I came across this quote by the former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court when in law school. It had a profound effect on me.
I thought I got it. And perhaps I did to the fullest extent my truth allowed me at that time.
I started law school the same year my mom died. Every so often this quote would grab me… and I responded with a quick rationalization that I was putting some pretty good music out into the world. I served as Senior Articles Editor of the Iowa Law Review, graduated with high distinction, and went on to serve as a federal law clerk to the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Then, in fairly short order, I lost other family members, including my 3-year-old niece to brain cancer.
These losses shifted me to a “life’s short” realization … and a greater discernment of my core values. I moved beyond law to psychology with the intention of teaching others to use more of their potential.
This took my music playing to a whole new level. Graduate school lit a passion within to share my research and tools with others.
An exciting career in performance psychology followed. I began working with lower level athletic teams and worked my way up to the elites. My clientele included Division I teams, world competitors, and Olympians. My work caught the eye of top business performers and they began to pay handsomely for my expertise.
With the release of two business books in 2007 and 2008, my consulting practice and speaking platform quickly grew. One of my favorite parts of this experience was helping create ripple effects of success. Seeing the impact of working with high performers trickle down to others gave me great joy. I convinced myself that I was playing my best music.
I really thought I got it.
But a deeper part of me knew. I had started in this field as a way to help more people, and I was limiting my attention to elite performers with a higher and higher price tag. It made great sense as a business model. It made less sense to a soul that housed a fuller calling to help more people.
My life and business came to a screeching halt in 2008 when a virus attacked my heart, causing inflammation and a serious condition that required bed rest. This virus was followed with a one-two ninja punch by another virus that targeted my neurological system. It affected my ability to walk and to talk. I temporarily lost my vision as my world went gray.
The illness was a gift (no, this is not what I was saying to myself the first week or even months). It was only as I surrendered and settled into the illness…and into the stillness…and listened to the fullness of the symphony inside that I came to appreciate the gift.
“Help more people. You have been given so much. You have great knowledge. Share. There are so many people wanting to do better and they have no one to show them. Reach out to others who have a passion to help and build a team to serve others. Make a difference.”
And I heard one simple message more clearly than any other… “Help the children.”
Best Life Design was born as I laid in bed long before this website came into being. Making this decision – saying yes to the invitation I heard within – was a turning point in my healing.
My life’s music now sings of your potential. Each of you who finds your way to Best Life Design.
Yes – YOU!
You have within you the seeds of greatness. You have within you your own music that is calling to be set free. You have a responsibility to find it and share it with the world. The world needs what only YOU can give…right now, in this time and this place.
No more excuses. No more looking outside of yourself for the answers you have within.
This is a safe, supportive, guru-free zone. Yes, our team of Best Life Design contributors brings years of experience and education. They bring tools, and wisdom, and a burning passion to help others.
But the reality is this…you are the expert in your own life.
We can guide you, provide information, and ask essential questions…but the answers reside within you. Only you can do the work of writing the life symphony that you are being called to write.
Perhaps you’re at a point that you can’t even hear the music within you…but you will. One precious note at a time, you can discover your true voice and sing your song fully and completely.
Your music is waiting. Do not die with it in you.
My music, I’ve discovered, is a servant’s song. You will hear bass tones rich with the wisdom of early philosophers. Notes soar to the highest callings of the law and crescendo with insights of the psyche. The tender heartstrings of a mother may bring you to tears.
My music is also a student’s song. It took nearly dying to “get it.” A new beginning. Only in a commitment to design our best life do we begin to see how much we have yet to learn and grow and share.
I am committed to playing my music more and more authentically and fully and passionately…until my dying day.
In the words of Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”
Are you ready to come along on this journey to share your brilliance with the world in a way that strengthens it and fuels you? Please do. We welcome you.
Play your unique song of beauty that will touch the hearts of those who hear it.
As for the children? It took me a while to figure that one out. And when I did, it made perfect sense. (A nod of gratitude to my friend, Frank McKinney, who gave me an essential piece of guidance.)
My highest career calling is helping top performers create even greater success and positive ripples of impact. When I flip over this coin, I see the children… low advantaged kids who need these tools the most and get them the least. So many kids who have no one in their life to reflect back to them the beauty and brilliance they carry within.
Best Life Design’s greatest mission to make a difference for these children. Ten percent of all profits go to fund this mission. We may develop our own nonprofit down the road. For now, our current international partners include Caring House Project and domestic partners include Children of Promise. Last year, our efforts raised $25,000 to help the children – and we’re just getting started!
We appreciate you sharing this journey with us.