Memorial Day always makes me thankful, and a little bit ashamed.
I’m thankful for our country, our active military who keeps us safe, and the sacrifice of so many who have protected our freedom for the past two centuries.
And I’m ashamed because I often waste that freedom. I don’t take full advantage of it. Sometimes I even forget how much freedom I really have. There are times I have even complained about my limitations.
LIMITATIONS? Ha! Look around. Even in the worst of times in this country, there is always opportunity and abundance.
Last night I watched the movie, Captain Phillips. Tom Hanks plays a cargo ship captain that is taken over by a small band of Somali pirates. At one point, Captain Phillips asks his captor, “Surely there’s something else you could be doing with your life besides stealing boats and kidnapping people?”
The pirate replies, “Maybe in America. Maybe in America.”
There’s no maybe about it. We’ve got it all: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not the guarantee of happiness, but the freedom to pursue it.
PURSUE. What a great word. It says it’s all up to you, baby. You want it, go get it. Pursue it. Don’t buy a lottery ticket. Don’t wait for an inheritance. Don’t hope somebody recognizes how wonderful you are and gives you the dream job. PURSUE IT.
My friend, Rosemary Nickel, who inspires moms (and at least one dad…me) with her blog and radio show, Motivating Other Moms, posted this comment on Facebook yesterday and I couldn’t agree more:
“As we are celebrating those who gave their lives for our freedom, take the time to remember that their sacrifice gives you the freedom to create what ever life you want. Many Americans sludge through life not taking advantage of that freedom. Many think living a life that they love, creating a life they love, is impossible. That it’s just the way it is. I am here to say…ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.”
I’m not saying you have to quit your job and become an entrepreneur. In fact, in a recent post I shared why I believe most people can be perfectly happy working for someone else. What I am saying is that you have the freedom to create the life you want. YOU HAVE WON THE LOTTERY. You live in the land of opportunity…and most of us didn’t do a darn thing to earn it. It was just handed to us with our birth certificate.
Here’s the truth:
If you’re unhappy, if you hate your job, if you are way over your head in debt, if you don’t have the skills you need to advance in your career, if you haven’t met the man or woman of your dreams, if you haven’t started that business you’ve sketched on a napkin…
You may not be totally responsible for your current situation, but you are 100% responsible for changing it if you want something different. And you live in a country that makes anything possible. People do it every day.
You have unfathomable freedom. It’s the freedom to pursue happiness. It’s the freedom to create the life you want. It’s a freedom that very few people on this planet get to enjoy.
Don’t waste it.