People often ask me, where do you begin on this life-long journey of success, and fulfillment. I know from personal experience on the Habit MasterTM path that the journey begins with service.
It starts with a burning desire to live a life that helps something or someone, a life that in some way improves the lot of others. And although this expression of service may come in different forms or be expressed in different ways it is the major driver for high level success and satisfaction.
Reflect for a moment on Luke Skywalker’s ascent from boyhood to hero. It was purpose that evoked Luke’s character as he progressed from a youth living with his Aunt and Uncle to the man who would save a Universe. In his ascent, Luke had to confront his doubts and fears and overcome his lesser habits to allow the seed of his soul its full expression.
And so it is with every Habit MasterTM who understands the way of wisdom that guides the journey. It is a passage from the mesmerization of the masses (a condition we are born into) to the realization of the infinite and immeasurable soul.
Further, the full flowering of strength for the journey happens in stages. So let’s just look at stage one. What do you want?
As for myself, I think when I was younger I complained about my lot in life because one day a friend of mine said something that changed my perspective forever: “All I ever hear is what you don’t want in your life,” he said. “But you’ve never said what you do want.”
That evening I went home and thought about what my friend had said. “What do I want?” I wondered. So I made a list of what I did want. It was a very short list, but it was the best I could do at the time. It was the first time I had clearly stated a positive desire on paper. Looking back, I realize now that it was the beginning of my transformation. I wrote:
- I want to be the best that I can possibly be.
- I want to use my gifts and talents in whatever I do.
- I want to make a positive contribution to the lives of others.
Bingo! The third desire was the key that opened the door to all of the success and satisfaction that would ultimately follow in my life.
Even though I wasn’t clear about what my gifts and talents were and even though the edges of my picture were not clearly defined, I had enough information to begin formulating an image. It was the beginning of a life transforming process and the clarification of my purpose, although I didn’t know it at the time.
So, as Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind.”
- Even if it isn’t fully clear, start wherever you are and write it down because writing it accelerates the process.
- And remember to include the contribution part (that could be to people or to science or music etc.).