Recently an article in the Globe and Mail caught my attention. Martin’s New Mission talked about how in his time, Former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin was very successful in business, a wonderful Minister of Finance and to the voting majority a questionable Prime Minister. It said that Martin said he had never liked politics and that when he was a young lad he had had an opportunity to see first hand, the life circumstances of Canadian Aboriginals. That early experience and those memories not only appalled him, they never left him. In his next career he said there will be no business, no boards and no politics. He will focus his energy on the issues of Aboriginals. He will bring his considerable gifts, his life experience and his extensive network to the task.
Regardless of age, a story like this is good for all of us to hear. There is not one of us who has not or will not experience the lows of life and often when we are in the depths of our story we wonder why that experience had to happen to us. When from a distance we look at the story of another, we can see why things happen. Biography always showed how the good and bad of life come together… in an hour. Often we can hear through another’s story, what we couldn’t hear about ourselves. In Martin’s story, it all comes together. The public might have wondered at different times what he was about; this new course of action seems to be the answer for this time.
Coming from a long ago experience that influenced him greatly, he now sets in motion what feels to me like his purpose for being. Is life training each one of us to be ready to do something about some deeply rooted dream or purpose? If we thought about it, could stories like Martin’s Mission or Jimmy Carter’s wonderful Habitat for Humanity make us ask what is it all about? We have a job, it doesn’t work out, we’re fired, we leave, we get transferred to a great job and then get transferred to a lousy one. It could be that the lousy one might be our way through a hell that will take us to a bright future we never even considered. Are we being made ready for the great work of our life? Is it a possibility?
When you have good times, rejoice. But know as we all do, that there has never been a Biography where there weren’t some bad times. If we can accept that it is part of our long term training, perhaps the challenges of today will take on a much needed perspective.
September is a time of new beginning. Consider adding to this beginning a sense of your own story. What chapter are you on and what more will come? Remember, perspective helps make for a more enjoyable read.
Life Vocation Ambassador, World of Work Inc.
Author of Meaningful Work…The Entrepreneurial Way.