Our species has been around for something like 200,000 years. And in that time we have built great civilisations, made astounding discoveries and even left our planet. Our accomplishments are legend.
Yet how small we really are in the grand scheme of things. How easily all our grand ambitions can, and often are, swept away. Indeed as I leave my midlife behind and look ahead I can see a future where I won’t even exist and I know from time to time that old refrain comes back to haunt me .. “what’s the point”?
When I was younger I had wonder and ambition on my side, now? I could so easily imagine becoming a burned out, grumpy old man, disillusioned and disappointed that I have achieved so little. I could look at the state of the world and think “things will only get worse.”
For a long time, I have sought to deeply and profoundly understand the world around me and my place in it. That I suppose has been my own Quixotic adventure. And like Cervantes’ hero I have found myself tilting at windmills, far too often.
And for nearly as long I have bristled with indignation when someone has suggested I was a leader, or a coach or horror of horrors, a member of the “Personal Development Industry”. And yet if my life has had any meaning, any purpose at all, it must surely simply be, to carry the torch for a little while before passing it on.
Every day we teach those around us something new or important. Each of us has influence beyond our intention. And so I have come to realise we are all of us in the “Personal Development Industry”. Our Behaviour, Responses, Actions and Habits (BRAH) impact the lives of others around or even remotely connected to us, in a way that teaches them in turn, how they should behave, respond and act. We help them form the habits of their day to day lives. In other words, whether we like it or not, what we do really does matter.
It’s the “in thing” at the moment – mindfulness. Perhaps it’s a fad, but if we were more “mindful” of how our daily interactions changed the world and the people in it, perhaps we’d view our purpose and intention differently. Perhaps if we were more mindful we could live a more joyful, rewarding and fulfilling life after all – whatever age we are (or find ourselves living in).
The human race could have a very bright future. Whether or not it does is probably up to us ……. Just sayin’