Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at email@example.com. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
I recently re-read the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The book is a metaphor for one of the most important journeys of life – finding and pursuing your highest purpose. It is written as sort of a fable of a shepherd boy who leaves behind the trappings of comfort and what he knows to pursue a dream, his dream, to find a treasure. He goes through many twists and turns, challenges, and has to overcome internal strife and the urge to quit and delay gratification many times to make it through the journey. In the book, this journey is called realizing your personal legend.
What I love about it, is that #1, the book is very accurate about this journey in life and #2, it presents great wisdom and lessons that are needed in life.
Let me share what I mean with some quotes from the book.
“Dreams are the language of God.” How true. When we dream (not so much the dreams of sleep), but when we dream of pursuing something great. Something seemingly beyond our capacity and even comprehension. When we have that vision and it keeps coming back to us in our lives, I believe that is one way that God speaks to us and shows us what is possible for us. And sadly, most do not listen. How many never realize their true potential and possibilities simply because they did not act on their dreams.
“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So, it’s better to listen to what it has to say.” If you think deeply about this quote – it is about that voice inside you that is telling you what you know you need to do. Our heart and soul will guide us if we desire something enough and steer us in the right path if we are willing to truly listen to it. And same as with the last quote, sadly many do not listen. They do not listen because of fear. They do not follow their dreams because of fear. They are afraid of failing and possibly losing what they have. In fact, in the story, the shepherd boy loses everything he has multiple times and each time he is faced with a choice to give up and quit or accept something less than his dream. And each time, his heart tells him he must keep going and because he keeps pursuing his dream and listening to his heart, his soul, and the language of God, the next quote happens.
And that is “When you want something, all of the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Hannah as you go through life, you will understand this more, but when you truly desire something that is good and true, it is amazing at how the universe opens up ways for you to get it. What you focus on truly does expand in your life. And God told us this in the bible in Proverbs where it says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Listen to your heart and pursue your dream and you can and will get it. You will have to overcome many things in your way, especially fear, but if you keep pursuing and resolve to not give up, even if setbacks take you off track for a while, you will get there. In fact, the shepherd boy after one of the times losing all of his money, works for an entire year in little store in a town, in a foreign land, where he was a stranger and did not even speak the language - all in order to get back on his feet. And in doing so, he helped make the store more profitable than ever, making himself more money than he had lost, and learns many valuable lessons that he uses down the road to reach his treasure and fulfill his personal legend.
Speaking of personal legends, the next quote I want to share from the book is “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.” I agree with this in principle but would add that to “realize one’s destiny in the context of serving God and being right and true by his word is our obligation.” But the point is the same. We all have a great purpose in this world from the God that created us, and we need to fulfill it. In fact, another quote from the book states, “No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.” The world is a huge place, and it can feel like each of us are just there, but everything we do has an impact and when we pursue our dream guided by our heart in a good and true way, we play our central role in the history of the world and become that which we were created to be.
Lastly, another theme that is quoted throughout the book is “Maktub, it is written.” This quote references that everything that happens, happens for a reason and is pre-ordained or written by God. Every choice we make, every decision happens because it is supposed to in the grand context of the universe. We may never understand it all or why, especially when bad things happen to us, but that is a question that only God can answer and someday when you meet God, he will. The lesson from this for me is to trust in God and trust in the bigger picture. And I have seen this throughout my life. The story of finding you and us becoming a family is a great example of this. Everything that had to happen for us to become a family had to happen exactly as it did, good, bad, and everything in-between. It was a journey, a dream of all of ours that was just and true that we pursued until we fulfilled it together.
Hannah, there are many more lessons, but if you can understand that you must listen to your heart and God’s voice in your biggest desires and dreams, and then pursue them because they are good and true to the end; the universe will help you realize them and fulfill your personal legend, or legends, because Maktub, it is written. It is your obligation to realize your destiny and play your central role in the history of the world. I know you will and cannot wait to watch you do so!
I love you,
Best Quote: To realize one’s destiny in the context of serving God and being right and true by his word is our obligation
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