If you say the name Voltaire most people will recognize it. But how much do you know about him?
Did you know his real name wasn’t Voltaire? It was Francois-Maire Arouet. He took on the name Voltaire in 1718 when he started publishing his controversial philosophical works.
He spent almost a year in the Bastille, a Parisian prison due to his critical writings about the French government and church.
In 1726 he was exiled to England where he was exposed to English literature, philosophy and political thought.
One of his biggest influences was John Locke who you may know was also a huge influence on Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.
Voltaire returned to France in 1729 but continued to face challenges because he refused to keep his views on freedom and tolerance to himself.
Today we know Voltaire as a man whose ideas about reason, tolerance and individual freedom helped shape the Enlightenment along with generations of thinkers to come.
Voltaire didn’t have an easy life. But his unwillingness to stay silent helped shape the world we live in today.
Do You Want a Life of Ease or Adventure?
Most people want life to be simple and easy.
They would prefer to let life carry them along like a river. To spend their days reacting to what’s thrown at them.
They want to fit in and get along so they dress like everyone else, talk like everyone else and do what they think society wants them to do.
Get good grades, go to college, get married, buy a house, max out the 401k.
Work hard. Keep your head down. Be respectable and normal.
If you’re a man, never show emotion. Be the rock your family can lean on. Be bold, even ruthless when necessary. Your peers will either respect you or fear you. It doesn’t matter which.
If you’re a woman, always be put together. Never let anyone see your insecurities. Be confident but not ambitious. Have a career, but don’t care too much about it. Remember your first responsibility is as a wife and mother. Always be kind.
Do this and you’ll have an easy life. You’ll never be rich but you’ll be conformable. You’ll never be fulfilled but you’ll find a way to be content with what you have.
But there’s another kind of life. One of service and adventure.
It’s a life where you find your calling and pursue it with reckless abandon. You’ll face opposition and challenges at every turn. People will mock you and shame you. Some will even try to hurt you.
Nothing will be easy. For most of your life, you’ll feel like you’re swimming upstream. “Is it really supposed to be this hard?” You’ll ask. And the worst part is, there’s no guarantee of success.
But in the end, you’ll have a life worth writing about. You’ll know you didn’t waste the days God gave you treading water.
I’ve lived several lives in the last 44 years. I’ve been a Marine, a mercenary, a father and a husband. An entrepreneur, and TV personality, a Sheriff’s Deputy and a bankrupt divorcé.
I have traveled the world and seen both its beauty and its savagery. I know what the crack of a bullet sounds like as it flies past your ear. And I have seen the sun rise and set on the East China Sea.
I have lived an unordinary life. And God willing I’m only halfway done. I don’t know what the future holds but I know I will never choose a life of comfort and ease.
I may die penniless and alone. But it will be a life well lived. I will not waste what I’ve been given by playing it safe. I will make mistakes and have regrets. I’ll know heartbreak and what it means to love and be loved unconditionally.
What kind of life do you want? A life of ease or of adventure?
If it’s the latter, how long will you continue to play it safe? How many more years will you spend blending in and getting along?
Last week was Thanksgiving. In a few short weeks it will be Christmas and before you blink the new year will be here.
Most people will wait to make any changes until after the new year. They’ll create a few resolutions that they’ll break by February. Then they’ll spend another year being carried by the current of life until it’s Thanksgiving again.
If you want your life to be different you need to start now. Not next year, not even tomorrow. Today. Time is a cruel, indiscriminate thief. It will rob you of your life without you realizing it. Do not become its victim.
Find your calling. If you don’t know what it is then start living. Do something today that you’ve never done before. Choose to do hard things. Be bold and uncompromising. Ignore the haters, cast off the loving concerns of family and friends. Live a life you’d be envious of.
Above all else, be the hero of your life’s story.
Until next week,
P.S. If you’re ready to get started building a business that will support and fund the life you want then I’d love to help. Click here to find out more.