A few years ago I made a mistake.
I had always been an inquisitive person, fascinated by evolution, growth, learning, expanding the limits of my mind, stretching my mental abilities to see how far I could go.
Then, around my late 20s, I got tired. I saw no good coming from my constant research and reading. So I stopped. I told myself “if you are not going to use all this knowledge, I won’t waste any more time on this stuff. Find something useful to do.”
What a word. It turns out everything I was doing was extremely useful to me and others, but I couldn’t see it, because I had never experienced what it’s like to not be this way.
This unquenchable curiosity was keeping my mind sharp, enriching my creativity, giving me new insights, propelling my thought forward. I could make connections easily, create successful strategies, come up with new ideas. It was giving me a competitive edge at my work as a marketer.
After I stopped, it took me 6 months to see the effects. I lost my edge. I lost my spark. I lost my curiosity. I lost my thirst. My mind became sluggish, slow, lazy, fearful. I saw others race past me with ease, as if I was standing still. I was still working hard, harder than before. But I wasn’t getting the same results.
Life is not a competition
I always believed that competing against others is a complete waste of time and resources. The only person we are ever in competition with is our past self. And my past self was now so far ahead of me I couldn’t even see her. I didn’t even feel like we were the same person. But the thing that hurt even more, was that I felt I had let down, not only myself, but everyone around me.
I don’t know many things, but this I know for certain; I cannot be happy when others are suffering. My calling is in helping others. The first step in helping others is in sharing the jewels in our heads. Our thoughts, ideas, opinions, realizations, experiences, truths, are jewels. They are valuable insights created out of observation, wisdom, analysis. They are the most valuable commodity.
Think, where would you be today if no one had ever written anything, if no one had ever shared their ideas, if there were no books, no knowledge? Where would we all be? Our creativity and our survival depends on communicating our own understanding of the world around us. This is our legacy.
We all have a part to play and we all have something to contribute. It doesn’t have to be big enough to change the world, but it might.