In the Background

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It seems that our society equates success directly to wealth or some form of financial return. I know people talk about other forms of success, but deep down how many people in my neighborhood really consider others successful when they live in poverty? After attending a conference focused on defining poverty and trying to understand where it comes from and why it happens, financial measures continue to come up over and over. Since when is financial success the definition of success?

I know that I consider myself extremely successful in achieving happiness, but I always believed that I couldn’t communicate to the world the way I wanted until I demonstrated success based on their measure. I might have been wrong, but if I want to influence others of means how can I do it without means myself? I grew up in a middle class family in New Jersey and life had its challenges, but in the end I have lived a pretty privileged life. I had a roof over my head, clothes to wear and parents that truly loved me. What deep pain could I pull from to move people without demonstrating that I had something that they wanted? How could I get on a stage and follow a motivational speaker who has no arms and no legs? Who am I to explain how to push through challenges when my challenges were rather insignificant in comparison?

Well, I believe that I am finding a way to do just that. I believe I have achieved a level of success that I can now start to motivate others to live a life of purpose, but what I believe might be even more powerful is to find those that have that deep pain and help them carry that message. I was once told that my voice can be carried more effectively through others than I can myself, and I believe I finally understand what he meant. This week in Mexico introduced me to some powerful people that have the goods to change the world and maybe my role is to help them achieve their purpose in life.

As a culture we focus on the founder, the person who starts the organization, but no great organization is built by one person. Maybe my need to be the front person is not my purpose. Maybe my greatest power is to empower others to achieve their best and be part of the support system. For the first time in my life I am wondering if my need to be in the limelight is not the best use of my skills. I really enjoy speaking and I look forward to the opportunities I have in the future to motivate people, but could it be that being in the background supporting those that have the “goods” is what I was meant to do? Do I really need the glory or do I really want to just impact the world.

This journey of self exploration and finding my purpose in life has been amazing. I always imagined it would lead me to being the one on the main stage, and maybe it will, but maybe, just maybe, I can have more of an impact supporting those that are amazing and just don’t know it?

‘Til next time ……


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