Last week I discussed why I decided to start my own company (Freedom Focused) back in 2003—despite there being many other (arguably easier) things I could choose to do with my life and career. This week's post continues this theme.
In addition to my love of and desire for FREEDOM, another reason I chose to become an entrepreneur is because of a growing, albeit healthy, discontent about the state of things in my home country, the United States of America (primarily), and throughout the world.
"A healthy discontent is good."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
I agree with this nineteenth century American philosopher and poet, and have spent most of my life and career motivated by a healthy discontent I feel about my personal and professional circumstances and/or the way things are all around me throughout my nation and world.
In terms of my own personal and professional life, I have never been satisfied or content in hourly wage or salaried employee positions. Part of my discontent stems from my preference to "call the shots" as opposed to being told what my shots will be. Additionally, I have discovered much discontent in the limitations of my influence and contribution in hourly wage or salaried employee jobs.
This does not mean one's influence and contribution is unimportant in hourly wage or salaried jobs. All honest, productive work is important and has value—no matter what your position, title, and salary is (or is not).
As the poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, so eloquently put it more than 150 years ago:
It can, quite frankly, be nauseating at times.
This is not to say that a healthy measure of the opposite—honor, integrity, maturity, decency, and excellence—doesn't also exist.
However, I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that collectively speaking, the human race is presently performing far below its capacity and potential.
At Freedom Focused, our long-term vision is to make a significant qualitative and quantitative impact on this problem, which seems to only get worse with the passage of time. How do we aim to accomplish this grand and audacious vision? The answer is: through education in, and application of, true principles of long-term growth, success, happiness, and inner peace.
While we certainly have our work cut out for us, there is no doubt in my mind that the potential for unprecedented growth and progress already exists. It just needs to be more deeply tapped into and more fully magnified. If you don't believe me, just wait 20 years and see what the world looks like in 2040. If you think a lot has changed (improved) since the year 2000, just... you... wait!
The world is about to make a quantum leap the likes of which it has never experienced before in its formally chronicled history, and innovations and improvements in EDUCATION will be the driving force behind this positive, productive, and ultimately peaceful quantum leap.
Time and time again I have said to myself: There is a better way to do all of this. Yet often, I lacked the authority (moral or formal) to do much (if anything) about a given situation in other organizations I have worked for.
All too often, my hands were tied, and it was unspeakably frustrating!
As a result, I've discovered that my greatest power and influence rests in consciously choosing to "be the change" (Gandhi) that I want to see in my family, school, organization, community, nation, and world. Over time, I started to consciously say to myself: I'm gonna treat people differently (better) than I was treated; I'm gonna think, speak, and behave differently (more effectively) than those I've had the chance to observe throughout my life's education and work experiences; and I'm gonna be a more honest, trustworthy, circumspect, courageous, and dedicated self-action leader and leader than others I've observed whose lackluster performances left so much to be desired.
Over time, I came to the conclusion that there was really only one viable option for me career wise, and that was to start my own company with a single minded purpose: demonstrate and prove by EXAMPLE that there is a smarter, wiser, and better way of doing, being, operating, serving, and contributing—both personally and professionally.
Our view at Freedom Focused is that human beings everywhere have an existential duty to seek after truth and then strive to do what is right—for our own sakes in addition to the well being of others and the welfare of the planet we all call Home. We believe further that all of us have an interpersonal categorical imperative to treat our fellows with respect, dignity, kindness, compassion, fairness, tolerance, and love. Lastly, we believe that God, Nature, the Universe (pick your preferred term of Deity, "higher power," or metaphysical ordering mechanism) would have us build, create, improve upon, and explore—not tear down, destroy, castigate and regress.
Lastly, we believe that most (if not all) reasonable and rational human beings would agree with us—regardless of one's race, culture, background, religion (or lack thereof), philosophical ideology, or political persuasion. After all, seeking after Goodness and Growth isn't (or at least shouldn't) be a cultural, ideological, or partisan issue; it should be a universal lodestar to which all rational and reasonable people should be able to enthusiastically "hitch their wagon" (Emerson).
|Ralph Waldo Emerson's personal office & library in|
his home (now a museum) in Concord, Massachusetts.
"Hitch your wagon to a star."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I see people abdicating their existential duties and personal freedoms on the altar of selfishness, hedonism, narcissism, or nihilism, I am saddened. And when I catch myself falling short, I am maddened. This positive anger—this healthy discontent—has the productive tendency to lead me to grow, improve, and do better in the future. Indeed, my greatest discontent of all comes when I myself fall short of my own potential. Nothing is more painful to me than that. And I am always harder and tougher on myself than I am on others. It's just the way I operate as a self-action leader.
It's the way self-action leaders should operate.Self-Action Leadership, what matters most is not the remuneration, publicity, prestige, or fame that may (or may not) accompany your actions. What matters is the effort, quality, sincerity, and intent of your actions, habits, service, and contributions. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. beautifully elucidated this point when he said:
"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth pause to say; Here lives a great sweeper who did his job well."
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Self-Action Leadership Requires Action and Effort: Life Lessons Learned from Two Elite Coaches
|Coach Urban Meyer|
2017 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Champions
Arlington, Texas, USA
"I can't relate to lazy people. We don't speak the same language.
I don't understand you. I don't want to understand you."
— Kobe Bryant
"Do Your Job"
The "Freedom Focused Way"
What's "in it" for the Employee?
|For me, naps are a source of enormous |
refreshment and energy renewal.
Other Sources of My Discontent
|I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of|
the way things are going, and I'm dedicating
my life and career to doing something about it.
What We Plan to Do about it
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
|Self-Action Leaders are existential|
Kings & Queens in embryo
|SAL holds the key to a whole new future|
for America and the World
Tune in NEXT Wednesday for Part 3 of Why I Started My Own Company.