I am not religious. But I do believe in the existence of a higher power and the importance of a higher purpose. Last weekend, I was invited to speak to a group of youngsters from all over the country. This is one of many engagements I have found myself attending for over six years.
Sometimes, I don’t understand why I end up in meetings like the one on Saturday. In fact I was struggling to understand why I was there. I had a presentation ready but my thoughts were in a jumble.
Before me, Major General Jerry Singirok, spoke about leadership and how young people had to stand up to the challenge and believe in what is right. It rang true to me in my confused state.
When I took the podium about two hours later, I also spoke about leadership and hard work. For me, hard work and persistence driven by a higher purpose is vital in anything you do.
Many people say prayer is important. I agree. But prayer without the action that is supposed to follow achieves nothing. Inconsistent action also achieves little. Action without belief and without a higher purpose is energy misspent.
Some people ask me why I work so hard sometimes without immediate results. It’s because of a higher purpose. As the generation that is fortunate to lead, we have to appreciate the special opportunity given to us. Every era… every time… is special. We are born for a reason. We have to inspire, cause positive change and teach others younger than us to do the same.
Is it about yourself?
When you are finding yourself, maybe yes. After that, what then? Almost always, the higher purpose exists outside of all that you were striving to achieve in your personal life. There are questions to be asked. Personal questions. The answers are always there if you seek them.
I have shared this many times and on Saturday, I shared this again: A Japanese friend told me on a bullet train from Tokyo to Nagoya that “Work is a sacred because it is a gift from the gods.” What would you do with a gift? You keep it safe and you treasure it. You build on it and you nurture it. Unlike material gifts, work rewards you depending on how much effort you put in.
I’ve gone further to add value to that important lesson.
On many occasions, I have said, “work is a gift” and “working hard is a prayer of thanksgiving.”
How is that?
You give thanks for your physical and mental abilities when you work hard. You give thanks for your ability to see, hear and feel. You give thanks for your hands, feet, heart and the sanity of your mind.
Where does rest come in?
Rest is important to revitalize mind body and spirit in preparation for the battle. Rest is meant to sharpen the senses, to enjoy achievements to see the future through the eyes of the spirit then to come back and work for a higher purpose.