When Inspiration Meets Destiny

by Chuck Gallagher

“A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it”. (Jean De La Fontaine)Many people go through life searching for meaning and purpose. Some people don’t think about anything other than what they are doing today, while other folks do nothing but dream. The question that many find hard to answer is, how does what I do today tie into my dreams and destiny? When we get caught up in the toils of everyday life, we often find that our awareness is clouded by daily activities. Perhaps it’s hard to see how what we do can have greater meaning and purpose in life, let alone manifest an outstanding destiny. One thing is for sure; deep down we all want our life to mean something.

It seems that some find destiny early in life, while others find it later. Some are caught up in basic need to survive, while others stumble right in to living their dream. Many early successes are seen in the performing arts. I’m sure at their early age, Paul McCartney or John Lennon had no clue that playing music would leave such a rich legacy. The lyrics to the song, “Imagine” craft such a beautiful concept of where we could be in this world. The Beatles, to some, were just a longhaired group of teens strumming guitars. But their destiny, found early in life, has left us with a rich heritage of music with deep meaning.

Others have found their destiny long after they found success. Oprah Winfrey has always wanted her life to mean something. She has a burning desire to be an inspiration to people and to generously share wealth that has been entrusted to her. As part of that, she has created boys and girls clubs in the town she grew up in, because as a little girl she began dreaming of her own possibilities. Likewise, she has created the Oprah Winfrey Foundations. Ms. Winfrey believes that educational opportunities allow for possibilities to grow. She has given a great deal back to the world and yet, it was when her academy for girls opened in Africa that she felt she met her destiny. Oprah says, “All my adult life I have been searching for a way to give back what I’ve been given. It wasn’t until I fell in love with the beauty and the spirit of people in Africa that the act of giving came full circle for me.” (www.oprah.com). By touching one life it will reproduce itself hundreds of times over. What a wonderful gift to the girls and women of Africa. They are given the opportunity to live the possibilities of their lives through their uplifting and the education they will receive.

Another example of how inspiration meets destiny is the story of Jack Canfield, the speaker and author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Jack states so clearly on the documentary movie, The Secret (www.thesecret.tv) that he discovered through his mentor that he was raised with a very negative viewpoint about money and therefore he, too, had such an attitude. Since we attract what we think about, he was not making money and not allowing his passion in life to develop. He was inspired but, by his own thoughts, getting in the way of his destiny.

He learned that whatever a man can conceive, a man can achieve. He decided that he wanted to earn $100,000 in a year. So, thinking he should apply the principle he learned, he created a $100,000 dollar bill and put it over his bed. This way every morning when he awoke and every evening when he retired he would visualize the money coming to him. To some this may seem hokey…but if more people applied the principle, achieving one’s destiny could manifest more quickly.

One day, while showering, Jack had an inspired thought. He determined that if he sold 400,000 books at $.25 each, he would earn $100,000 that year. The problem was, he didn’t know how that would happen. But the idea made sense – inspiration! The next day, while grocery shopping, the National Enquirer magazine jumped out at him. Perhaps he could market it there…after all, it was widely read.

Shortly thereafter he was giving a talk to teachers. After the talk a woman approached him wanting to interview him. She was a freelance writer for the National Enquirer! The article was published and his books sold. He made almost $100,000 that year. His inspiration met his destiny in the sum of all those events. Jack Canfield’s (www.jackcanfield.com) Chicken Soup for the Soul series has inspired millions to understand that life has meaning at a far deeper level than what we often experience day to day. He has helped many come to understand just how we can achieve rich and meaningful lives showered with success.

For me, inspiration and destiny came in an unsuspecting way. Expecting to succeed and manifesting what I wanted never seemed to be hard. I suppose that I was, what some people call, an unconscious competent. That means, I didn’t know how I did what I did, I just did it. Nonetheless, for years I felt that my inspiration and destiny was to create wealth.

Having grown up in the projects, early on I didn’t know what wealth was, but I knew that it had to be better than what I had, and I wanted it. While others living in the projects saw their life as a dead-end street with no future, I saw where I was as a stepping-stone to something far better. I knew I was capable and after college strove to be “somebody”. Achieving success legitimately required effort, but was not hard. Unfortunately, patience was not one of my strong suits. Therefore, in a moment of temptation, I made an unethical choice and stole money from one of my clients. Every choice has a consequence. The moment we make the choice the consequence is set into motion.

The consequence of that first lapse of ethical judgment and other lapses that followed was Federal prison. It was there, that my destiny was formed and my inspiration was found. Having lost everything, I found, through a simple program that allowed select inmates to speak to youth, that my destiny was to use that experience in a way that could help others see the wisdom of making ethical choices.

Today, I speak about choices, the illusion of success and what it means to truly be “somebody”. With the strong push for success that drives corporate America and the need to gain a competitive advantage for our youth, I find that many, both youth and adult, are confused about ethical choices and success. It seems that the two concepts are at odds and many are confused about how to achieve, what I call, “Ethical Success.” As a Sales Executive in a publicly traded company and a keynote speaker, I share programs on issues concerning ethics, the illusion of success, and achieving inspiration and destiny. While my audience is primarily business groups, the Choices Foundation (a non-profit organization) was created to offer the opportunity for youth to hear the same message. Through this organization, I am able to address college and university students, teaching these principles from personal experience. I find this inspiring and my destiny.

For information on the Choices Foundation (a non-profit organization) and the presentations on ethics given by Chuck Gallagher, contact Chuck at chuck@chuckgallagher.com or visit www.chuckgallagher.com.

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On a crisp October day in 1995, Chuck Gallagher took 23 physical steps… opened a door… and began a new experience that was life-changing. Gallagher explores that experience and the success that followed… while involving the reader in ways that could be life-altering for them. Gallagher captures the heart of the audience in an honest way that deals with human emotion. For information on Chuck’s keynotes and workshops go to www.chuckgallagher.com or for a free ezine on Ethical Choices contact Chuck at chuck@chuckgallagher.com.

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