Sunday, August 31, 2014

700


“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It's your masterpiece after all.”

Nathan W. Morris

“Do not depend on good motivator!
                                                       Find your words of self-motivation!”           

Toba Beta

Happy people produce. Bored people consume.”

Stephen Richards




This is my 700th blog, but it won’t be my last.  There will be more.  There’s always something more.  What is it that drives me to write 700 blogs or more?  What is it that drives us to build bridges, climb mountains, invent, work with autistic children, paint, dance, get up earlier, stay up later, or do anything difficult in order to make the world, the lives of the people we love, and our own lives better?
Yes, some people are meeting a need.  Bridges need to be built.  Diseases need to be eliminated.  Poverty needs to be eradicated.  Sexual slavery and domestic abuse need to be gone.  That is pretty obvious.
But does the world need one more book, one more blog, one more song, or one more work of art?
What drives us?  We have all we need, at least in this country and many others.  Most Americans, even among the poorest, have jobs or some source of income, enough to live on.  We also have enough television and other forms of entertainment to keep us occupied until we go to bed.  And it seems that this is indeed enough for many people. 
But it’s not enough for everyone.
Some seem to have a drive to do more and to be more. 
Why?
Is it for money?  Perhaps for some it is, but that wouldn’t explain it for everyone.  For every rich author, artist, or dancer, there are hundreds, if not thousands, who struggle financially.  Yet still they do it. 
Is it fame?  The argument above applies here.
Then what is it?   What drives some people to center everything in life around this elusive concept of Purpose?  Thoreau said, "All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, rather, something to be."
There are some in this world who know that life is not just what we see, but what we create. Does everyone know this?  My optimistic side says yes, but the evidence suggests that either not everyone sees this, or not everyone acts on this.  For my purposes here, it is not my intention to examine or criticize those who do not reach their potential.    Perhaps they are like the crystal shop owner in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, who is content to dream about his pilgrimage to Mecca, but knows he will never go.  In fact, the dream is more comforting than the reality.  This may be true for many people.
In The Pledge – Your Master Plan for an Abundant Life, Michael Masterson writes, “Failing to live your dreams is not necessarily a bad thing.  Lots of people are perfectly happy dreaming of one life but living another.  The problem arises when the gap between fantasy and reality results in unhappiness or even depression.”
For some, if they don’t live out their dream, if they don’t at least try, they will never be truly satisfied.  For better or worse, I am one of those people.  This is why I spend most of my free time working, writing, studying, and trying to improve.  Do I hope to make money?  Yes, and a lot of it.   Will I stop if I don’t?  No.  There is something within many of us that causes us to want more from ourselves and from life.  Perhaps it is a gift from God, a blessing that becomes a curse if ignored.  Perhaps it’s in our DNA.  Perhaps some people have simply had enough and know things can be better, that we can be better.  A friend recently said to me,

“Everyone has the ability to achieve any purpose.  The drive, motivation, and the love a person has... it can make you do wonderful things.  It's like a magic power.  You could eat the world if you wished.  There is nothing you cannot accomplish when you have the support and love within you.  It's magic.   It’s strength.  It's a spiritual thing, which makes you feel you can achieve all.  It's the engine that says to you daily, ‘I must give my best, and trust myself.  I am admired and respected for who I am.’  It drives you to want to be better at what you do, you think, and say in all your actions.”

There’s something more to life.  I believe this.  I also believe that I have a spiritual obligation to find it or create it.  That’s why this is my 700th blog, but not my last.  That’s why there will be more music, art, literature, and dance.   That’s why there will be more entrepreneurs, artists, and teachers.  That’s why there must be.  That’s why we Get Started and Keep Going.  Because there’s something more.