Beating Goliath Yet Losing to Self
A powerful example of pursuing purpose versus satisfying SELF is King David of Biblical times. As a very young man David defeated the giant warrior Goliath with a sling and a stone. How could he muster the courage to even enter the ring with this giant who had slayed many seasoned soldiers? Because he had purpose. He was fighting for a cause much bigger than himself.
It’s easy to skim the story and not really think about how David was feeling. Biblical scholars might say that he knew God was on his side and that he would be fine. That sounds good in theory, but he was a human being, not a theory. Yes, he had experience fighting off lions as a shepherd, but do you think he wasn’t dealing with fear and doubt in a massive way?
It is said that the great actor Henry Fonda, still vomited from nerves before going on stage at the age of 75. Just because he was skilled and talented and confident in his ability, didn’t mean he could remove the human emotional side of how he experienced life. Neither could David and neither can you and I.
David was fighting for a higher purpose. As a result, he willingly stepped forward and put his life on the line.
Yet this same warrior, many years later, lost a battle with lust and made a mess of his life and the lives of others. How could this be? Because David was without a cause at that time. He was King and everything was about himself, his comfort, his pleasure…
This focus caused him to self-destruct. Had he taken a minute and considered what his actions would mean in the greater picture, perhaps he would have mustered up the same courage he used to fight Goliath, to simply turn his head away from looking at Bathsheba, and say no.
It’s About You and It’s Absolutely NOT About You
I can tell you for certain that when I think about things in relation to what I want, or how I will feel, things start to get cloudier, than if I just focus on how whatever is occurring might be of value for someone else.
For example, when I am training sales people, one of the things I teach is that if you are ever fearful to make a call, because you are worried about what someone might say to you, or if you might say the wrong thing, or if you will be criticized, rejected, dismissed, etc. this means you are focused on yourself, and not on what kind of value you might bring to someone else. If you believe that what you have to offer can truly be of benefit to someone, any hesitation on your part is typically selfish. If you decided NOT to talk to someone because you are stuck in your emotions, you have essentially said through your actions that you care MORE about how YOU are feeling than you do for someone else. Period. By definition, this is selfish.
In this same sense, the irony of this selfishness is that it is actually destructive to US (of course I have done this too!) as well as relevantly destructive to someone else (because we have refused to offer help), because we not only are limiting our income potential by removing a possibility for a sale, we are stunting our personal growth and causing damage to our self-esteem, because WE know we chickened out and will have that residue haunting us quietly and inhibiting us further in the future because we just gave our subconscious the green light that it’s okay NOT to grow, and it’s okay NOT to move forward into discomfort.
The Purposeful Path to Purpose
Some people, at some moment in their life, are struck with an awakening to their purpose. If that happens for you, that is wonderful and fortunate. For the rest of us however, purpose is a journey that takes time and intention.
And I can tell you exactly the path that I walked and teach if you would like to have a trail to follow, or in case it helps you a little on the path you are already on.
It starts with self-care. Remember I said it’s about you, but it’s not? This is where it’s about you first, but in the light of being your best self for others.
Through the care and development of self, you show up better in your relationships across the board because you CAN energetically and skillfully. This causes all relationships to flourish and you then see an expanded impact in your community and work life.
This then begins to strengthen your confidence and capability as your credibility with others and yourself grows. This serves to minimize any income/work insecurities you may have and opens your heart and mind to the potential to uncover your higher calling or purpose/cause (you know that feeling you have once in a while… “is this all there is?” some of that is the hole that purpose fills).
Once you have gotten to this space in your life, it now is mostly NOT about you, yet ironically you are/will be doing better than EVER in your life. You’re still human so you will always have challenges and doubts etc., but in general you will be thriving and fulfilled and joyful beyond anything you could imagine when your life focus was just about self.
This is the path of the 3 Circles Living platform when you follow it all the way through. It took me a lot longer to get to my Cause/purpose than it will you, because I didn’t have the map you now have. I was creating the map through doing and only in hindsight could I see the trail I walked and still walk.
I will never be free of my personal emotional struggles, nor the challenges of an interdependent world, and neither will you. However, I can tell you unequivocally, that your life in general will improve sequentially as you take this path.
Here’s a short excerpt from a recent webinar that is part of this idea. If this resonated at all with you and you believe it might be of value to others, please share!
If you need some Coaching, or Training for your organization, reach out to me.
Many Blessings, Todd
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