All writings herein serve to open up the world towards knowledge that matters, to piece together the greatest philosophies of living, and to expound ways towards
the path of freedom, happiness & choice.
(When asked whether he’s watched his movie “Public Enemies” by David Letterman, Johnny Depp answered that he doesn’t watch his own movies. Johnny would act on a scene, finish his job, and walk away from it. Yes, that includes Pirates of Caribbean, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, etc. Chances are if you’re reading this right now, you’d probably be surprised. Here’s one of the greatest actors of all time, one whom people go to the cinemas for, and he never watched his own movies. Why?
My guess is, great people like Johnny mostly don’t do things because of mental concepts conditioned from the outside. He doesn’t care how he was perceived on the surface – he was only interested in acting to his best, expressing himself as a character to the fullest, and being genuine. More can be learned about how great people are great, the poem below for example can be invaluable in that sense to the reader who can read between the lines.)
The Passionate Professional By Clyde E. Gumbs
Born into a world
With expectations ready-made
A culture and society
Where I am told to make the grade
To have a good and worthy life
Is what I’m always told to seek
Find good work and a vocation
Is what I always hear them speak
But what is the point of work in life
How can I know what I should choose
What can I now profess to be
Where in the end I will not lose
Get good education and good training
Protect my status in all ways
Money I make also important
I hear these things so many days
Focus on benefits some will tell me
And all the perks offered to some
Focus on how I feel about my tasks
So days can be easy as they come
Others may say work is a sacrifice
A burden I am compelled to bear
It’s what I must do in life to make it
Whether or not I feel it’s fair
Some say it’s about my natural aptitude
And the good things that I can do
Some say it’s about what I have studied
And what I did and what I knew
But none of this can really help me
As through the wilderness I roam
At best it offers hopeless hope
But can never really get me home
But I was not born for validation
Or for what my ego says I need
I was not born to prove I’m worthy
I was not born to live in greed
I was not born to live from fear
Or to prove that I can survive
Not born for what is hard or easy
Or to be flattered while alive
I was born for blessed purpose
Reflected in all I do and be
I was born to fulfill purpose
I was born to fulfill destiny
I was born to be inspired
Blessing all alive and yet to be
An instrumentality of purpose
A gift to all humanity
I was born to profess passion
Inspired passion plain to see
Born to contribute all I am
Born to be merely what is me
I was born for self-expression
Not just to make it and survive
I was born for contribution
Merely because I am alive
I am inspired talents and intentions
Divine gifts designed to flow through me
The conduit for eternal blessings
The Passionate Professional that is me
A Compelling Sense Of Purpose And Destiny By Clyde E. Gumbs
There are times I have felt as if I was given the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle representing the life I was born to live. This might seem to be an exciting opportunity to experience my life coming together as an unfolding accomplishment. Unfortunately, I also have felt as if I was given the pieces of the puzzle, but not the box that it came in with a picture representing the assembled puzzle. Imagine the task of putting together a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces while lacking a clear sense of what it was intended to look like. Welcome to the experience of my life.
I have always thought that I must have been born for some purpose. In fact, I have always thought that I was born for some inspired and inspiring purpose. The issue, for me, was what was the purpose that I was born to fulfill. Most of my life has represented a quest for the fulfillment of my purpose and potential without any clear sense of what that purpose and potential were intended to be.
Like so many others, I was told that if I had a good education, then I would be on track to fulfill the purpose and potential of my life. Despite undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees from one of the great institutions of higher learning in the world, I still lacked clarity about what my true purpose and potential were. I even lacked clarity about where to go to find clarity.
Like so many others, I was told that if I had a good job, then I would be on track to fulfill the purpose and potential of my life. Despite working successfully in the highest realms of business, I still lacked clarity about what my true purpose and potential were.
Like so many others, I was told that if I had a spouse and children, then I would be on track to fulfill the purpose and potential of my life. Despite having a devoted spouse and wonderful children, I still lacked clarity about what my true purpose and potential were.
Like so many others, I was told that if I had a strong religious background, then I would be on track to fulfill the purpose and potential of my life. Despite growing up in the culture of Christianity, attending Sunday School as a child, attending church as an adult, listening to countless sermons, singing countless hymns, and reading countless scriptural passages, I still lacked clarity about what my true purpose and potential were.
Finally, like even so many others, I was told that if I did things to help people, especially those less fortunate than myself, then I would be on track to fulfill the purpose and potential of my life. Despite countless acts of kindness, generosity and charity; I still lacked clarity about what my true purpose and potential were.
To my overwhelming disappointment, I found myself in the darkness experiencing myself as a soul lost in the wilderness despite having a “good life,” having a “better and more positive life” than most people, and having done so many of the “right things” that I had been told to do. What I didn’t have was an inspired and inspiring life and a life with a clear and compelling sense of purpose and destiny. What I didn’t have was “my life.” What I had was the life I was told I should live, not the life I was born to live.
After so many years of striving for “success,” I gave up. I gave up seeking to be a better person with a better life. I gave up seeking to be the person that people thought I should be with the life they thought I should have. Out of a sense of hopeless frustration, resignation and despair I gave up my attachment to the life I had. All that remained were questions. What was the life I was born to have? Who was the person I was born to be? What was the purpose of my lifetime? What was my destiny?
From beyond any place I knew to look and beyond any place that I had ever seen, arose a vision of a world where people are inspired, inspiring and passionately living the lives they were born to live. Imagine a world where people are unleashed to be all that they are born to be. Imagine a world where people are at peace and honor the dignity of nature and humanity. Imagine a world where love and joy and miracles abound. Imagine a world where people have a compelling sense of purpose and destiny.
That is the grandest vision that I have ever imagined. That is the vision I was offered when I gave up my attachment to the life I had. That is the vision that I am willing to give my life to fulfill. A life lived fulfilling that vision is certainly a life worth living. A life lived fulfilling that vision is certainly the life I was born to live.
Imagine if I can be a demonstration of what everyone is born to be. Imagine if my lifetime can be lived as an offering to the miracle of what life can be for all humanity. Imagine if my every failure can show others and myself the way to greater opportunity. Imagine if out of pointlessness and hopelessness I can light people’s path to victory. Imagine if I can be an instrumentality of purpose aligned with, and sourced by, the universe and all divinity. Imagine if I can rise each day with such a compelling sense of purpose and destiny. Imagine if all that takes is merely being the person that I am and was always born to be. Imagine that.
An Inspired and Inspiring Life is Not a Better Life By Clyde E. Gumbs
Moment after moment and day after day people experience life. If you ask them what they seek they may say many things. Although there may be some people who say they are content with themselves and their lives just the way they are, most people will tell you they seek to be a better person with a better life. If only they were more intelligent, more knowledgeable, more attractive, more physically fit, healthier, more skillful and more focused. If only they had more money, more status, a better home, better cars, and all of the best stuff of life.
They may believe that the way to the “promised land” requires devotion to being good, better, right and positive as contrasted with being bad, worse, wrong and negative. This reflects the common societal view of life through the contexts of good versus bad, better versus worse, right versus wrong, and positive versus negative. They may believe that they are more good, more right, more positive and better than they were in the past. They may also believe that there are more good things, more of the right things, more positive things and better things in their lives than there were in the past.
Unfortunately, despite what appears to be demonstrable improvement, they find that either they never quite accomplish what they seek or that when they accomplish what they sought it wasn’t as fulfilling as they had expected. Naturally this can be a very frustrating, disappointing and uninspiring experience.
What if people gave up their quests for better lives? What if people gave up their quests to be better people? What if people merely sought to live the lives they were born to live? What if people merely sought to be the people they were born to be? What if people were born for inspired and inspiring purposes? What if people were born to live inspired and inspiring lives? What if the opportunity of a person’s life was to evolve in fulfillment of the purposes they were born for? What if all this took was a new level of awareness?
When I look back upon this spiritual journey that I call my life, I am amazed at how difficult I made things. I was born into a family with many hard earned and inspiring accomplishments. My parents were intelligent, well-informed, and hard working. They were also successful entrepreneurs and passionate community servants. My siblings similarly have used their gifts and talents for the benefit of our family and the communities where they have lived. I never doubted that I had been blessed with a wonderful family and would have a great opportunity to live a fulfilling life.
My challenge was to identify what it would take to have a fulfilling life. I hoped that I had been born for some great purpose, even though I had no idea what it might be. I knew what I liked to do. I knew what people thought I did well. I knew what people thought I should do and expected of me. I was always encouraged to do “good” things, “positive’ things, “better” things, and of course the “right” things.
Despite many noteworthy achievements along the way, for decades and decades, I experienced a recurring sense of frustration, boredom, failure and disillusionment, which, at times, led to indulgence, escapism, recklessness and wreckage. Inevitably, the indulgence, escapism, recklessness and wreckage led to shame, humiliation, guilt, despair and resignation. To my great surprise and as if by an act of divine grace, despite the shame, humiliation, guilt, despair and resignation, I was still alive and still standing. Despite it all, a new day would dawn, and a new opportunity for redemption and to live a fulfilling life always remained.
Ultimately, what became very clear to me was that focusing on what other people or even I expected me to be or do did not create a fulfilling life. Similarly, focusing on my own or others judgments about what was “good,” “positive,” “better” and “right” did not create a fulfilling life either. What was not clear to me was that there was a simple, if not initially obvious, alternative. What fundamentally different way was there to look at life other than: good versus bad, positive versus negative, and better versus worse? For most of my life, I had never thought to ask myself that question. It never occurred to me until one day when I realized that my heart’s desire was to have an inspired and inspiring life. I desired a life where I could fulfill the purpose I was born for and my potential inside that purpose. My true desire was to be able to live with a compelling sense of purpose and destiny. I had never been clear about that before and had never lived with the clarity of that intention.
I was not concerned about whether an inspired and inspiring life was a good, positive, or better life. I was concerned instead about living a life where I fulfilled my purpose, potential and destiny. I was not concerned about what others considered to be the right life for me. I was concerned instead about being the person I was born to be living the life I was born to live.
From that perspective, I could see very plainly and simply that there were only two fundamentally different ways that I could experience and relate to life. In any moment, I was either, “inspired, on purpose and authentic” or “uninspired, off purpose and inauthentic” By inspired, I mean “in spirit,” spiritually connected, and in spiritual alignment. By on purpose, I mean in alignment with the purpose I was born for. By authentic, I mean being the person I was born to be fulfilling the purpose I was born for.
Imagine if living an inspired and inspiring life fulfilling my purpose and potential was my birthright. Imagine if all that required of me was to be nothing more than the person I was born to be. What a revelation!
There appears to be an insatiable appetite for self-improvement. Many people seek to be better people with better lives. Many people seek something or someone to motivate them. Many people seek useful advice, tips and techniques. Although some of these people may believe they have become better people with better lives, despite this apparent achievement they seldom experience fulfillment and in many cases experience frustration, disappointment and emptiness.
There is an alternative to this self-improvement/motivation/advice orientation that focuses on self-awareness instead of self-improvement, transformation instead of motivation, and illumination instead of advice.
Self-improvement approaches are rooted in the context of judgment (i.e. good/bad, right/wrong, better/worse, positive/negative). Implicit in the concept of self-improvement is that if a person can be “more good,” “more right,” “more better,” and “more positive”, then those achievements will provide the person’s greatest opportunity to experience a fulfilling life. Unfortunately, people find that although they may be “more good” than they were in the past, they still experience themselves as not being “good” enough to experience fulfillment. Although they may be “more right” than they were in the past, they still experience themselves as not being “right” enough to experience fulfillment. Although they may be “more better” than they were in the past, they still experience themselves as not being “better” enough to experience fulfillment. Furthermore, although they may be “more positive” than they were in the past, they still experience themselves as not being “positive” enough to experience fulfillment. In other words, they have an experience similar to being a dog chasing its tail.
Self-awareness approaches, on the other hand, are premised on the concept that lack of awareness leads to inauthentic behavior (i.e. behavior that is inconsistent with the person’s true or inspired self). This inauthentic behavior is a barrier to full effectiveness, full self-expression, and having an inspired and fulfilling experience of life. Accordingly, with awareness, a fulfilling experience of life is possible immediately, while without awareness it may never be.
The essential difference in these two approaches is that self-improvement implies that a person needs to be better than they are and self-awareness implies that a person needs to be who they really are.
Motivational approaches are premised on the observation that people are prone to react to external stimulation and that it is possible to offer externally induced stimulation that can cause people to alter their behavior. Accordingly, if the “right” stimulus is offered, the “right” behavior should occur. The nature of this approach has it be dependent upon external stimuli to produce behavior that would not otherwise occur. Therefore, if you remove the stimuli, the alteration in behavior may cease. Furthermore, over time, that same stimuli may cease to cause that alteration of behavior and new stimuli may be required.
Transformational approaches are predicated on the premise that how a person behaves is a function of the way they are viewing life. Since the person’s viewpoint (i.e. mindset) is generally transparent to them (i.e. not readily seen), they may demonstrate little power in altering their viewpoint in ways that would lead to profound shifts in effectiveness and the experience of fulfillment. Transformational approaches are not focused on behavioral change, but are focused on impacting the viewpoint that is informing the behavior.
The essential difference between these approaches is that motivation approaches rely on the source of behavior being external while transformation approaches rely on the source of behavior being internal.
Advice oriented approaches are forms of self-improvement premised on the value of receiving tips, techniques, suggestions, and/or guidance, from some form of authority, that offers “a good or better way.” These approaches are naturally subject to the same pitfalls as other self-improvement approaches in that they are also improvement driven. Additionally, they are only as useful as the quality of the advice and the person’s willingness to take the advice and apply it correctly.
Illumination oriented approaches offer access to self-awareness. As with the self-awareness approaches, the value of illumination is predicated on the impact that occurs out of people seeing what they haven’t been seeing that is at the source of inauthentic behavior.
Advice oriented practitioners offer a “good or better way,” whereas illumination oriented practitioners offer the opportunity to “see” your way to personal effectiveness and fulfillment.