Obvious statement of the day: the holidays are upon us. Whatever it is you celebrate, there seems to be an underlying theme of giving gifts to others. I think that’s great! Unfortunately the usual cliché gifts will be given like the infamous fruit cake, socks and maybe even some underwear. All good things, minus the fruit cake, of course. But all of these gifts we give tend to be of a specific monetary value and they also tend to be immediate in nature. I mean let’s be honest, underwear doesn’t last forever. So before I go any further and as you brace yourself for the usual esoteric, give good cheer BS, understand that there is something deeper than fruit cake (imagine that), hugs and carols at the neighbor’s door.
Time to go deeper…
Does your existence make the world a better place? That’s no easy question to answer for most of us. I certainly have no idea if mine does. I would like to think it does, but most importantly I have recently been doing my best to try. While pondering this question, you may begin to rattle off the money you donate every week to the United Way from your paycheck, that one day a year you volunteer at the soup kitchen, and how you always give the homeless person your spare change, but those actions are not what I’m talking about. Don’t get me wrong, philanthropy is a great gift and fulfills a need in the world for sure. But I am talking about the consistent and powerful gift of your existence.
Have you ever been around a person so full of life, positive energy, humor and sincerity you were changed by them for that hour, day or even your lifetime? I have met a few of these people in my lifetime, they are more than friends, family members and acquaintances, they are gifts to us all. They change lives without donating a penny, volunteering a specific amount of time, or even trying to help. They simply live a powerful existence. They are wells of energy that make people smile, laugh, cry, and most importantly recognize we all could be as they are.
You see, most of us navigate along, accepting the world for what it is, priding ourselves on adapting to the status quo, and being “content.” But if content is your final destination and ultimate goal, then your existence will be weak. Only adapting to realities changes nothing and no one for the better. Living a powerful existence means you must recreate your own reality, go beyond the contentment of satisfying your own basic needs, and explore what it means to be the best version of yourself.
Do you enjoy your work? Do you have the physical capacity to engage in activities, sports, and trips you dream of going on or playing? Are you jealous of those who do? Asking yourself these questions is important if you want to begin your personal growth toward a powerful life. You may find you have a lot of work to do with yourself, I know I do, but the very act of beginning makes your existence more powerful.
The gift of a powerful existence comes from people living their purpose. That’s a very vague statement, I know, but it is vague by necessity. Because one’s inner drive to live a meaningful and strong life is not easily found. I am still searching for mine. Indeed, it is an exploration of who I am, and what I can offer the world. Interestingly enough, we cannot make the world a better place, if we don’t first make ourselves better people. To hold ourselves accountable to exceptional standards of existence, and in our exploration, may we touch and change lives, and lead others to do the same.
So give your Kindles, iPhones, toys, and maybe even some fruit cake this year. That’s fine, they are good gifts (minus the fruit cake), but realize they are no substitute for a powerful presence. Continue, or maybe even begin your exploration to find your deeper purpose that exists below superficial contentment. Develop the best version of yourself, and in doing so, you will be consistently and powerfully giving the best gift you can ever give.