There is a part of me that’s thinking – well, I’m not that special or different from anyone. I’m just a person who has, like so many, made some choices, tried some stuff, but never really made much of a difference in the world.
This much is true. Not sad, just true. An objective commentator, summing up my achievements to date, would not find a lot in terms of changing the world for the better. But then again, of a million people, how many would truly be said to have “changed the world” – maybe ten or fewer? And I think I accept that now, the fact that I will probably not be changing the world much and I will probably never do a lot of what I may once have dreamed of in my youth.
This comes with the territory of mid-life. And it’s OK. More than OK. Because I know that, like us all, I have my own unique role to play as long as I’m here, and if I play that role to the full I really can make a difference, maybe not on a global scale, but to the world and people around me. The key for me is to recognise and accept that we are all unique and have a unique mix of talents to offer. It’s quite possible that, say I have 1,000 attributes of character; maybe 100,000 people share a full 90% of them. Maybe 1,000 people share 99% of them. Maybe, even here in the UK, I could find 10 people who are so similar to me that they share 999 of my own personal, notional 1,000 attributes. But even so, nobody, not one person, shares all of their characteristics with me, or anyone else. It’s an exciting fact!
I’ve learned what this means for one part of my life, the hard way. I learned, after years in the wrong careers, that I could no longer spend any more of my life following ANYONE else’s blueprint. After all, none of us should follow in the footsteps of the other man as he ventures out of the cave to look for food. His steps are not my steps. His journey is not mine. I cannot my sate my hunger by watching him eat meat. If I am to make a difference, serve the world best, I need to tread my own path, going boldly out there, openly and authentically, to do my own unique thing.
This is what I have strived to do in recent times, and I’m still striving. I recommend it. It makes you feel alive. For me, personally, it means self-employment (currently through EyeOnThePlace.com and Newology); autonomy; doing business ethically and bringing a smile to people’s faces. I’ve a long way to go, but then again, it’s a journey that will only end when I do!
Please chip in with a comment if this resonates with you, and share your tips on how you go about doing your own unique thing in the world…