Please allow me to paint a picture for you. You’re watching a movie and the story revolves around a middle-aged guy who has a professional title, a big bank account, and a beautiful family. His life may look perfect from the outside, but inside he is completely restless, uncertain, and unsatisfied with his life. He’s lost his fire. This is the stereotypical mid-life crisis, right?
At this point in our movie, and according to the traditional stereotype, our guy buys a Corvette or a motorcycle, gets a divorce and then marries a younger woman, and shifts into an entirely new level of fun and enjoyment in life – only to realize later that he’s still as miserable as he was before his new car and hot new wife. Maybe this doesn’t always look nearly as dramatic in real life, but a version of this happens to many of us as we near middle age.
Fortunately for our main character, he recognized that he was unsatisfied with his life and began trying to look for the disconnect. Here’s the issue: he added more or better of what he already had in his life to try to solve the inner turmoil. It doesn’t work, fellas. The angst is not that you don’t have enough. The inner dissatisfaction is that you’ve reached the halfway point and you don’t feel significant. You feel the angst because you’ve lived a material life and you’re questioning if your life matters. Your soul is telling you that it wants to create an impact in this world to make sure you feel how important your life really is, but your mind is telling you more of what you already know will solve the problem. Not a chance.
Rock bottom saved my life
In case you haven’t guessed, that main character was me. Ok, so I haven’t starred in my own movie (yet), but I did document my rebuild in my book, The Imposter In Charge. I chased titles, money, power, and possessions until I choked on all of them. I had so much of what I thought would make me happy, but I was a suicidal alcoholic on the verge of losing my beautiful family and everything I had built. Luckily for me, I hit rock bottom and was forced to rebuild. But when I couldn’t get more of what I already had the only way I knew how to get it, I was forced to look at doing things differently. I went through a complete identity crisis, and thank whatever God you believe in that I did.
I began to question why I had physically, mentally, and emotionally neglected myself for so long, and why I had worked in so many executive positions that I didn’t love, and why making money for me was my be-all-end-all. I questioned everything. I wondered what life was really about – the purpose of life. I questioned why I felt that life had to be hard, why struggle was part of my life, and why I felt that I needed to sacrifice everything to get what I wanted. I questioned everything. The answers were eye-opening.
For me, I felt insignificant. I didn’t feel that my life mattered. I felt as though I was expendable and disposable, and that my life was basically meaningless outside of the wealth and possessions I had collected. I felt that my identity was in my title and the power I held – that without them, I was nothing. From feeling insignificant I thought that others were meaningless too and in order to get what I wanted it was ok to step on and over them. I had hurt so many people in my life, including my wife and kids. I wanted to feel meaningful and purposeful so much that I wouldn’t stop at anything – all the way up to the moment I decided not to pull the trigger.
From insignificance, I found magic
I began to work on my physical, mental, and emotional health – the three primary drivers which, when you are in poor health and neglecting yourself, will lead to a feeling of insignificance. When you don’t honor your body, mind, and emotions, you are basically convincing yourself that you are meaningless. From higher states of health and recovery from alcoholism, I began to feel more significant – starting on the day I began. Over time I realized that all of the power and significance I craved from things outside of me were inside of me all along. My confidence, courage, and clarity in my purpose began to shine brighter. I began to feel my talents and gifts. I no longer felt insignificant. Then the magic really took hold.
Once I began to feel significant I started looking for ways to help others. In the same fierce way I once craved money, I began to crave making a difference. I wanted to impact other people’s lives with just as much passion as I once craved my next promotion and bonus. When I began to help other leaders find their internal significance I began to feel like I mattered in the world. I used to try to feel that through what I owned, but now that my internal significance began to shine even more powerfully, my external significance increased. I was making an impact. My life had meaning, and I could feel it.
From that significance and impact, I began making more money than I ever had in corporate America. I launched a business and began helping others move the needle more on their lives with a greater reach and more ways to connect with what I learned. I coached, spoke to large audiences, published a book, became a contributor in worldwide publications, launched courses, and opened a membership for male leaders. I could see how I impacted people. This impact created the financial and time freedom I was looking for in my corporate roles. I began to see the insanity of sacrificing my life, and the purpose of life became clearer and clearer – to recognize true freedom through attaining internal significance and creating impact in the world.
You matter. You are significant.
This is fully available to all of us. You don’t need to hit rock bottom like me in order to begin to feel your true significance and value in this world, and you can begin to create a greater impact with your gifts and talents without sacrificing the rest of your life. It all begins with honoring your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You matter, and when you begin to realize that you are highly significant in this world, everything will open up for you, too. But first, it takes recognizing that financial and time freedom without significance and impact will leave you empty and lonely. You are here on purpose, and when you show up in that purpose, you’ll realize that you’re the most significant person on the planet – just like everyone else.
I’d love to help you find and embrace true significance, impact, and freedom. Please connect with me and check out my membership for male leaders who are gathered together to find their true purpose and passion in the world. We know we are here to move the needle on humanity, lead others powerfully, and leave our stamp on the world. Please connect here if you’d like to join us on the journey – a brotherhood of the Sacred Stewards.
We’ll be excited to guide you to your fire within.