What is the opposite of Love? If I don’t love you, does it mean that I “the opposite” of love you? I always thought it was hate, until someone suggested to me that the absence of love is not the presence of hate but the presence of indifference. Makes total sense to me.
Since my pet subject has always been Life Purpose and Legacies, I find that word, “Indifference” to be quite intriguing. Indifference will of course never exist in the same breathe as productive.
Several times through life I have found myself deeply desperate for a life of meaning, a life of purpose. It is interesting that this state of desperation appears both when life is sizzling and when I am “going through”.
It turns out that a productive life is not necessarily a life full of activities.
It turns out that a productive life is of necessity linked to a life of purpose.
In other words, whatever activity I am engaged in, there must be insight into it, not just the need and drive to finish the activity.
You will know you are productive when:
So if you ever wake up one day dissatisfied with your life, regardless of how much you have tried to accumulate over the years, you need to celebrate. Why? Because very few people come to this tipping point of a personal revolution in life. It is now time to focus on what really matters, a time to be productive.
Step 1: Pause, Not Snooze
When the alarm bells of life ring, a great percentage of people hit the snooze button again and again until they no longer hear the bell any more…or it’s sound is drowned by indifference or by fear. When you realize that you are not ‘productive’ in terms of your life purpose, you need to stop the traffic and find the possibility of taking a different course. A change of direction in life at 30? Or 40? Maybe 50? Or even 60? Scary stuff. Point to note: You can have one thoroughly productive year doing what you ought to do in the first place, as compared to spending your life in non passion and non purpose related activities.
Step 2: Ask, Seek, Find
So if the life you are living is not productive as it ought to be, the next logical step to take is not to continue with your activities. Take a break from life’s activities if you have to. Start asking yourself these deep seated questions:
An answer to any three of these questions gives you a new direction in life.
Step 3: “Suppose I Succeed?”
Traditionally, we are taught to follow a logical pattern that is endorsed by examinations and certificates along the way. After step 2, you realize that the path you ought to take for a productive life has no one to give you certificates. In short, there are no guarantees at all that you will end up well. It’s a daring phase this one. Knowledge is not power. Knowledge applied is power. Many people know that they are on the wrong track. Many people also know what track they need to take. However, given that there are no guarantees here, few dare to take this step. What I have realized though is that the Divine participates fully in the lives of those who take this step more than those who don’t.
Step 4: ‘Like a Bulldog on a Mailman’
It’s not that obvious. The track or route of purpose you are taking has not been taught. At least not officially by all educational institutions around the world. Yet, you have to stick to it will all your might. They say that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again each time thinking you will get a different result. You have my permission to be as mad as possible when it comes to living your life of purpose. Every single day lived on purpose is a seed that needs to be cultivated. Over time, and that is the key word, over time, your fruits will come forth. By that time, your world will know your difference and the whole world will be open to your service. Stick. To. IT.
Step 5: Build Continuity
John Osteen dies during the week some years back. The very next Sunday, his son Joel Osteen takes his place. Productive? Of course. Most people in my generation know so little about John Osteen yet they know loads about Joel. Yet it is not Joel who had the vision, it is John. A productive life must never stop the moment I go to the grave. If anything, it ought to grow bigger, get better, reach more people than I have envisioned myself. The question of course is, what is the Vision? If answered in Step 2 correctly, chances are that it can be carried on and on for generations to come. Now that is the kind of life that I am interested in.
Frankly, I am tired of an unproductive life.