While on a long distance flight, I had an opportunity to read and reflect about a number of prominent individuals:
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- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- An iconic entertainer who was a household name in the entertainment industry.
- A 67-year-old former world-class athlete who carved out an incredibly successful second career as a general manager for a professional team.
- Another famous American athlete who was revered by colleagues and peers for his athletic prowess.
But the article did not stress their strengths and their accomplishments. The article peered into the souls of these individuals, and each was beset with demons of loneliness, self-doubt, depression and anxiety. Their fire for competition was an attempt to fill a void in their souls that could never be filled by the spotlight or the applause.
They realized early in their careers that glory in the entertainment and sports arenas fades very quickly. None achieved peace in their post-performance years. We can draw a few lessons from their experiences:
- We need to be who we are and to be faithful to our own values and truths.
- We need to recognize that accomplishments and acquisitions are important but can't fill the void that's created when we lack inner peace and serenity.
- We are all, by virtue of our humanity, troubled by the issues of recognition and validation.
May we spend each of our days in peace, comfort, and security.
Nov. 01, 2011