I do not believe that there are bad people and good people. I believe that what we have are “people,” period. People then choose what they will be. People choose to do bad or do good. And we can’t fool ourselves: each person has the capacity for both.
On one hand, every person has within them the capacity for evil. G.K. Chesterton’s quote is certainly true: “Original Sin is the only philosophy empirically validated by 3500 years of human history.” Fortunately, most societies groom people with a sense of right and wrong and encourage people to respond to their own conscience so that most people live their lives self-restricting the bad things they are capable of. For those who don’t self-restrict, we have police and prisons.
On the other hand, everyone has the capacity to do great good as well. Every mind can dream of the possibilities that they can come up with to make life better for themselves and for others around them. Every person has the imprint of God and therefore the ability to do what is good, if they so choose.
So where do most people live their lives? I think most people live their lives in the middle. Most people do not live out the terrible things they are capable of. Instead, they cut ethical corners here and there. Nothing society would punish them greatly for but not as pure as the newly fallen snow either! The opposite is true as well. Most people do not live out the incredible goodness they are capable of. They will, of course, open doors for people and jump-start an old lady’s car when the battery goes dead in the Wal-Mart parking lot, but most people do not live their lives with the passionate and purposeful pursuit of goodness each and every day to live their lives. Thus, most people live not so bad, not so good lives.
But you are different! I know by the very fact that you subscribed to this Ezine that you want to be your best – and I want to help you be your best! I want to give you some thoughts that will stir your mind and heart to action. I want to give you some principles and strategies that will enable you to take your life to the next level. We live in uncertain times. The whole world is on edge and there are many wars being fought at any given time on this old earth of ours. People who choose goodness are so desperately needed!
Are you ready to take your life to the next level? Are you ready to unleash the force of good that you have within you? Then here we go!
Know your specific gifts and talent, you strengths and abilities. Everyone has at least one and usually a few, specific talents and abilities that, if they were utilized on a regular basis, would produce for them the kind of life they would love to live as well as produce a tremendous amount of goodness in the immediate world around them. This is especially true if they surrender their gifts to be specifically used for good. Find your strengths and regularly use them.
Develop a vision of the good you can accomplish. If you want to produce goodness, you must have in your mind what good would look like to you. Do you have a vision of what kind of good you would like to unleash upon the world around you? Do you know what good things you want to do, the good legacy you want to work for and leave behind? Get a vision for your goodness and put it to work!
Pursue your passions. I believe that most of the time our passions tell us what we should probably be pursuing. This is not always true but generally so. Do you have a passion for helping the underprivileged? Then pour your energies into giving them your goodness in whatever form allows you to make a difference in their lives.
Develop a strategy and action plan to work on making your passions a reality. If you don’t plan your unleashing, it will spill everywhere and may not be as powerful and effective as if you have a specific plan to focus your goodness into a specific area. The basic example would be light. Sure a bulb will give off light and be beneficial, but when that light is so focused it becomes a laser, then it can really be powerful. Don’t just say you will embody goodness, make a plan on where you will pour your good energies.
Be ruthless about living out of your priorities. If we want to be effective, we have to know where we are going and then stick to the plan. We cannot let anything sidetrack us! You will want to, for example, volunteer one day a week to help underprivileged children learn to read. Great idea! But you won’t believe how many things will creep into your life that will want to be scheduled for that day. If you let them, they will bump your priority and destroy your unleashing of your goodness. Stick to your priorities!
Listen to your conscience. The conscience is perhaps the greatest gift we have. It is a built in homing device that always keeps us pointed in the direction. Yet the conscience is also like a muscle in that it gets stringer when used (listened to) and weaker when not used (not listened to). If you are in a relatively good place, you conscience will tell you what is good. Listen to it and act upon it and it will help you unleash the goodness within you!
Develop and memorize a life mission statement that declares you intentions for good. My personal mission statement is, “To use my speaking and writing gifts to help people and organizations turn their potential into performance, succeed in every area of their lives, and achieve their dreams.” Can you think up a life mission statement that will keep you on track? Sure you can – and you should.
You have a lot of good to give to this world. And this world needs it now more than ever. Decide today that you will unleash you goodness on the world around you. Some of you reading this have a lot of influence in the world around you and others don’t have as much, but we all have some and if we all unleash our goodness into the world around us, we will certainly make a difference!
Go get ‘em! Let them have all the goodness you can give them!