There’s a special joy in doing what you’re meant to do.
This week, so far, I’ve travelled to Colorado Springs for a talk at the great Broadmoor hotel, speaking to 450 business owners. The hotel itself is spectacular, and I always seem to be put in the West Building, which is quiet and beautiful, with serene views outside the window of my suite. To get to the main building, where I had dinner last night with one of the top speaking agents in the country, a really great individual who also has an unexpected and interesting background as a songwriter, with tunes, so far, in eighteen films, I had to walk on a path bisecting a scenic lake, mounting a gently sloping footbridge in the middle, surrounded by mountains. The temperature was perfect. The evening was magical.
Who knew that being a freelance philosopher could put me in so many wonderful places, where the glories of nature are on such magnificent display? And the people I meet along the way enrich my life immensely.
And then came the talk, the speech for which I had made the journey. I had forty minutes, a relatively short time these days for philosophy, but it was ethereal. We pondered, we analyzed, we laughed, and we explored the wisdom of the ages on one of the most important topics of all - how each of us can have our best impact on the world in the short span of years that we have, and how we can have true success, deeply satisfying and sustainable success that fulfills us, in everything we do.
It was a treat to represent the great philosophers, east and west, and to add my own interpretive frameworks. And everyone who was there went away with a laminated wallet card on the ideas we talked about. I’ve given out these cards on each of my topics, for more than twenty years. I’ve probably handed out millions as little gifts. And as a result, people stop me in airports and hotels, and in other places, and pull out their wallets and show me the card that they say they got six or nine or twelve years ago at a talk they heard me give and still remember. What a kick! Those little laminated wallet cards are almost the paper version of tweets, but they last, and can be carried about and kept and referred to again and again. The way tweets stand to blogs, these little cards stand to books, and have a special magic all their own.
My talk at the Broadmoor was, as such a thing almost always is, a joy, What Emerson would have called an ecstasy, and an honor. In the whirlwind of time allowed on a busy meeting day, we ranged through space and time, appropriating the insights of the ages for our own lives, and thinking anew about what we want from our time, and our efforts.
It’s always a new experience for me. I never memorize talks and hit the play button in front of an audience. I do like the great jazz guys and improvise around a framework. I surprise myself. I sometimes say things I’ve never even thought before, but in that moment, I realize a new truth and pass it on to others.
Now, I’ll have two days at home, and then a quick trip to Florida, to philosophize again, for a small group of executives who make sure the lights stay on at such places as Google and NASA, operations where power reliability is crucial. We’ll get to talk about the life wisdom that’s also powerful and always reliable. And that will keep the lights on for them, as it does for me.
I tell you this today in hopes that you are also, in your own way, participating in the joy of living your proper mission and adventure. And if you haven’t quite found that yet, let me encourage you that it awaits you and can be both lived and loved.
So examine your own experience. You’re here to do great things, and to have great joys. I want that for you.