A few months ago I was in the financial district of NYC. A very successful friend of mine from college took me for coffee.
At one point during the conversation, he asked me, “So what are you doing with your life?”
My career is a bit esoteric and conservative folks tend to ask me that question a lot.
But I gotta tell ya…I looked at my Wall Street friend across the table and thought the very same thing. “What is this guy doing with his life?”
Yes he makes a fortune every year. Yes he sends his kids to the best schools. Yes he works for a prestigious financial institution. But really, what is he doing?
But if you, if I, can’t answer that question with something that moves the world forward, then the world, our world, will not be a better place when we wake up tomorrow.
You might be thinking that “the world” is not really your issue. That’s why we are spending all this time trying to elect the right president.
It’s the conversation that is on repeat…over and over again.
“The people running for president scare me. We are headed for trouble. Whether it’s Sanders, Cruz, Clinton, Kasich, or Trump, we are SCREWED!”
So many of us are worried about where we are headed. More wars, another recession, no more health insurance?
Is there even such thing as a GREAT leader anymore?
Let me tell you a story about a world leader unlike any you’ve ever seen or heard.
Someone recently showed me an interview with him and ever since, I’ve been transfixed.
From 2009-2015, Jose Mujica was The President of Uruguay. Now you might be thinking, “Dave, why do I care about Uruguay?”
But just listen to Jose Mujica’s story.
As a youth, he fought against the entrenched institutions of power and spent 10 years in solitary confinement. For 7 of those years, he couldn’t even read a book.
You’ve heard people gripe about going on a 10 day silent meditation retreat. Try 10 years!!!!!
Said Jose Mujica of his DECADE in solitary confinement, “That left me with a lot of time to think. And this is what I discovered.
“Either you are happy with very little because you have happiness on the inside. Or you don’t get anywhere.
“By ‘very little,’ I am not advocating poverty. I’m advocating sobriety.
“When I buy something, when you buy something, you’re not paying money for it. You’re paying with the hours of life you had to spend to earn the money.
“Life is one thing money can’t buy. Life only gets shorter and it is pitiful to waste one’s life and freedom that way.”
Jose Mujica gave 90% of his presidential salary to the poor. He refused living in the presidential palace and opted to live on his modest farm. Even as president he was driven around in his 1987 VW Beetle.
Some of you might be saying, a guy like that knows NOTHING about economics. He sounds like a socialist pig. That’s not leadership.
But really? To you who is paying bill after bill, and writing tuition check after tuition check, and getting sucker punched by those property taxes twice each year, you have to ask yourself the question.
What are you doing with your life?
If the answer is earning money to pay the bills, is that the life you want to live?
Again….you, I, we…are paying not with money but with the hours of life we spend to earn that money often doing mindless jobs that are very uninspiring.
How can you break free from the cycle of earning and spending so that you have time to actually enjoy the journey?
How can you spend more time with your kids because if you don’t figure this out, they’ll be off to college and you will wonder, like so many other millions of parents, WHERE DID ALL THE TIME GO?!
How can you take more time to seek out the wisdom of obscure sages like Jose Mujica who emerged from unimaginable isolation with the mission to AWAKEN YOU from the great illusion of life.
Is it really our next president who will make the world better?
Or is it you, and I, digging a whole lot deeper and asking the question:
What are you doing with your life?