and I am not sure where I am stepping or where I am going yet and that can be a little scary. But a little fear can also bring excitement, in the same way that each day brings a thrill when you realize that right now you can change everything. You can change who you are, what you do, and what you plan to accomplish. Do you know what’s important to you? And even more important, do you know what your purpose on this planet is?
For Christmas this year I was given a coffee mug that reads on the side, “Live with Purpose.” I have so enjoyed having a cup of tea in that mug and reflecting on the idea of my own purpose. There is so much work to do and so many purposeful things to be done, but sometimes for me it becomes overwhelming and on New Year’s morning my humanness got me on multiple levels. I began to wonder if I had been wrong all these years, that I really don’t have to have aggressive goals for 2016. Could it be that I really don’t have to lay out my specific purpose like I have for way too many years. In fact, I have been adamant about every word in those goals. In 2014, I had 14 of them —oh my! Could it be much simpler than that? Could it be as simple as just being a really good man? Good to everyone your life touches? Kind to everyone, happy in every moment? Compassionate above all else? Being supportive and loving to everyone around you? Trying to always be in a good mood. Always being positive and upbeat?
Let’s pause for a moment… As I am writing this and thinking in real time, “that sounds really simple, but could it be one of the most difficult goals I could try to achieve for 2016? Am I biting off way more than I can chew?” I just caught myself: How sad is that! Being a good man could be scarier than solving ocean pollution! Whoa Nellie!
So let’s reflect, maybe I should get into my comfort zone here and talk about health and wellness initiatives. Wow! We can eliminate disease through addressing leaky gut issues. Yep, we can! Oh, and how about eliminating food waste? Yes, we can do that! And let’s not forget serving the underserved, bringing services like credit and roadside assistance to everyone, making these services affordable. Yep, we can do that, too! But, wow! These are all specific initiatives—and, yes, I could wrap a really important purpose around all of those (and I have for more years that I want to admit). I have tallied every year by how many of these initiatives I accomplished and the ripple effect each one created. For the most part, I am very happy with those successes, but at the end of the day, what did I do to be a “good man” to everyone I touched or interfaced with on a day-to-day basis? Is there one of those initiatives that wouldn’t fit within a purpose of “being a good man or being a good women?”
So as we embark on a new year, what are you going to do, starting right now, to be a good man or a good women?
One of the books I read over this holiday break was “All In” by Mark Batterson. It was recommended by a new friend, and yes, it was a fantastic view of life and purpose. Net, the book was about being all in and all out for all and all. I could relate to that, too. It was a very comfortable place for me. The book starts with a chapter talking about “Packing Your Coffin” and it made me wonder what would I pack in my coffin right now? “All In” also made me think about my purpose and how, when I get on purpose, I am truly “All In and All Out.” But it also made me question whether or not it was about the “all and all” or was it really about “me and a few?” Are the traditional purposes I am so used to setting as goals for each new year really easy in the total scheme of things? Could it be that just being a “really good man” will far exceed those specific accomplishments? Could it be that I will accomplish all of those things and more just by concentrating on being a “really good man?”
My new journey starts today. It starts with everyone that I will interface with today. Just one step, that is to start today on the journey of being a really good man. Good to the core… Compassionate, kind, and loving, from a sense of integrity, honesty, trust, and universal caring for everyone —”all and all.”
Could it be so simple, that if I am living a life that is centered on the “all and all,” that I will accomplish the goals I would typically set out and more? Then I really have to wonder, why is something so fundamentally basic so scary to commit to? Why is that scarier than figuring out how to develop products that can reverse MS or Dementia? Am I really making something so basic a goal for 2016? Does it mean that I haven’t been a good man? Whoa, Nellie! What a fantastic year this is going to be, and every year from here on I believe that this will become clearer, and that yes, simply being a “good man or women” is all it will take for this year to be a fantastic year! Hey, so now I got to go pack my coffin. I recommend you pack yours, too, and remember… “All In, All Out, for the All and All!” Yes, for the all and all!