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How living well can save the world...

This is the work you were born to do…

“It’s not for them… it’s for you!”

Collectively we seem to have cottoned-onto the truth that we do more for others than we would do for ourselves. That, despite evidence to the contrary, people are in fact more motivated by generosity than by fear and self-interest.

It reminds me of the quip Gandhi was meant to have made to the person who suggested that history was just a litany of wars and atrocities. His response?


“No, history is the other 99%, the parts in between where people were getting along.”

However, Gandhi would also have recognised the idea that even that generosity serves to help the individual discover and express their very own, very unique, life-purpose.

In my coaching and training I use the German term Leitmotif to describe this journey. The relatively 2-dimensional, truncated Christian version is the idea of Salvation at the moment of death (or before if you’ve a really good priest around). In the Hindu tradition is called Ahimsa and they, like the Buddhists also ascribe to the related concept of Dharma (or more colloquially, karma) that is meant to act as a leash on our more base instincts and keep our souls on the right path.
All these traditions point to a single point, that such a path through life actually exists. That there is some kind of soul contract that ascribes a particular lesson, a particular journey, and even a particular end-point to our lives, to a life we were born to live. We are not just free-agents, unilaterally carving a life-journey whither we please across the blank, uncharted landscape that is our future.
I don’t mean to suggest we have a destiny and just must accept it (shades of Darth Vader). However,it does point to a deep and ancient recognition - consistent across pretty much all wisdom traditions - that we might not be completely autonomous in our decision-making. That there may be some kindof journey prescribed to us. Even many of the great Western psychologists and philosophers (not known for their more esoteric prescriptions) often converged around the idea that our ego, our sense of self, is a bit like a cork bobbing around on a current that is far grander (and deeper) than we can really fathom - alone in our little minds…

From this perspective, everything that happens to us and everything we experience is really a tool in service of a greater purpose: something we were born to learn and then express back into the world. Our relationships, families, careers and businesses exist ultimately to provide a foil, a backdrop, to the real game of life: learning about and then expressing that soul’s journey. People and events around you act like capacitors, discharging the positive and negative energies you need to keep you going in the right direction.

So, why are we talking about all this, it’s a nice philosophical argument, but how does it actually relate to anything real?

It relates to your (and my) life because is means that we don’t have to go looking for a vision or a purpose to fulfil… we’ve already got one. It’s in us. We’ve been actively striving for its fulfilment since the day we were born (or before if you want to go there).
This is important because we desperately want to know what’s its all for and the answer is here.
Humans have wanted to answer this question since the dawn of time, but now, with climate change, impending economic collapse, run-away social and technological change etc etc etc, that need to have a sense that we are playing a proactive and relevant role is becoming URGENT.

In a way that has perhaps never existed to this extent before we need to know that there is a reason for what’s happening.

It is never a matter of creating a vision, it is always a matter of discovering the one you are already living.

We’ve come to realise that there’s only so much our activism can accomplish to fix the increasingly existential crises we are facing. We’ve also realised that we just have to continue with our lives anyway, making money, building careers, raising children, all under the shadow of a nihilistic future where it could all become an exercise in futility.

We’re recognising that we need to know that by living our lives consciously and well it doesn’t matter we can’t change global environmental policies or the economic dynamics directly. Somehow, just be living fully and well we are playing an active role in the space-opera that is the evolution of human consciousness. That it will all be ok in the end, even if it doesn’t look like anything we’ve imagine before.

Yes, it will all be ok. Yes, it won’t look like anything we’ve ever imagined before and yes, your life well-played is a key component of the grander evolution we are all participating in…
But you actually have to do the work!
It’s not a matter of hunkering down and hoping it will all pass over. If you want to play an active role you have to get to know what that role really is!
The raw material of this exploration is your own life. You need to look inwards and backwards over your life to distinguish the vision, the game, you’re meant to play – the one you’ve always been trying to play. If you want to positively impact the trajectory of the human race, and the health of our planet, demonstrate, work, write letters, donate. That’s all important. But the most critical work is the work you do on yourself; by getting to understand your Leitmotif, your soul’s journey so well that every action, every thought, ever change of being is an expression of it in the world.
THAT is the work of our generation.

Your reward…

The reward for doing this work is that you get to experience freedom, power and self-expression. You will see your intentions and commitments fulfilled around wholly and fully by people who are enriched and empowered by their actions. You get to be, for yourself if not for others, the source of the greatness and the changes that take place around you, the freedom other people experience in your presence. This is the source of the joy and fulfilment that older people have reported experiencing since forever – the true rewards of a life well-lived. Now it’s just a bit more urgent.
So yes, I ostensibly do this work for you - it’s what drives me to think, write, study, speak - but in the end I’m doing for my own redemption (there’s my Christian heritage creeping in again).
I make no apologies and I urge you to get on and do the same.

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