Rai·son d’ê·tre means the most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence. Does your life have any point to it? Are you committed to anything? An over-arching goal? A consistent theme? What is your Rai·son d’ê·tre?

For myself, a couple related themes:

– The Best I Can Be, I Must Be: Deeply committed to being a Life Long Learner
– To leave the world a better place even if only slightly: i.e. To keep the sidewalk in front of my place clean, take care of my neighbor’s when they are sick or on vacation.

These are principles, simple in some respects, the application thereof can quickly become complex. We radiate our value systems moment by moment in every action, in every word. I want to be a powerful role model, a good man, a just employer, an exemplary citizen, a kind spouse, a loving father, a trustworthy friend, an authentic human being living serenely in the present moment. I am sure I fail daily in these aspirations, my greatest hope is that I “fail forward”, fail every time at a higher level, recognize, grow, and be motivated by every failure.

As I write this, I am at a B&B at an annual retreat of a small group of CEO’s that I’ve meet with 10x a year for 12 years. We gather for reflection, we gather to challenge each other, and in the process to grow closer and better.  The willingness to open oneself up to others, to allow challenge, is essential to growth. The meaning of life is not a question we ask of life, but one life asks of us. Life has whatever meaning you choose to give it. Give it little or nothing, call in your performance, and that is what you will create. Give life your all, your best, day in and day out, and you will be richly blessed.

Closing Quotes:

”In self-exploration we deepen our understanding of others.  He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson  

“To Reach for the Rung Above, you must Release the One Below.” (Growth requires the acceptance of loss as well as gain.)

“If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.” – Saint Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 AD

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier