This was a picture that I took from my phone while driving back home from the coin laundry 4 years ago when we lived in Chamblee, GA. That same afternoon I took my wife to see it, and it wasn’t there! Not even a trace! If I didn’t take the picture I’m sure I would’ve gotten another eyeroll from my wife.
Interestingly enough, that morning I wrote out a list of goals. Guess what was on it?
I believe that the Universe was giving me an incredible lesson that day. If I want to be an inspiration, I must be inspired. My focus was in the wrong place. Rather than focus on inspiring others, I simply needed to be inspired by learning and doing the things that inspire me. It’s not about them. It’s about me.
I’d like to share a story that I heard from Robin Sharma that really illustrates this point.
A little boy is excited to play with his father one day. He was promised that they would have some play time today. The boy eagerly asked his father to play, but he was busy reading a magazine. Not wanting to be disturbed, the father rips out a page that had an image of the earth on it. He tears it ups into small pieces and tells his son to put the “puzzle” back together, and they’ll have their playtime once he’s completed the task. Thinking it’ll take the boy all day, the father relaxes back into his magazine. Before he could get comfortable, the little boy runs back into the room.
“Daddy! Daddy! I finished the puzzle!”
The father, obviously confused and in disbelief, asked, “Son, how did you put it back together so quickly?”
The boy replied, “On the other side of the page was a picture of a man. Once I put the man back together the world was fixed.”
When I heard that story, I realized why I spent so much time worrying about the world rather than the broken man inside. It was easier to spend my efforts on a problem so big that I could go on until I died avoiding tackling my own issues – my own character flaws. But thanks to the wisdom of a child, I realize now that once I put the pieces of my own life back together “the world will be fixed.”
If you want to fix the world, start by fixing the broken man on the other side.
“Until you know how to change yourself for the better, you cannot change others.”
“To change yourself, never forget to challenge yourself.”
― Debasish Mridha