Is there a word you hear often that you don’t know the definition of? Maybe you loosely know what it means, but when honest with yourself you really have no idea. This word for me was Heretic.
No, I wasn’t totally in the dark – I knew it was something “bad”. I finally looked it up and dictionary.com told me it meant – “anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.”
This was me. I was a heretic. Now, the main undertones of this word do have religious connections – my use of the term is outside of any religious believes – unless “keeping up with the Jones’s” is a religion.
I seem to have the crazy notion there is more to life than piling up money and buying things. I believe in the value of investing in ourselves by learning and working toward our highest goals to achieve something truly spectacular -even if this “something spectacular” doesn’t monetarily pay out.
I have tried to convey this idea to others, but nobody seems to get it.
“You want to work less and earn less money to do what?” or “Do you think that will make money?” – Is money the only reward out there and the only way to evaluate an idea? What about personal fulfillment, happiness, and purpose?
Now I like money. I want to earn as much as I can. But I believe after a certain point (enough to live on) it loses some of it’s importance. Once we hit this marker what’s stopping us from changing our focus to something else important?
“But you have so much potential”, I’m told. Does this mean that if potential isn’t used to make money its wasted?
I’m a heretic – I would rather consciously earn less money and work toward what is important to me than simply make more money.
I’m a heretic – I would choose NOT to automatically upgrade my house because I can afford it, but instead take more time off to spend with my children.
I’m a heretic – I rate my personal success on a scale that isn’t measured by my bank account.
At the end of the day a heretic is only crazy until they succeed. When starting off many successful people seemed out of sync with everyone else, but it wasn’t until they accomplish something amazing that people started changing their tunes – “Maybe he wasn’t that crazy after all”.
So there lies the issue – we are working hard to carry out our goals. We are taking risks and spending time that could be spent doing other “normal” things – watching tv, hanging out, or playing on our phones. Know your efforts will continue to be questioned until your progress can start to be seen by others.
Hang in there, keep working, keep moving forward and soon your critics will start to change their tunes.
And at that point you’ll no longer be a heretic.