This past week I had an assignment for a seminar I am in. The assignment was to answer the question what is one problem worthy of my life? I loved this assignment because it had me get out of my small world and think big. As soon as I started to think about big issues I am passionate about, my personal problems seemed small and insignificant, even silly. What a great way to really put things in perspective.
In answering this question I got a sense of what a profound experience parenting is for people. When a person has a child they decide to take on something bigger than themselves. Parent’s personal needs and goals get put in perspective and shift as they consistently give of themselves to their child. This is often what happens when people take on big causes in their life and commit to making change. Martin Luther King and Gandhi are great examples of people who really cared about the betterment of people and were committed to their cause as if it was their child. Like a parent, they made personal sacrifices and choices for their life based on the cause (child) they stood for. I want to acknowledge these great leaders for their commitment and sacrifice they made for humanity. I also want to thank every parent for their role and the sacrifices they have made for their children. Thank you! While thinking of a problem worthy of my life, I started to view these causes as my children. I thought of how I would not stop until I had done everything in my power to contribute and make a difference. I would choose to make personal sacrifices for a meaningful big cause, bigger than me. Thinking and being in this space really moves and inspires me. I can imagine waking up everyday feeling so driven and passionate about making a difference.
Can you think of one problem worthy of your life? Something that if you knew you could make a difference, you would, something that inspires and excites you. Now we all have that cynical part of us that says disempowering things. I had these thoughts: “It doesn’t matter. “What can one person do?” “Besides, it would take a life time to fix or more.” I am sure you have similar thoughts too. But when you think about it, if we all lived our lives around a problem worthy of our lives we would be a much more productive compassionate abundant world. Your ego based needs would not dominate your thoughts and choices. You would constantly be tapped into your source or higher self. That part of you who care’s about the betterment of humanity would be expressed.
When I tried to identify problems that I felt passionate about I had to go back to when I was little girl and the things that really upset me and that I wanted to do something about. I also looked at personal experiences that I had to overcome and that I really feel passionate about helping others overcome. World peace and personal empowerment are two things that came up for me that I would give anything to see improve in my life time.
I also started to think of how I could I make this a more realistic and practical goal? I am not going to lie; at first, I thought to myself these issues are so big and I started to feel overwhelmed and helpless. But then I realized that those feelings were making me want to avoid the issues altogether because I didn’t like feeling helpless. So the next step I decided to take was to come up with one small thing I can do now toward fulfilling that goal. So I researched organizations that already confront these problems. Then I looked for opportunities where I could contribute. I sent out emails to the organization asking how I can contribute to their cause. It was honestly very easy, and to think I was going to give up. All it took was looking up a website and send out an email to get me started. All that took about 5 minutes.
The reason I took you on this journey with me in answering this question was that I saw how fast I was going to give up. I wanted to avoid dealing with this issue and not answer the question. I felt too overwhelmed and helpless. I recognized that we all have these feelings of helplessness. I know so many people who feel so bad and helpless after watching the news and hearing about the horrible things that happen. Repeatedly I encounter conversations where people share their despair with me about the suffering world. There is another side to all this. Contributing and making a difference is part of who I am and my purpose and all of us. We all have an innate passion and drive to contribute. You have an issue that you feel so strong about and would love to see change. You may have forgotten about it or avoided it but it is in you. That is why you get so upset when you read and watch the news. You do not want people to suffer, it causes you pain.
Recognize that you possess the ability to give your life over to something bigger than yourself and worthy of your life. Think of one person who has already done remarkable things. For me Oprah is a person who I think of as remarkable and who has accomplished a lot for humanity. I love the affect she has on me, she draws out my compassion and generosity. If Oprah does not have that kind of affect on you than think of people like Gandhi or Martin Luther King who contributed to the world in a large way. The point is they were human just like you, they had the same inner faculties that you have and they did big things in the world.
We all have the capacity to make a difference in the world and be like these great leaders. The only thing that blocks you, are your limiting beliefs about yourself. You lack the self-confidence and belief in yourself that you could be great and do great things in the world. If you are like me than you have put people like Oprah on a pedal stool, believing they are superior to you. Believing that they posses abilities that you lack. The only difference between you and them is that your thoughts and beliefs about yourself have you play small. Those leaders were not stopped by their thoughts and fears. They also knew what they stood for was bigger than them and not about their personal success. You are capable to do big things in the world in fact you are made to do big things. However, your mind gets in the way and has distracts you from that truth.
Leaders like Oprah started where you are; she was not born into greatness, she made her life work great. She took on causes that were bigger than her and worthy of her life. Everyone has the power and passion to contribute in a way that exceeds the ego, succeeding, and looking good. It comes from your soul and you feel alive when you get in touch with it.
Your assignment: This exercise is designed to get you in touch with that contributing passionate side of yourself that excites you. 1. What problem is worthy of your life? Go back to your childhood and think about what used to really upset you and that you wanted to fix or change. Also think about the difficulties you have had to overcome in your own life and would love to help others resolve. 2. If you knew you could not fail, what cause would you stand for? Imagine that money, time, support, and fears were not a problem. 3. Who would you need to BE in order to achieve that? List qualities and ways of being that you see necessary for making a difference. 4. Take one small action step now/soon. Start by looking up organizations that are already working on a cause you feel passionate about. See if there is an opportunity for you to contribute. I know you may think I don’t have time volunteer so I will donate money. Although that is very generous of you, I want to invite you to take the opportunity to be the person you dreamed of being. Be the person who makes a difference in the world by giving your time and energy to your cause. Go beyond contributing monetarily and give yourself the gift of experiencing servitude and making a difference.
Copyright (c) 2007 Melisa Milonas LLC