In a world of increasing #narcissism and self promotion it can be a counter-cultural and even revolutionary act to swim against the tide.
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Lately, I have been musing on the idea of ‘being useful’, of stepping back and looking at our lives and asking that one simple question, “How can I be useful?’ “How can I use my unique talents and gifts to make a positive difference in the world?”


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It’s a very different question from, “How can I be rich, or popular or approved of, or validated, or told I am wonderful?” It is a different question from, “How can I shore up my fragile sense of self by ‘getting’ something?”
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Think of how many people go to university driven not be the question, “How can I be useful?” But by a consideration of how they can make as much money as possible…They usually end up hating what they do and miserable. With respect to lawyers…I don’t think we need every high school graduate’s goal to be law school.
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I gave a #keynote yesterday and I was driven by the idea of being useful. It is my main preoccupation now as a speaker. Sometimes I am asked, “Were you happy with your keynote?” “Did you think it went well?” In one way, I no longer care!” Who cares if I liked it! The questions is, “Was it useful?” Did it help people?”
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Take a moment to consider your life and your current choices. If you are really honest, is your life useful right now? Are you making the lives of other people better in some way? If so, press on! Do epic stuff! Go bigger! If not, then sit down and have a long hard think about the trajectory of your life. You only get one.