"Living a Meaningful Life"© 2003 Stuart Goldsmith
I believe that each person is a very special, unique individual.
I also believe that everyone has a passion - if only they could discover it.
And let me state one final belief: I believe that if you will only follow your passion - your dream - then everything will be all right. It will work out.
You'll make enough money to live on, perhaps even get rich, but more importantly you'll have a joy-filled and truly meaningful life.
The alternative is to live a life like our primitive ancestors - grueling, desperate, toil-filled days devoid of meaning other than brute survival.
The difference is that they had no choice. You do.
Now I want to say a word about 'meaningful.'
Do you, like me, equate the words 'meaningful' and 'dream' with something hugely important; of tremendous significance to mankind?
For example, do you think that a dream in order to be meaningful has to be something like this?:
In other words, are you trapped, like I was, by the belief that your 'meaningful dreams' have to be grandiose, or they are not worth pursuing? Do you believe that small dreams are for small people and that only giant dreams are worth having?
If so, what on earth are we to make of dreams like this?
"I was a cost control accountant for IBM. One day I was driving through the countryside on my way to a sales meeting. Suddenly, about half a mile away, I saw a broken down windmill.
To this day, I don't know what happened, but something about that windmill called to me. As though guided by a will other than my own, I turned off the road and drove down the bumpy track leading to the mill.
It was completely deserted, and dilapidated. Using my mobile telephone, I cancelled my meeting. I don't know what possessed me. I had never cancelled a meeting before except for serious reasons such as ill health. Little was I to know that this was the most important cancellation of them all. At that moment I knew I wanted to own that mill and restore it to full working order.
Of course, it was crazy. I had a responsible job, paying a good salary. I knew nothing about windmills. Literally nothing. Correction: I knew that they went round and round, and somehow ground corn into flour. But at that moment I found my passion in life. To cut a long and difficult story short (for I will not pretend it was easy), I located the owner of the mill and purchased it from him. I gave up my job and career and moved with my family into a house near the mill. We spent two years restoring it, and now run it as a working windmill and museum.
I'll never get rich running the mill, but we make enough to make ends meet. The important thing is that the last two years have been the happiest of my life.
Perhaps I won't always own the mill. It's possible I might get tired of it one day. But that doesn't matter. By then I'll have another dream and I will know that it is possible to follow your dreams and to succeed. From where I am sitting, I cannot even begin to understand how I spent so many years as an accountant. It seems utterly fantastic to me now."
This man is not going to save the world, cure all known diseases, or eradicate poverty. He found a dream which was his unique destiny or vision, and had the guts to follow it. His dream was entirely insignificant on a global, or even local scale. He did not change anybody's life apart from his own.
What were the needs which this dream fulfilled?
I can only guess. Perhaps he needed to create something with his bare hands. Perhaps he needed to control something in its entirety - be responsible for all of the cogs, rather than just be a cog himself. Perhaps he wanted to earn his living in an honest way, and saw accountancy as basically a dishonest profession. Only he could tell you.
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