The outcome is definite. We’re going to die. Stop spending your time and energy concerned with it. Too many people live their life as if the sole purpose is to arrive safely at the end of it. There’s way more to life than that.
Each year in our Leadership 101 class we watch “Patch Adams”, a movie that is based on the true story of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams’ life. Robin Williams plays Patch in the movie and depicts him as an eccentric, aspiring genius of a medical student that operates to the beat of his own drum. In one of the final scenes of the movie, Williams is pleading to the medical board in an effort to remain in school and continue his dream of becoming a doctor. He says
“What’s wrong with death sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can’t we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity, and decency, and God forbid, maybe even humor. Death is not the enemy gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference.” He continues, “The purpose of a doctor or any human in general should not be to simply delay the death of the patient, but to increase the person’s quality of life.”
If there is any arena in which the importance of the process is paramount to that of the outcome, it’s in life. Sure the gravestone may be in the same place, but how we choose to live will determine the sentence on it.
Why Should We Care?
We care so much about what people think about us. So much.
It’s as if we forget each day that we don’t get this one back. We allow the opinions of others to determine how we talk, what we say, the clothes we wear, the places we go, the risks we take, the foods we eat … for what? So we can not ruffle the feathers of people that wouldn’t come to our funeral anyway?
The outcome is inevitable.
How we get there is not.
Consistent and faithful would be my suggestion. Discover who you are and how you were meant to live your life, then show up and do it day after day after day. Excellence is in the mundane. It’s persistence that produces brilliance.
Often we are mesmerized by the charismatic leader that delivers the eloquent speech to a standing ovation. Though they aren’t necessarily exclusive, I find the quiet diligent servant more inspiring. Perhaps not at first but with time, he’ll win you over with his faithfulness to what is really important.
And, that is the key - he knows what is actually important. He is anything but indifferent. Committed and loyal, he is on fire for the path he has chosen. Though the talks may not flow as well, the daily behaviors and actions speak louder than any speech ever could.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
When we choose to dispel indifference, we are also choosing to offend people. We must choose who we’re going to offend. That’s right, no matter how you live your life someone will be offended. The good news is, you get to choose who. Here are a few things that should NOT matter when deciding who to offend.
The outcome is known. We should spend our time focused on taking the risks, honoring our values, and living the life that is set before us with passion and urgency - free from indifference. We must stand for something or we stand for nothing.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.