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Monday, July 4, 2011

#TR30 Days - Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness.

Whenever I'm catching up with anyone, that's what I ask about.. "How's life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?" Of course, very few people really address the 'liberty' part of that question because the "truths that we hold self-evident" when it comes to freedom are now just somewhat taken for granted.  We see them as an 'inalienable right' but I'm not sure we have any real idea what the responsibility we have to it anymore when it comes to the practical implementation IN our lives.

Life.  Liberty. Responsibility.

That's right - responsibility.  We have a responsibility to ourselves, our fellow family/friends/coworkers/relationships/citizens to make our lives count - life?  It's transitory and each moment is an opportunity that we don't get back. For so many of us, we are fully focused on what we expect from life.  Today, I renew my focus on my responsibility to what life expects from ME.  For anyone else that thinks they might benefit from the same perspective shift?  Feel free to join in. :)  Thanks, in part, to our Founding Fathers?  I don't have to worry about having my ability to make a life - it's protected with our justice system, I can make a living, I have the assurance of being treated equally to everyone else, I can love whomever I want (1)... I think I've been a little careless & have been guilty of taking these 'life liberties' for granted.  Honestly, I think we all do now & again.   Even today, much of the world doesn't have these rights that we're so used to enjoying that we forget they're there.  But, since we in the U.S. do, we can subordinate our self-interest in service of tapping into a potential to impacting the lives of those around us - because we have the capacity to make an impact that is so much more profound & real than what we often allow ourselves to know.  To me, that's a real 'firecracker moment' right there. :)

Over the last few weeks, I've been almost myopically focused on people that have shifted their focus from self-interest to 'selfless-interest.'  They've really focused on the responsibility they have to their lives & liberty in their communities. (2) And as such?  There's been some downright AMAZING change they're been able to affect in a reach that probably far surpasses what they first imagined they could.  They didn't 'sacrifice' their lives, interests, or relationships to do it, either... they connected their service to all of those things.  Instead of just passing time boozing it up in a bar with buddies or looking only to how they could improve their own little homesteads with their neighbor(s)? They outreach, making a difference WITH their friends, coworkers, and companies.  They're bringing us things like #ConnectedCapitalism, #NoKidHungry,  #TR30Days, Itstartswithus.us, lovedrop.us, #livestrong and dozens of other really cool examples.  They have a blast AND make the world a better place while doing it.  A few examples of the people involved in these movements - if you wanted to look at what those lives might look like?  @SexyThinker @ItStartsWithUs @Ty_Sullivan @CultureDude @LanceArmstrong @speaktothegeek  - Thanks for challenging the framework of my perspectives on 'the good life' without even knowing it.  And to my fellow #TR30Days Tribe Members?  You guys inspire EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. to push farther, harder, and to not give up.  Thanks for that.

I'll say this... Those people?  This movement of 'subordinated self-interest for the greater good?' It's redefined the way I look at life & liberty...  And mostly, what that means in the pursuit of happiness.  A few weeks back I wrote about how we will trade contentedness in for misery on our "pursuit of happyness" in our personal relationships (3) - but I'm realizing it's a whole lot bigger than just that.  More on that next time... Happy 4th, Y'all; here's hoping we all take a few minutes today to think about what we're doing to pursue the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that we were given the right to so many years ago. (4)

(1) that wants to love me back, I guess; as I'm not a Single White Female kinda gal. ;p
(2) online, physical community, and also business community/industry - not just talking in their little Mayberry towns, folks!
(3) Being Content & How it Makes Me Feel When.. What?!
(4) And in yet another example of the United States' #educationalfail?  40-something percent of people in the United States Do.Not.Know. that the Colonies declared intentions for Independence in 1776.  28%? Don't know that that declaration - was made To.The.British.  Seriously, folks?? #FAIL  - Here's more Fun Fourth Facts, courtesy of Fox News. :)

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