It's not often we mere individuals get to do something so significant, so dramatic, that it actually shifts the dial on global change. As Shakespeare said: “Some are born to greatness, some aspire to greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
But here's the thing, it takes such a little effort to be legendary in everything you do, that it's worth choosing that path. Then when greatness comes knocking, or that global dial starts shifting, you fulfill your purpose and make an impact (and pay back all the oxygen debt you've incurred.)
You could fly. Or take a road trip. The road trip might take a couple of days longer, but the experience is 100 fold, 1000 fold than just getting there. In a life of travel, the trips I remember are on motorbikes in foreign countries, crossing oceans on yachts, and yes, commuting as a hitchhiker in my teens and twenties.
This isn't just true for travel, but for every aspect of your life. You could take a corporate job to pay the bills, or join the start-up that changes the world. And when you choose the start-up, choose the legendary one. Not the next mobile payments voucher app, but the one that revolutionises communications, or transport, or food production, or education. Take a look at the latest United Nations Social Development Goals, and do something that turns the dial on one of those.
Yes, you can be legendary in a corporate (or traditional) job too. Have to give a presentation? Be legendary! Don't do the standard 57 “death by bullet point” presentation, do a TED style talk, or an IGNITE, or make it a movie. Build something together with the audience. Use audio, video, games, comedy, story.
Have to fix a broken pipe? Be legendary! Be early, polite, considerate, go an extra mile, clean-up the mess, offer to check the rest of the pipes.
Have to run a meeting? Run it like Bruce Wayne would.
Parenting a child? Be legendary! Go waterskiing, or hiking, or cycling. Learn something new together. Travel, read bedtime stories from your childhood, or your ancestory.
What if you can't? What if your eagle wings cannot spread because of the turkeys you're surrounded by, then leave. Yes, leave. Resign, quit, take the path less travelled. Forego the golden handcuffs of society. Be the best person you can be, not within the constraints, not event in spite of the constraints. Simply change the playing field.
Don't settle for the societal lie. Don't settle for mediocrity. Don't, whatever you do, take the easy choice.
Rather take the hard path. The right choice. Take the yacht of your life out of the harbour and fulfill the potential of your purpose in the doldrums and storms of life. Taste the spices and flavours of the world. Suck the marrow out of life.
“But what if I fall?” O brother (and sister) “What if you FLY??!?”
Listen over a billion people live on less than $1 a day. You have the privilege of having everything you need to affect real change. You have a responsibility.
As Barney Stinson says: “This is going to be legend-wait for it-ary!!”