How do you define ‘worthy’?
“As I said, John, your passion must, in some way, improve or serve the lives of others.”
“Victor Frankl said it more elegantly than I ever could when he wrote: Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued. It must ensue. And it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself. Once you find out what your life’s work is, your world will come alive. You will wake up every morning with a limitless reservoir of energy and enthusiasm. All your thoughts will be focused on your definite objective. You won’t have time to waste time. Valuable mental power will, therefore, not be wasted on trifling thoughts. You will automatically erase the worry habit and become far more effective and productive. Interestingly, you will also have a deep sense of inner harmony, as if you are somehow being guided to realise your mission. It is a wonderful feeling. I love it,” Julian offered gleefully.
“Fascinating. And I like the part about getting up feeling good. To be really honest with you, Julian, most days I wish I could just stay under the covers. It would be so much better than facing the traffic, the angry clients, the aggressive opponents and the ceaseless flow of negative influences. It all makes me feel so tired.”
“Do you know why most people sleep so much?”
“Because they really don’t have anything else to do. Those who rise with the sun all have one thing in common.”
“Very funny. No, they all have a purpose that fans the flames of their inner potential. They are driven by their priorities, but not in an unhealthy, obsessive way. It is more effortless and gentle than that. And given their enthusiasm and love for what they are doing in their lives, such people live in the moment. Their attention is fully and completely on the task at hand. Therefore, there are no energy leaks. These people are the most vibrant and vital individuals you will ever have the good fortune to meet.”
“Energy leaks? Sounds a little New Agey, Julian. I’ll bet you didn’t learn that one at Harvard Law School.”
“True. The Sages of Sivana pioneered that concept. Though it has been around for centuries, its application is just as relevant today as it was when it was first developed. Too many of us are consumed by needless and endless worry. This drains us of our natural vitality and energy. Have you ever seen the inner tube of a bicycle tire?”
“When it is fully inflated, it can easily take you to your destination. But if there are leaks in it, the tube eventually deflates, and your journey comes to an abrupt end. This is also how the mind works. Worry causes your precious mental energy and potential to leak, just like air leaking out of an inner tube. Soon, you have no energy left. All of your creativity, optimism and motivation has been drained, leaving you exhausted.”
“I know the feeling. I often spend my days in the chaos of crisis. I have to be everywhere at once and I can’t seem to please anyone. On those days, I notice that even though I have done very little physical labour, all my worrying leaves me totally deflated by the end of the day. About the only thing I can do when I get home is pour myself a scotch and cuddle up with the remote control.”
“Exactly. Too much stress does this to you. Once you find your purpose, however, life becomes much easier and far more rewarding. When you figure out what your main aim or destiny really is, you will never have to work another day in your life.”
“No,” said Julian in the no-nonsense tone he had mastered during his days as an eminent lawyer. “Your work will be play.”
Excerpt from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma, www.robinsharma.com