On my personal blog, I just wrote an entry about what it means to live true to the Declaration of Independence. The Founding Fathers made sacrifices so that we, the people of the future, could enjoy freedom from tyranny. To really enjoy that freedom, however, we have to learn to exercise our own muscle. No one can do that for us; we must make the choice ourselves.
I have been repeatedly criticized for inappropriately attempting to help other people without first getting my own house in order. I’ve resisted this idea for some time, but I’ve finally come to accept that it’s true.
Money is power. Democracy is based on the idea that the people hold the power. If you don’t earn your full income potential, you aren’t living into your personal power. You can’t possibly exercise your political muscle without learning to make money (or at least raise money). In theory, everyone’s vote counts equally. But we all know that’s a load of BS. The more money you have, the more of a say you have in how things go.
Ever since OWS, there’s been a lot of talk about the 1% and the 99%. It’s no secret that a small minority controls the majority of the wealth. The question for you to ask yourself: when are you going to become part of the 1%?
I must confess that, as I write this blog post, I’m not rolling in dough myself. I’ve got a long way to go when it comes to making money. In fact, I’m writing this post because I need to hear these words myself. I need to remind myself that when I don’t break through my major performance barriers, I’m not just cheating myself. I’m cheating the whole world. I’m cheating the people downstream from me, who might have benefited from the money I could have donated to an organization that would have helped them. I’m cheating the political candidates I might have been able to support. I’m denying opportunity to people I might have been able to hire.
We don’t live in a vacuum. The world needs powerful people to rise up and take command. I sometimes think that we don’t necessarily need to know how to make more money; we need a reason why we should do it.
I have no desire to own a big house or a fancy car. I’ve already experienced having plenty of money to spend on myself, and it didn’t make me any happier than I am today. I have to remind myself of all the people I could bless if I were making more money. I have to remind myself of the difference I could make. I just can’t motivate myself with the idea of getting rich. I can’t imagine retiring—it sounds like a long period of unbearable boredom. Instead, I think about all of the things I would build if I had the money to do it.
If I had to choose one thing to do with all the money in the world, it would be to liberate the spirit of innovation. Humankind has tremendous latent potential that is screaming to be unleashed. I believe that we hold ourselves back for a number of different reasons. A large part of what I see as my purpose: creating resources and opportunities that make it easier for others to unlock their potential as creative beings. In order for that to happen, we need to get a lot of things out of the way. It’s going to take trillions of dollars (if not quadrillions) to fulfill my dream.
The Founding Fathers did not risk everything and give up their lives so that we could spend more time watching reality TV shows and mindlessly surfing the web. They wanted us to live life to the fullest. We can’t do that by ourselves. Each of us has a gift to give the world, and we come alive by giving that gift. This country needs empowered citizens. We are the only ones who can empower ourselves.
What difference do you want to make? And what makes you come alive?