Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: A Special Fourth of July Broadcast
What can you do? I’m not interested in the answer to that question. I’m not interested in reading your resume, or interviewing you about your long list of skills and qualifications, or hearing about your degrees and certificates and validations from other people. I’m interested in…what you want to do. Who you want to be. Because that, my friends, is where all the power is, where all the momentum is, where the energy that creates worlds lies dormant, like a sleeping snake.
Not that there is anything wrong with all of those things you have worked so hard for. It’s wonderful that you have collected so much data and learned so much in the process of exploring the working day world. I just want to help you shift your focus—from a life of trying to be useful in the eyes of employers, colleagues, and peers—to a life of being called forward by your biggest dreams and desires. It’s the difference between a life of bondage and a life of freedom. It’s the difference between a life of mediocrity and a life of passion. It’s the difference between doing what you think you can do, and a life of being all that you are, and doing what you really want to do.
Now, I know that it’s an easy trap to fall in, which we are conditioned into at a young age: go to school and acquire a bunch of knowledge that will turn us into productive members of society, then find a job where we can apply the things we have learned to please the man. If we are able to jump through enough of the hoops that are presented to us, and if we can squeeze ourselves tightly enough to fit a box that someone else has defined, then we are rewarded with praise, raises, and promotions. We are considered successful. Happiness is an elusive concept that is pushed to the bottom of the list of priorities, if it makes it on the list at all. But if we really stop and think about it, what’s the reason we want all of those things we say we want, anyway? Is it to be a sheep? Or is it because we want to be happy? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—it’s the essence of our very Constitution. And it’s so interesting that for the most part, have strayed so far from that very basic manifesto that is at the core of our nation.
But if we eschew the short-term gain that comes from pleasing others, and embrace the renegade spirit of our founding fathers, then we discover that the real prize of happiness comes not from gaining approval from others, but from following our bliss. In other words, we tune out all of the voices around us that are clamoring for our conformity, and tune into the one voice that matters: the voice of our innermost self. This is the voice that doesn’t give a rip what this one or that one thinks, but is pulsing bright with a signal that is calling us in the direction of everything that we truly are, not who we think we should be or what we are capable of being.