by Arjun Walia
"To succeed in your professional life
isn't that hard,
succeed in your personal life
is a lot harder.
To really be a
is a lot harder.
We forget about that."
These are the words of
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, director of the film Human, from which the
clip below was taken.
The gentleman in the clip
Dubbed 'the world's poorest president,' he
recently retired after a five year run as the president of Uruguay.
In the 60's and 70's, he
Tupamaros freedom fighter, and was
subsequently detained and put in solitary confinement for 13 years.
After holding several positions within the Uruguayan government, he
eventually became the president of his country, serving from 2010 to
Over the course of his
life he has endured the unimaginable, and he offers us today some
wisdom borne of his incredible experiences.
"I dedicated myself
to the struggle for change, to improve life in my society. And
now, I am the president."
In below video you will
find 6 facts about life and the current human experience that will
definitely have you questioning your role in this world.
Your Time Here is Limited - What Are You Going to Do With Your Life?
"And tomorrow, like
everyone, I'll just be a can of worms, and disappear."
As Gandalf the
Grey from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings
"all we have to
decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
Life is indeed short, and
our time here is limited, so ask yourself, what do you want to do
with the time that has been given to you?
Being born today probably means you're going to spend most of your
childhood in school, most of your adolescence in more school, and
then most of your adulthood at work.
Unfortunately, even after
expending all this effort and sacrificing all this time, many of us
can barely afford a roof over our heads and healthy food on the
We are, for lack of a
'slaves to the
What is truly depressing
about this cycle is that it is entirely unnecessary.
Nothing about our
existence inherently require us to live in this way.
And while we should of
course be grateful for the opportunities we have in life and for
being able to afford basic necessities - a luxury many people do not
enjoy - we should nevertheless continue striving for more - more
freedom, more choice, more autonomy.
Personally, I believe you can create your own life, or at least
create joy in yourself regardless of your circumstances.
I have been
placed in multiple situations that I did not want to be in, but I
chose to accept them and look at them as challenges and
opportunities for growth.
In the meantime, I still
engaged myself in my passions as much as I could. While we cannot
always choose our circumstances, we can always choose our attitude
Do what ignites your soul as much as possible - this is my
If you don't know what
your passion is, start paying closer attention to the way things
make you feel. When you find yourself excited about something, take
note of it, and begin to think of ways to incorporate it into your
daily life. There is always a step you can take, no matter how small
you perceive it to be.
If you have an intention in your heart, whether it is to make the
world a better place or to help other people, that intention alone
can be the starting point of something great, provided you take the
necessary action steps to get there.
So I ask you again,
Doing what you love makes
you feel good, and we need more people on this planet who feel happy
and fulfilled within themselves, radiating that positivity outwards.
I think the biggest takeaway from this is to be grateful for your
life, and take full advantage of this precious gift while you can.
World Isn't Easy
"I dedicated myself
to the struggle for change...
I had many setbacks, many
injuries, some years in prison, anyway… The routine for anyone
setting out to change the world. Miraculously, I'm
And above all, I love life."
If you are on this site
and reading this article, there's a good chance you have within you
the desire to change the world.
I receive emails all the
time from people who want to have a positive impact, but they just
don't seem to know where to begin. In many cases, they don't feel
like they are even capable of having any significant impact on the
This is one thing that I have struggled with and still do; I often
feel like my actions do not matter. I've learned, however, that the
change you effect in this world cannot be measured in dollars and
cents or by Facebook likes and followers. It is not quantifiable in
Your impact is measured
by how you treat others in your everyday life.
If you can operate
from a place of inner peace, if you can be kind to others, and if
you can maintain a desire to help people, you will be well on your
way to making significant planetary change.
It's not an easy process.
Your will is going to be
tested and your buttons are going to be pushed. Most people who wish
to spend their lives changing the world often experience hardships.
These hardships will make you who you are, these hardships are
There is more than one
way to change the world, and if your heart is calling you to a
specific area, you must not be afraid to follow it. You should,
however, be aware that it will not be easy, but also that nothing
worthwhile ever is.
Following your heart
means nourishing your soul.
To Be a Leader
Your Values and Way of Life Have to Reflect that of The Whole
"I stand out because
my values and way of life reflect those of the society to which
I am honored to belong."
This is what a real
president does, and this is representative of a real democracy.
Today, leaders of various
countries do not represent and reflect the values of their society,
but rather serve the corporations and big financial institutions
that pay them.
The corporate control
over government policy and various government initiatives is nearly
absolute at this point and it is truly terrifying.
Current presidential candidate
Bernie Sanders also brought up this
fact in a recent debate with
Hillary Clinton. You can watch it
A real leader represents
their country, not their sponsors.
an Inside Job
"Either you're happy
with very little, free of all that extra luggage, because you
have happiness inside, or you don't get anywhere! I am not
I am advocating sobriety."
This is a common
philosophy here with us.
As yourself, are your
'wants' really your own, or have they been programmed into you via
mass marketing? So many people continue to search for happiness in
material wealth, only to find it and realize that such external
factors can only provide a temporary sense of happiness.
We are constantly
searching outside of ourselves to feel good or to experience joy or
a sense of relaxation. While there are tools out there that can help
you to achieve these states, I believe real joy begins within you.
True happiness is
experienced from a place that has nothing to do with material wealth
or external possessions.
If you are chasing these
things, you can expect the chase to continue for the rest of your
life - or at least until you confront your inner demons.
"But since we have
invented a consumer society, the economy must constantly grow.
If it fails to
increase, it's a tragedy. We have invented a mountain of
superfluous needs. Shopping for new, discarding the old… that's
a waste of our lives!
When I buy something,
when you buy something, you're not paying money for it. You're
paying with the hours of life you had to spend earning that
The difference is
that life is one thing money can't buy."
Have to Be This Way
Today, most of the world's resources are accumulated in the hands of
a very small group of elite, also known as
the '1 percent.'
They own everything, and
the quote below basically explains why this need not be the case.
The world has been overtaken by greed, ego, and a lack of care for
our fellow human being.
We must return to our
hearts if we are to move forward as a race.
"Uruguay is a small
country, and we don't have a presidential jet.
We don't especially
care to have one. From France we decided to buy a very expensive
helicopter, a rescue helicopter with surgical facilities, to
stand by in a remote area.
Instead of buying a presidential jet,
we got a helicopter that will be posted in central Uruguay to
rescue accident victims, and offer ongoing emergency medical
It's so easy! Do you
see a dilemma? A president jet, or a rescue chopper?
Get the point? "
goes on to say:
"It always comes down
to that. It seems to me to be a question of sobriety.
I'm not suggesting we
go back to living in caves or straw huts. Not at all. That's not
the idea. What I do recommend is that we stop wasting resources
on useless things, on luxurious houses that require six servants
We can live much more
modestly. We can spend our resources on things that are really
important for everyone. That's the real meaning of democracy,
the meaning that politicians have lost...
In Germany, they
escorted me with 25 BMW motorcycles, they put me in a
Mercedes-Benz, with doors that weighted 3 tons because of the
What good is any of
It is dismaying, to say
the least, that the money spent on one specific US military program
alone - the building of fighter jets for example - could basically
alleviate world hunger.
That allocation of the
resources on our planet is so ludicrous, I don't really believe I
even need to go into a discussion about it.
"It's not a lack of
resources. It's a lack of governance. Governments are
preoccupied with winning the next election, with who's going to
We fight for power…
and we forget people and world issues. The crisis is not
environmental. It's political."
A Planetary Consensus
is Needed if We Are to Move Forward As a Human Race
"Our civilization has
reached a phase where we need a planetary consensus, and we are
looking away from it.
We are blinded by
chauvinism and by the thirst for domination, especially the most
powerful countries. They should be setting an example! It is
shameful that for 25 years, since the Kyoto Accords, we are
still dragging our feet to take basic measures.
It is shameful. Man
may very well be the only animal capable of self-destruction."
This is something I have
felt for years, which is why I was so thrilled to come across a
platform like ours.
It represents, for me,
that part of humanity that wants to move forward as one human race;
it represents the urgency I feel within my own heart to come
together as a collective and make change happen.
We need to re-birth our
human experience, and in doing so we must inevitably go through
birthing pains. Through this metaphor it becomes clear why we have
such difficulty letting go of the norm and embracing change in our
That being said, having worked in this field for several years now,
I can say with certainty that the planetary consensus is strong and
no doubt growing by the day.
Our potential is truly
remarkable, and we have yet to even comprehend how much we are
capable of achieving.