If I took you for a coffee, sat you down and asked you “What do you want in life?” I bet I would get one of two answers, the first would be a confused look, and you would tell me you did not know! The other answer would be that you wanted a good job, nice title, a car, money in the bank and a decent place to live.
Let’s take a closer look at the second answer above. If I could wave a magic stick and “Hey presto your wish is granted”. How long would you be happy for? A week, a month a year? The problem is these things come and go and soon we are unhappy again. Why?
Having those things are wonderful, but what you really want is the feeling that those things generate within you. Inner peace, contentment and gratitude.
In society, we define success by the things we have rather than by the people we’ve become. Rather that measuring our progress by how many lives we are influencing. We gauge it by how much money we are making, how fast we are getting promoted and how many latest gadgets we own. Is it any wonder people are so miserable?
There is nothing wrong with having nice things. I love being surrounded by beautiful things. The furniture in my dojo is top quality. I love wearing good stylish clothes and driving a nice reliable car. I made a commitment to myself about a year ago and that is to go through life first-class. I want to be rich! This starts with a feeling of being rich, then I will become rich. How do I know? I did the same thing when I started Aikido. I wanted to be the best of the best so I spent time, money and a lot of effort being with the Top Masters in Japan and learning from them. I am one of the highest level instructors in the world!
I am not saying this to brag just that when I put my mind to doing something, I do it or die trying.
Everyone should have a beautiful life. This is the purpose of life, to grow to maturity and become Master over the material world. However, I have never let my possessions define me. You will run into trouble when you let what you have form the basis of who you are and your identity in the world. Because if you lose those things you loose yourself. Do not become a slave to things. Make the most of life every day. Who you are becoming is far more important than what you own.
The impact you are having on your teammates, customers and loved ones by the positive example you model is far more important than the money you make. If your focus is on making money, then your focus is off doing great work! This is the very thing that will make you more money.
If you really want to be extraordinary, focus on becoming an extraordinary person!
It is not possible to grow your interior world and not see a corresponding growth in your exterior world. So make working on yourself job number one. As you awaken your true nature within and become a more confident, creative and a world class person, your interactions with others cannot help but get to a whole new level of greatness.
You have a natural inner leader within that will show you how to find your true nature. All you have to do is make your relationship with it stronger each day. When you were a child you knew your true nature. You were awake to the call of your life to make a mark, to realise big things and live life as a glorious adventure. Now is the time to get back in touch with your natural inner leader. Leading from the inside out, so that your bigness can be seen is the DNA of all enduring excellence. Until next time I wish you peace, love and success. Martin Acton Sensei