One of my life teachers, German Dehesa, once said something that has remained imprinted on my heart:
“Humans have two obligations in life: to be happy, and to be just. And we must not sacrifice justice for happiness, nor can we sacrifice happiness for justice. It is only in the intersection of the two that we find a meaningful and dignified life.”
Two decades later, I still stand by these words. They are at the foundation of how I aspire to live my life, and how I coach my clients.
I therefore hold these truths to be self-evident:
- Our world could use some serious social change.
- All people, everywhere, deserve to live a free, dignified and meaningful life.
- When you follow your heart, you can tap into a tremendous amount of energy and passion.
- You don’t have to sell out and “just get a job” to pay the rent or mortgage. You can do what you love, and you can make a difference.
- “What you do will feel insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” —Gandhi
- Anger is a common place to start when wanting to bring about social change, but in the long run it consumes you, like a bonfire. Joy is the true force behind change, and it keeps you going with much better mileage.
- The intersection of what makes you happy, your natural talents and gifts, and a need in the world, is the place that will make your life most fulfilling.
In my life and in my work with my clients, I’ve found that most often it is our own thoughts and habits that get in the way of achieving a life we love. Cathy Guisewite (in my college graduation speech!) said it best: if you want things to change, do something different.
(Hint: like calling me!)