virgin islands scene

The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.
-- David Starr Jordan


The MONTHLY Motivator - September 2013

Here to achieve

You are here to achieve. To the extent that you achieve, you’ll enjoy a life filled with richness, meaning and joy. To the extent that you don’t achieve, you’ll experience despair and frustration. You are here to achieve. Achievement, making a difference, and creating real value is what will give life to your life.

Too many people attempt to shortcut the process of achievement by trying to grab the tokens of achievement without going through the long, difficult process of achievement. But the tokens of achievement, while they may give some momentary pleasure, do not give the fulfillment that real achievement gives you. The indisputable fact is, you can’t shortcut the process. You can’t avoid the need to achieve, and you would not want to. Because that need to achieve, that necessity of achievement in life, is one of life’s greatest gifts. It’s closely connected with the very definition of life. Life, after all, is the ability to do things. A rock doesn’t do things. A rock in the ground might have some influence, but it cannot decide what its influence will be. A rock expresses its existence in a tangible way, but it is very one dimensional. It can’t move from place to place. It can’t cause anything to happen that wasn’t already in motion. Living things—life—means action, dynamism. Life is dynamic. At its very core of definition, life is action. Life is moving around. Life is doing things. Life is making a difference. Life is achievement.

If you take achievement away from life, you do not have life at its fullest. And yet so many people seek to live their lives free of the necessity of achievement. So many people seek to somehow be transported into a life of luxury without responsibility, and that is just not realistic. It is simply not sustainable. You can no more have a life of luxury and pleasure and enjoyment without achievement than you can to float through the sky without an airplane. It defies the laws of physics. It can’t be done.

Speaking of the laws of physics, let’s look at the law of gravity. Gravity holds things together. Gravity is very constraining. It holds you down. It prevents you from flying out into space. And yet, at the same time, it also prevents you from flying apart. It keeps our planet in its orbit around the sun. It is confining, and yet it is highly enabling at the same time. It’s a powerful force. So the way to deal with gravity is to make use of it, to figure out how it works and to use it to your benefit. You can actually use gravity, and your knowledge of gravity, to escape from some of the confines of gravity itself. A great example is the ability to get away from the earth in a rocket ship or airplane. If there were no gravity, airplanes could not fly. They wouldn’t need to, but they couldn’t. Actually, if there was no gravity, nothing would exist, because gravity holds everything together.

And it’s the same way with achievement and life. Achievement holds life together. You cannot have life without achievement. Somebody has to achieve in order for you to eat every day, for you to have food on your table. Now you probably don’t do that yourself. You pursue some other kind of achievement, unless you’re a farmer or have a garden. You pursue some other kind of achievement that creates real, tangible value, and you exchange that value for money, which is a very convenient and widely accepted way of holding value, and then you exchange your money for food, either at a restaurant or grocery store. You purchase the value that someone else has created. You do that by exchanging value that comes from what you have achieved.

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--Ralph Marston

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