9 Lives

Cats don’t have 9 lives. Most of them are perceptive and nimble creatures. Growing up, we actually had a cat that wasn’t perceptive or nimble. He fell on his back ALL THE TIME. Needless to say, he didn’t last long in rural Oklahoma. But this isn’t a cat blog, so I’ll get to the point.

Successful people don’t have 9 lives either. They’re not made of Teflon, nor are they truly golden. Most are nimble and resourceful. Yes, a few are just lucky. But, the bottom line is they were given one life to live.

Just like you.

What Einstein, Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Maya Angelou and others like them have accomplished… has been in one life.

We all want to be world-changers. By now, you probably realize your life won’t be measured on an international, or even national, scale. Still, your impact could be just as important.

What if we thought about 9 lives in a different way?

What if you could choose 9 lives? Just 9 lives you could impact. How would it change the way you viewed being a world-changer? If you could be a positive influence – through encouragement, inspiration, support, acceptance, justice… love – you could change the world for one person. Then another. Then another.

You’ve been given one life, choose to use it wisely.

On Being Patronizing

The Mona Lisa

I rented and watched the movie The Soloist the other day. I want to buy it now. My wife asked me if I really thought we would watch the film enough to justify buying it.

I don’t.

I just want to support a good film and have it as a reminder of its message.

This made me thing about why I buy, or don’t buy, certain things from certain places. I don’t have the same intention to seek out and support something “good.”

If we endorse what we buy, then shouldn’t we buy what we endorse? As Seth Godin said, we get what we pay for.

Some of our most cherished works of art originated from the Renaissance. Without the Medici family, many of these works would not have been created. Lorenzo de Medici supported artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Michelangelo. So, without patrons, The Mona Lisa and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel would not exist for our appreciation.

What we need today are “many micro-Medicis.” We need small armies of patrons who recognize what they appreciate and are willing to support it. Buy from manufacturers with good labor standards. Buy from stores that support the community. Donate to churches involved in good work. Donate to candidates who not only stand on proper (however you define it) values… but prove it with the way they operate their campaign. And yes, purchase movies that communicate rich and powerful messages.

“Patronizing” should cease to connotate negativity. We should all aspire to be more patronizing.

Mighty Might

“People might laugh at me.”

“I might lose it all.”

“You might say no.”

“Might” is mighty. It holds so much power over us. It makes many decisions for us. It enslaves us to the safe and known… as long as we allow it to.

By living in the “might” of the moment, we lose out on what truly is mighty. We abdicate our authority to potential futures of pain and suffering. The problem is this: these futures aren’t real. They only exist in our mind and that is the only place where “might” is mighty.

Next time you are faced with a decision and you begin to worry about what might happen, go out of your mind. Get out of the potential futures you are creating and remain in the moment. Strip “might” of its mightiness, and wield it yourself!

Embrace the moment for what it is and make a mighty decision, not a decision of “might.”