I have long pondered the difference between radical zealots, versus the ordinary citizen who is content watching YouTube videos and complaining about their neighbour.
To me the defining difference is obvious: purpose.
Our energy, creative power, focus and passion are all contained within the structure of purpose, it provides a road that our energies can navigate and manifest through. When our purpose is unclear, sporadic, spread thin and undefined, so too is our focus.
Enter the zealots; these people care not for coffee with friends, health goals, relationship drama or status through social validation. Their purpose is clear and singular - destroy or convert any and all who disagree with their beliefs (often confused as two separate missions).
The average citizen however, is spread rather thin. They may give thought to their overall life path, and put some energy into achieving short term goals such as developing their 6-pack or getting a promotion, but these are fleeting, lack urgency, and are prone to change and fade over time.
Most humans cannot provide their own purpose and rely heavily on external instruction. In the case of radicals they have the benefit of god or extreme right-wing ideologies to guide their focus. With the average citizen however, they have social and material pressure, a dollop of religion they dip and out of, family responsibilities and Netflix to provide their somewhat watery path.
And then... one rather strange and disbelievingly bizarre occurrence happened back in the year AD 2020. The entire globe was gifted with a common and singular purpose in the form of Covid 19.
Hallelujah! A purpose we didn’t have to think up ourselves and one we can all get behind! Not only was this new purpose gift wrapped for us, but it had all the benefits of a Hollywood movie as well!
Crisis! Drama! Life or death! Tigers and bears oh my!
How easy it suddenly became to narrow our focus, readjust values and priorities, simplify our lives, reduce the noise and cut out the crap.
Now I am not discounting the grumblings, conspiracy theories, challenges, economic pressure or any other symptoms of the time, I am merely bringing your attention to... laziness.
We are lazy with our time.We are lazy with our talents. We are lazy with our drive, dreams, goals, motivators and experiences.We are lazy with our life.
We wait for external pressure to provide meaning and direction and drift alongside it until the next shiny object is waved before us (otherwise known as pain avoidance). Radicals don’t have this problem. Their passion won’t allow them too. Which makes them so damn dangerous of course.
We have witnessed the incredible power that Covid 19 gave the planet. We have seen families, communities, businesses, countries, hell... the entire human race put race itself aside and all got down to the business of change.
We didn’t have much choice in our collective requirements to join the cause of course, because as I’ve just said, that purpose was demanded of us.
Now... here’s the crunch.
- What would it take to give yourself your own unwavering, and above all, urgent purpose?
- What would you be capable of if your purpose was singular, focused and unchanging?
- What could you achieve and experience?
Time is indeed relative, a day can last a lifetime and a year disappear in a haze of confused memories. I know that it requires effort to remain committed to your purpose, your goals, and your dreams.
I know that not only does this effort require you to battle the outside challenges stacked against you, you must also battle the voice inside that encourages you to do it tomorrow or questions your desire to even manifest your dreams at all.
I suppose that is the defining factor between purpose and laziness... effort.
I ask you to ponder how much of that magical substance you have within you and then ask yourself if you are making the best use of it. If you are reading this post, and have reached this paragraph, I know that you have bucket loads of effort that can be tapped into.
So... fuck external purpose, fuck outside challenges. Make your effort align with what lights you up and stick to it! Through the doubt, the tiredness, the distractions... stick to it. Provide yourself with your own urgency and honour the finite fragility of your time.
2021 baby - let's do it!