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This year, 2013, has been very difficult for our family. Without getting into all the details, some major life events all occurred simultaneously to test our family in 2013.
First, my mother was admitted into hospital in January and then to a nursing home in February because she was in massive pain from her hip replacement in November last year and an undiagnosed fractured spine. My parents have lived with our family for several years now as my spouse and I wanted to monitor their declining health while giving my parents the opportunity to enjoy our children and watch them grow up.
In the Spring, my health issues began with Pnuemonia that took me out of commission for 6 weeks. Shortly thereafter, I came down with severe pnuemonia again and was admitted to hospital. At the hospital, it was discovered that the underlying cause of my pnuemonia was Luekemia, or Cancer, and I stayed in the hospital for most of this fall in critical condition as the Doctors treated my Pnuemonia and Cancer, including receiving chemo therapy.
I was sent home in late October from the hospital, while still having pnuemonia and no immune system, so that I can recuperate in a comfortable environment while my body rebuilds my immune system. Luckily, from my latest blood work, it seems like my cancer is in remission, something to be very grateful for as the Holiday Season approaches.
A few days after I entered the hospital in critical condition, my mother passed away. As my mother lived a very giving and caring life, and was approaching her 88th Birthday, I am sure that she decided that she should be in Heaven, when she heard about my cancer, so that she could advocate on my behalf for my quick recovery. The most difficult thing that I have experienced in my life to date was not being by her side those last moments or even being able to attend her funeral. Worse yet, because my body was in critical condition, I was not able to properly grieve her loss so I have a pent up sadness within me. I really miss you mom and I hope that you enjoy your first Christmas in Heaven. Thank you for everything that you did for me and my family. I love you with all my heart.
Many other things happened in 2013 on a personal and financial side, which also negatively impacted our family (as the old saying goes “when it rains, it pours”) but I think you get the picture that 2013 was a very challenging year for us so I will not dwell on these problems any longer.
While I have been recovering, I have been given the opportunity to rethink life. Today, I would like to share with you my views on the five stages of our life journey as we move from success to significance.
1) Dependence – When we are born, and through our young adult years, we move through various stages of declining dependence. At this stage, we begin to develop our personalities, our life views, attitudes, and beliefs. However, since our brain’s decision making center is the last part of our body to develop, many of our thoughts are influenced by our parents, siblings, relatives, friends, teachers, peers, pastors, the media, and our communities. I call this stage the “Foundation Phase.” Nevertheless, when we are young adults, we often enter the next stage of our life journey with lots of confidence since our limited perceptions of the world seem so real.
2) Independence – As we begin our adult years, and life challenges our thoughts, each of us start to differentiate ourselves from others. At this stage in our lives, success becomes an important factor, whether that success comes from finding work, finding a spouse, beginning a family, buying your first home or car, career advancement, starting a business, accumulating wealth, etc. Therefore, we can call this stage the “Success Phase.”
In my mind, success is nothing more than our desire to take action in implementing our thoughts into the world and seeing the results. Whether your results are positive or negative does not impact your success. You win simply by taking action and having an impact on the world around you. It is true that failure may affect your financial success or social status in the short term but money and status should never be your true measures of whether or not you are ultimately successful – think of Mother Teresa. Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, and many entrepreneurs who failed before becoming so called overnight successes, etc. Unfortunately, in our materialistic world, society has elevated financial wealth to being the prime indicator of success. Personally, I think this is very sad since love and wisdom should never be relegated to secondary roles in life since the world will be a much better place when we have loving, wise, and caring people making a difference in the daily lives of others.
In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol movie, starring George C. Scott as Scrooge, we learn this important life lesson when Scrooge tells Marley’s ghost, “But you were always a good man of business, Jacob.” Upon which Marley’s ghost cries out in anguish:
Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!
3) Interdependence – At this stage of our life journey, we begin to realize that to make a real difference in the world, we must collaborate with others to implement our bigger vision of life. I call this stage “discovering your meaning and life purpose phase.” We begin this process by moving from our own personal goals to collaborating with others to achieve a greater cause. This will attract like minded people around you so that you can have a greater impact in the world – moving from Me to We.
4) Convergence – At this stage on your journey, you realize that aligning your limited time, talents, and treasures with others towards a common mission will have the greatest impact in the world while you are alive. It becomes obvious that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Everyone in your network supports each other to achieve the greater good based upon their unique abilities, regardless of any financial wealth differences within the group. At this stage, you are moving from Me to We to One Common Mission. I call this stage in the journey ”moving from success to significance.”
5) Transference – In the final stage of our life journey, we begin to realize that each of our lives really do have meaning and will impact future generations. Therefore, we begin to focus on the “Legacy Phase.” It is our deepest desire to share our life story, and our values, with our loved ones and with future generations. Some people expand this sharing of what is important in life with others as well – the true prophets of our time.
What is interesting about these 5 stages in our life journey is that no stage is dependent on money or chronological age (other than being a baby or toddler). Also, as you enter each new stage, you will learn more about yourself and better understand life, so that you will become the best version of yourself. Another interesting distinction to be aware of is that although this new version of yourself will allow you to communicate with anyone at a lower stage, it is very difficult for someone at a lower stage to truly understand who you are becoming as you move to higher stages in your life journey. This lack of understanding by others, even loved ones, should not discourage you on your life journey because it is up to you to make your life a masterpiece.
Finally, many people go through life staying within a particular stage simply because they are entrapped in the comforts of that phase. Other people will dabble with the various phases but prefer to spend their lives mostly in the stage where they are most successful. It is only late in life that people, who have not moved along the 5 stages, regret what they could have become in life (more than a career, more than being rich, more than living in a small corner of the world, more than their limiting beliefs, etc.)
As the Holiday season approaches, I wish you all the best on your journey from success to significance. I also want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I no longer say these words to you as a nice gesture but from my heart since I was not certain that I would even be here to enjoy this holiday season with you.
CEO, Lugen Family Office Inc.
Exclusive Billionaires Resort Fully Booked Way Ahead Of The Festive Season
Published on Nov 12, 2013
Tourism in Kilifi county has landed a major boost after Italian billionaire Flavio Briatore announced named exclusive billionaires resort will open its doors mid next month. The resort is the latest high end tourists facility along the pristine Malindi coastline and is already fully booked for the december holiday season.
Luxury sail Yacht club for the rich
Five Tips for a Happy Family Vacation
Bruce Feiler, author of “The Secrets of Happy Families,” gives his top five tips to improve your family vacation this summer.
Happy Fourth of July
All Work and No Play: Lenny St Jean
Lenny St Jean, of More Training Solutions, is a deeply experienced youth worker and trainer based in Lancaster. He has for a number of year been heavily involved with Lancaster University: Delivering outreach activity, training volunteers and running various events to empower and develop our student officers. Lenny strongly believes that to learn you must first enjoy and engage with an activity. This is reflected in his energetic, thoughtful and creative delivery. Lenny will be taking to the stage to talk about why we abandon ‘learning through play’ when we get “too old” for it and how beneficial it is for us to carry on exploring our environment and learning from playing.
In Memory, gratitude and appreciation for those who gave all for our freedom!