Frustrated and unmotivated, I knew there was something greater my life had to offer.
But I felt stuck, like trying to walk in a sea of thick mud. My life was like a square peg being hammered into round hole. I wanted to thrive but this animal-in-a-cage mentality held in a vice-grip. I ran fast, but to nowhere.
These three thoughts plagued my mind in the dead of the night. Waking up in a cold sweat, they resounded above the chirping crickets and barking dogs:
- I need a break!
- I desire joy.
- I can’t merely exist.
Shackled between my ears
I had heard this many times, “When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade!” Well, I got fed up with the lemonade business. I felt an urgency to see a break in the ominous grey clouds that hang over my head.
But my mindset was messed up when I was a boy. It had been drilled into me that I would amount to nothing. Fear drove me, a fear that I would amount to nothing but a failure.
But why was it so hard to take the action needed to improve my lot? That was the genesis of my quest. I discovered how deeply entrenched in me self-doubt was. Everything I did was to mask the pain and shame my story narrated to me every single minute. It took writing about a painful experience for me to have any hope.
It is in writing our stories that we start living. This unshackled my mind. I was able to completely believe that I had a purpose in life.
Time to change the game
In 2013, I quit my day job to fully commit myself to writing, coaching and serving others. The same year, I published my first book, Down But Not Out: Becoming A Significant Leader at Home. It was my key to freedom. Through the pages I shared my journey of joy, pain, fear, rejection, and finally triumph.
I began doing something that I cannot do without. It is a necessity that matters not only to me, but is for the betterment of humanity. The degree to which you are able to tell your story is the degree to which you are able to heal. The retelling helps us deal with our fear, our inadequacy our shame… to deal with self!
Becoming unmistakably authentic became my rebirth! A shift in my mindset inspired it. I freed myself from negative thoughts that had shackled me to a life of mere existence.
That effort magnified my outlook to life and anyone I touched. When we step away from fear, our lives transform into a canvas no artist can match. We need to appreciate your strengths, understand our flaws, learn to like ourselves, and finally choose to work on both to clarify our purpose.
Sometimes it takes you to talk yourself into the confidence you need to pursue your life’s purpose. This framed my manifesto. I wasn’t going to settle for the ordinary. It was time to live fully…
Unsettled – My Manifesto
I believe that stories bring connection, and that connection is the opposite of shame.
I believe in the power of forgiveness. It heals me from anger and bitterness and helps me launch into the world without reservation.
I fully embrace my bold vision in its totality to uplift people to build better communities.
Here is what I know: when my leadership remains authentic, I will inspire excellence in people and make a difference with my life.
I believe the inherent potential people have, and I will consistently and diligently add to my knowledge to support the unlocking of that potential.
I will not be driven by money, but will serve my family first, then my community. Prosperity will follow service and not the other way around.
I will gear my whole being toward achieving all that constitutes this manifesto.
I Am A Game-Changer!
Shift your gear
I urge you take a time-out, write your story and live in significance. Take it a little further and flesh out your manifesto. It will give you the clarity you need to live and thrive.
Q: What is your story? Is it holding you back or helping you to thrive? Have your say by clicking here.
photo: Brennan Ehrhardt