I continue to be saddened and somewhat appalled by the degree of unhappiness that exists in the major countries of the world. With a billion people not having access to clean water every day and living on $1 a day and another billion living on $2.50 a day, with the fighting in Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, you would think that the rest of us would wake up every day out of our nice warm beds with clothes to wear and food in the frig and be profoundly grateful for the incredible lives we really have. And if you’re reading this, you’re surely one of those people.
But it isn’t that way. As I’ve mentioned before, according to the latest Gallup poll, fully half of the American workforce is “checked out” and another twenty percent are “actively disengaged.” One third of the country is on anti-depressants. There are more drugs and anti-depressants sold in the US than the rest of the world combined. And then we awake to hear the tragic news of Robin Williams committing suicide because of his severe depression.
So why is it this way and what can we do about it? I would offer two reasons which I hope many of you will use as suggestions if the factors I’m about to discuss are missing for you.
First, in my opinion, it’s hard to be excited about your life if you don’t have a vision. And I’m not talking about some goals you want to accomplish or some things you want to acquire. I’m talking about what you want to accomplish with your life, what you want to leave as your legacy, what you want some day to look back at and see with a big smile on your face. Without a powerful vision, work becomes work, an endless series of meaningless events with no end in sight.
I can immediately think of many people who came from nowhere to produce amazing lives because of a powerful vision that drove them forward: Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Barrack Obama, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, to name a few. Ordinary people who produced extraordinary results primarily because they had a powerful vision they woke up to every morning.
When we work with a company, one of the first things we do is to work with the management team to create a powerful vision for the future. This vision becomes a rallying cry around which everybody aligns. This factor alone has resulted in mediocre companies becoming extraordinary ones.
Second, you want to have a philosophy that you live every minute of every day out of. If you don’t have a philosophy, once again life becomes a series of meaningless events which will eventually have you wonder what you’re up to and why. Not having a philosophy that you live your life out of is like driving a car without a steering wheel.
For many people, their religious beliefs are their philosophy. But if that’s the case, you have to give more than lip service to your religion. If you’re a Christian, be serious about being a Christian. If you’re Jewish, be serious about being Jewish. Whatever other religion you are, be serious about being what you say you are and live your life out of that philosophy.
For me, and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, Unshackled Leadership is my personal philosophy. The end result of that philosophy is inner peace. I work every day on being the most loving, kind, compassionate and peaceful human being I know how to be. It’s about turning down the volume of the ego voice and turning up the volume of my higher conscious voice. And my vision is to spend the rest of my life making that philosophy available to as many people as possible, which is likely why I leap out of bed every day, ready to tackle the day and see how many lives I can touch.
If all of this sounds appealing to you and you’d like some help in implementing these ideas in your life, give us a call. Or, watch this blog for the announcement of a personal coaching program I will be starting in September.