“You can’t do everything but you can do something!” ― Jeff Dixon
Those who can must!
It’s a simple philosophy, but profound, as many simple philosophies are. It came to me while musing on the world and life in general when, as a teenager, I was driving a tractor and plough in seemingly endless circles on the night shift, preparing a seed bed for planting. Deep in the night, alone with my thoughts, it resonated. Forty years later, it’s still my guiding principle. #Those who can must!
Why is it that “those who can must”?
“Those who can must” is more than a one liner. It is possibly the most powerful philosophy of all. Why is it so important that we do all we can? What does it mean? Let’s look at the first part – “those who can”.
Those who can what?
Why is it that we have skilled crafts people? Artists, architects, builders, mechanics, pilots, plumbers, lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs; each of these is a skill-set in their own right. If a person has one of these skill sets, why is it so critical that they be the best they can at it?
Look at what “being your best” can mean.
You’re a mechanic. What difference does that make, whether you are “your best” or not? After all, you’re just servicing family cars. EXACTLY! The young mother who brings the family’s second car in for you to maintain, because the lousy, cheap skate husband has the good car with the good tyres on to drive to his work, leaving mother with the old car to transport the precious cargo of children to and from school! (Yes ladies, this is a global problem – show your husband this blog and let him have both barrels!) If you are an average mechanic, you’ll pop the hood, change the oil, check the water and let it go. If you are an excellent mechanic, being your best, you’ll be aware of the valuable cargo this vehicle carries, children – our future population – and take a closer look at the tyres, brakes, steering, suspension and even the seatbelt fittings. Because you know that when it rains again, your workmanship could be the difference between this little car spinning out of control and putting those lives at risk, or not!
What about being a pilot? You became a pilot perhaps because you loved flying and decided to make a career out of it. Now, you fly commercially and may have anywhere from 5 to 500 passenger lives under your control on any flight. Only this year, we have seen two Malaysian jet air liners crash, taking nearly 300 lives each time. It‘s obvious there is a huge responsibility on airline pilots to be the best they can. Yet in the news yesterday we saw a report of an Indian pilot snoozing while in command, and the co-pilot playing on an iPad and didn’t notice that the jet had dropped 5,000 feet and put it on a collision course with other aircraft! A mid-air collision could have killed 500 people in the air and who knows how many hundreds more on the ground!
Why be the best pilot you can, even more than just staying awake? Because sometimes being the best means you could retrieve an impossible situation such as the pilot who landed a US Airways Airbus with 155 passengers on the Hudson River after a bird strike killed the engines and forcing the landing. This incredibly skilled pilot landed the huge plane on the river without loss of life and you can bet he wasn’t looking at his iPad at the time! Every second of his life’s experiences was with him, and came into play as he settled that jet airliner onto the river near the rescue boats and saved every life!
OK, so you’re not an airline pilot, you’re just a local railway worker. How important could it be, to be your best in a railway yard? If you haven’t seen it, look for the movie “Unstoppable” starring Denzel Washington. It’s about a heavily laden freight train that becomes a runaway, speeding into a heavily populated area with a very dangerous turn in the tracks, after a slack train driver is too casual about changing tracks and lets the train get away from him. Denzel’s character in real life – the film is based on an actual drama in Ohio – uses skill and imagination to find a way to stop the runaway train and avert the catastrophe that could have happened.
Everyone has something that they CAN do, but why is it that they MUST do it?
Everyone also has something they are hopeless at! It would be a wasted life if we spent it trying to do something we would continually fail at. Wasting our lives, wasting our energy, when there is someone else who is great at exactly that job we are failing at, and we are depriving them of the job they love! We have skills so that we CAN use them, for the good of our family, our community and the world in general. Imagine if Einstein continued being a children’s tutor, then a clerk all his life, instead of following his brilliance and passion into the fields of Science where he contributed so much to the world and humanity in general! He followed the ethos of “those who can must” brilliantly, and changed the way the world saw itself. He changed the future, changed the lives of you and I, a hundred years ago.
When you and I follow the ethos of “Those who can must” we follow our passion and our skills into living and create lives that only WE can live. We are each unique and using our unique talents and abilities and fuelled by our passions, we can make differences like this too. Only WE can live OUR LIVES!
“Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing.” ― William Shakespeare
Does “Those who can Must” apply to everyone? Who does this apply to?
This is for you and for me. Everyone can do something to contribute. Therefore, everyone must, if we are to make this world better for our children to follow on from us, to take our batons for the next leg of the Human Race.
Yes, that means you and me.
“You are responsible for doing what good you can with what you have, and any good is better than none.” ― Bryant McGill
But if you think, “I’m just a stay at home Mum”, then remember that this also applied to the parents of children such as Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and so many more parents we never hear about. We only hear about the achievements of their children.
Maybe a police officer who notices someone loitering and feels the energy of a crime in the making apprehends them, and prevents who knows how many muggings, rapes, assaults and robberies. Perhaps they also prevent the loiterer from continuing in their dark world any further; perhaps enabling redemption from a possibly wasted life to a life well lived.
The writer who creates fictional novels, wonders how “those who can must” applies to them. Think of Wilbur Smith. Besides giving joy, peace and relaxation to millions of readers, how many people have been inspired by his writing to contribute to the conservation of the endangered ecosystems of Africa, where poaching has all but decimated the populations of elephants, rhino, lions and many other species. His writing has brought the plight of these ecosystems and many others globally to public awareness, far beyond anything he ever thought about when he first put pen to paper. How many other aspiring writers has he inspired to follow their dreams and passion to also become published authors, and reach out to millions more around the globe with their own messages of hope and inspiration?
Even the lowly blogger – if your writing changes or influences the life of just one other person and puts them back on track, then you have done your part. You don’t need to be a global superstar; one life saved is well worthwhile!
Being an unsung hero may be our life’s calling, following our passion into whatever we do. We may never know the magic we create downstream from the effects we have on the lives of the people with whom we interact, but there is no doubt the magic is there, as long as we do our part, as long as those who can must, and then do!
“Those who can must”, demands that we seek and follow our passion and skills, so that we can provide for our families, enrich our communities and make our world a better place for those who follow us! Whilst it seems huge when you examine it like this, all it really means is that we be the best we can, at whatever it is we are good at. If you don’t know what that is yet, then perhaps look at the Business Profits Program, where your skills, abilities and passions are explored for you to find your life’s calling. Perhaps you will uncover your passion and your calling there, to enable you to do what you must.
If you know what your passion is but are having trouble finding the time, discipline or motivation to follow it, then Life Change 90 is for you. Putting a structure into your day, infusing it with the inspiration, motivation and congratulations that make a day both worthwhile and enjoyable, is what you need to create positive habits that will stay with you for your lifetime.
Perhaps all you need to do is to pass the message on so that someone else can find and follow their passion. If you know someone who is searching, looking for a way to put meaning into their life, who is a square peg in a round hole at the moment, this may be your way to help them. Pass the message on; let them have the opportunity to decide, with new information, where they want their life to go. It only takes one to make it worthwhile!
Til next time, fair winds and full sails,
PS: We watched “Unstoppable” again this evening, on DVD. It’s one heck of a ride – treat yourself to watching it soon, to see what a difference a person can make when the chips are down! Those who can must watch this movie!
“If your life is a miserable disaster, you might want to consider, that it’s because you are doing something wrong.” ― Bryant McGill
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