Every so often, in the brouhaha that is the social discourse of this foolish and shortsighted modern world, a signal is amplified above most and sings out in a clear voice. Most will take note of it. Many will follow it to its source and observe, some will even kneel to the broadcaster as an idolator to a golden statue.
The character of the loudest voice is not necessarily good or bad, productive or destructive, it merely exists in a state of exaltation. Few understand the mechanisms behind such a force, and as such, seek to serve or to leech from the power behind the voice.
What is it that allows certain voices to rise above the milieu of the masses and establish themselves as singular tones in the song of life?
Well, the full equation is beyond complex, and beyond my current level of understanding. However, I have observed one trait that is common amongst all the most successful and powerful people across the world and throughout the annals of history:
These individuals are in nearly perfect alignment with their message. The way that they live, the actions that they take and the plans that they lay are all in service to a purpose. There is a mission behind every great man, there is a vision behind every great accomplishment and it has always been thus.
If you doubt the premise, I challenge you to find an example to the contrary.
Many of you, in the course of your life, have run into the very common obstacle of having no idea where to find your purpose. Often, the task of seeking purpose is mistakenly outsourced to figures of authority or accomplishment in whom we place great respect or sometimes, in an even more unhealthy method, to ones that we envy.
I’m no different.
I crawled along through my adolescence and early adulthood trying to find meaning and fulfillment in the most foolhardy ways I could dream up. I took a vast amount of drugs, I committed crimes, I was violent and angry, and I was drawn to a crowd of people that were living in much the same manner. Desiring to find some sort of solace from the loneliness and emptiness I felt, I sought out quick fixes and instant gratification in the hopes that I could extract some sort of satisfaction from my life.
My wishes were not granted. At each stage of my descent into the pit of despair, there were opportunities to do the hard work, to put forth the effort required to climb and to disavow my own internal weakness. I failed to do so for more than a decade.
The consequences of my poor decisions were vast and powerful, as was the case for those with whom I associated. As I became darker and more miserable, so too did my fellow fools, and this resulted in exactly what you might expect; drug overdoses, suicides, a murder here or there, and several prison sentences were the lot for my “friends,” and I was pretty near to all of those conditions more than once.
After all, those who live in the darkness eventually have their flames snuffed out.
At a certain point, with death hanging over my head as a constant specter, and the lawman all hot and bothered to put an end to the escapades of a criminal enterprise, I was placed in a position where I had to be very honest with myself about whether or not I wanted to continue living. It was not as cut and dry as a sane and healthy person would think.
But, in the end, I chose life and began to walk a new path. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, but I knew I wasn’t supposed to do what I had been doing. That much was clear, and in truth, at this point in my life I am grateful for all the darkness I welcomed into my life. It has made it very easy to understand the difference between right and wrong, and to understand the character or flavor of the differences between them.
So what did I do?
I moved back in with my dad.
My father is a man of undeniable will and strict adherence to self-determined principles. He has determined who he wants to be and how he wants to live, and he almost never strays from the course of action that will allow him to do so. If you’ve paid attention to what you just read, you’ll have gleaned a very important key to my emergence from the pit.
In order to reshape my life I had to apply an undeniable will to the unearthing of a set of self-determined principles. If you’ll remember, I stated above that the character of the purpose to which the most accomplished amongst us adheres to is irrelevant to their ability to put power behind it. This is because they have a code of conduct to which they apply the full force of their efforts.
If you are to find your purpose, this must be your first step. You will not be able to see the future you want to build if you cannot even see the materials you want to build with. Form follows function, and function is derived from the emergent features of the material. Or, more simply stated, the character of your person is determined by the character of your actions is determined by the character of your principles.
We all operate under the dictates of a set of principles, of a code of conduct, but most are not conscious of the rules by which they play. Habits and routines are the manifestation of the rules we have agreed to follow. This reality is very hard to accept for those who constantly fuck up their lives. To accept this means accepting that the circumstances of your life are your own responsibility, and if your life is full of misery, this becomes a hard pill to swallow.
So what can be done about this? How can one determine their own principles and proceed to live by them?
I have a very simple exercise that will get you started:
1) Get a piece of paper and something to write with.
2) Draw a line down the middle of the paper.
3) On one side, write down 5 traits that you would like to embody in your life.
4) On the other side, write down 5 traits that you would like to remove from your life.
5) Write an affirmative statement for each of these ten traits. Examples:
A) Honesty – I will be honest in my word and action at all times, especially when it’s hard.
B) Laziness – I will put forth the effort required to do what I must, especially when I feel like quitting.
6) Rewrite your statements on a new paper, or type them up with a fancy font and print them off, then attach them to the wall at eye level directly across from your bed. This will allow you to see your new set of principles as you rise and just before you retire. Reinforcing your commitment to your principles to begin the day, and reminding you of them as you reflect on it.
7) If you’d like to take this to the next level, say these things out loud as enthusiastically as you can. Add in overly dramatic gestures to the mix when you do. Also, say them quietly, or repeat them in your mind, throughout the course of your day as a mantra.
There are two main methods for locking in a course of action:
Repetition and Intensity
Repetition and Intensity
REPETITION AND INTENSITY
By taking advantage of both, you’ll increase the speed and depth at which your newly formed and relatively fragile commitment your principled living will ingrain itself within your life. A smart reader would understand that this bit of knowledge can be applied to more than just this particular scenario.
Once you’ve got your principles in place, you’ll be living within a set of rules which will govern how you behave. This is an important feature of discovering your purpose, because the guidelines of your actions will move you in a particular direction. Just as when traveling along a highway in an automobile, there will be road signs informing you of the destinations which you are heading towards.
If you will but take the time to read the signs, you can pick a destination. This will be the beginning of discovering your purpose. There will be obstacles and pit-stops along the way, but your course will be much clearer than when you were being led by the vicissitudes and momentum of the world around you.
It will likely take you a few revisions of the list before you can lock in on a core set of principles that you will govern your life by for the remainder. Don’t be afraid of this, you were coming from a place of ignorance, and mastery comes with iteration. I would suggest, however, that adherence to truth in word and deed always be foremost among your principles.
Truth is the fount from which honor and respect flow.
Now, I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, that’s not my job it is yours. I’m here to give you a valuable tool which you can put to use in service to building a life that you are proud and gratified to live. Living a principled life is not easy, and will not magically and instantaneously cure all of your ills and shortcomings.
What it will do, however, is give your life direction and a firm foundation from which to build. What it will do is guide your decisions and create a bulwark against an increasingly distracting and corrupted set of possibilities available to you in this interconnected world we live in.
If you will follow through on this path of self-discovery, and literally write your own code of conduct, you will come to understand yourself in a way you never have.
If you will follow through on your commitment to yourself to live by the dictates of that code, you will come to respect yourself to a degree you never have.
If you can understand and respect yourself, then your mind will be clear and free from the contaminants and poison that assail you from all sides and at all times. When you can think clearly, and you are free from destructive habits and ignorant routines, you will begin to see what can be accomplished. You will begin to see what it will take to accomplish it.
If you are true to yourself, and free from enslavement to vices and distractions, you will be gifted with a purpose, you will be gifted with a vision.
No thing was ever created that wasn’t first imagined. Imagine what you’ll build when you learn to see. The power is yours for the taking, and it is my sincere hope that you will take hold of your full potential and build the life you were meant to live.
You were born a God, it is time you remembered this and created a life worth living and a legacy worth remembering. Unchain yourself from your doubts and your allegiance to the forces of destruction. Decide to align yourself with the forces of creation and truth. Choose in.
Now, go forth and do.
Latest posts by Chance Lunceford
- Power And Principles - February 11, 2019