Christmas 2016 is one that will be remembered for many reasons.
While families around the world gathered to celebrate Christmas lunch, news was quickly spreading of the loss of yet another great musical artist and icon – George Michael.
Mourning the Loss of Yet Another Musical Icon
As someone who had their initiation into the world of nightclubs, dance and new wave music in the 1980’s, the music of Wham and George Michael and other bands of that generation had a tremendous impact on me.
Even last night as I watched a celebration of George’s music courtesy of MTV Unplugged, I was personally moved by his soulful and almost heart inspiring lyrics and melody. Here was a man who was very connected to his work and his craft.
Insights for Living a Life of Greatness
So regardless whether you were a fan of George’s music or were aware of the challenges and issues faced in his life, I believe that there are some very powerful lessons to be learned from his life for anyone that is seeking to express their God given gifts, and who wants to live a life of greatness.
In a year where we lost so much great musical talent including the likes of Prince, Leonard Cohen, Glen Frey (The Eagles) and David Bowie, it’s the reason I felt compelled to take a closer look at George’s life and legacy and impact.
Here are just a few of the insights I believe can help other heart-centred and purpose-driven leaders shine their light more brightly in the world.
Insight #1 – We All Have the Capacity to Leave a Legacy
The reality is, that as human beings we are only here for a short while, which is why speaker, author and spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra says refers to it as a ‘little parenthesis in eternity’.
“We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.
This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”
Understanding this makes the concept of ‘leaving a legacy’ even more important for soul-centred visionaries and purpose-driven leaders.
Like Michael Jackson, Elvis, John Lennon and Prince, the music of George Michael will continue to play on and touch souls well into the future. Generations of babies that have not even been born will at some time awaken to hear and be moved by Jesus to a Child, Freedom 90 and Father Figure.
But leaving a legacy is not something that should only be reserved for those with musical or creative talent. Right now within each and every one of us we have the capacity to create and make a lasting difference that can continue on forever even when we are gone.
Whether it’s a donation to a homeless shelter, the sponsoring of a child in a developing country, the contribution towards a community garden or project, writing the book that you have always wanted to write or simply creating a business or course, each of these creative endeavours can be a seed that continues to serve people even after we are gone.
Questions for Reflection:
- So, what is your legacy going to be?
- How can your gift or genius continue to touch and impact lives even after you are gone?
Insight #2 – Making a Bigger Difference
What drives people who are successful to even greater levels of service and contribution?
In the days following George’s passing the newspapers were filled with stories of how the star had contributed so much through charities, to his community and to those who were most in need. In fact there was the proposition that millions of pounds had been donated over many years to such causes by Michael. What a tribute to someone’s life that their character of service and leadership would be brought to the forefront after their passing.
While we all may not have the financial blessing of someone like George, the reality is that when we focus on higher-order goals (those that go beyond the mere accumulation of material assets, or those that only serve to make ourselves look better) and instead put our energy on goals that serve others, serve the world and serve the greater good that providence seems to move more aptly and swiftly.
In fact research and dynamic muscle testing through Kinesiology shows that when your goals are infused and aligned with a higher sense of purpose (serving others and serving the greater good) that the energy and intensity of their ability to manifest and be realised is dramatically increased.
Questions for Reflection
- Where can you begin to serve in even greater ways?
- What’s the burning cause that will fuel you to become more, contribute more and serve more over people?
- How can you begin to align your highest intentions with a greater sense of cause and purpose?
Insight # 3 – Living Your Greatness Requires Courage
While it still may be one of George’s most somber lyrics that looked deeply into the heart of the wounded nature of humanity, Praying for Time spent almost 10 weeks on the Billboard Top 40 in August 1990.
And it’s hard to love, there’s so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it’s much too late
Well maybe we should all be praying for time
If there is one resource that is most precious it is our remaining time on this Earth, and there is nothing like the passing of a loved one to remind us just how valuable that time is.
In her great book The Five Regrets of the Dying, Australian palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware defined the key regrets that her cancer patients shared with her in the last weeks and months of their lives.
- I wish I had the courage to be true to myself.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
- I wish I had the courage to express my true feelings
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
- I wish I had let myself be happier
It’s easy to understand and appreciate these 5 Regrets in hindsight, and just like George Michael we have probably all come to a place at some time in our lives where we felt a sense of hopelessness.
Yet our prayer should not just be for more time, but should also be for
the courage, strength and belief to follow our dreams and to realise our highest intentions.
It always reminds me of this poem entitled ‘Courage’ by C.N. Audrilay that graced my path last year while speaking at one of the spiritual churches in the country.
I need courage to walk the road of life,
While fear, clouds my head with doubt,
As I make my way to leave my mark,
Before my time on earth runs out.
For an old man once told me,
If success you want to find,
The clouds of doubt that bar your way
Are illusions of your mind.
Your failures are your stepping stones,
That pave your way ahead,
It takes courage to walk along the road,
Where the faint-hearted never tread.
When Morgan Freeman was asked why he decided to make a film so focused on death after the release of the movie The Bucket List, he responded by saying that “It was not a film about death, it was in fact a film about living fully.”
Every moment we are alive we are being reminded of the precious gift of this moment. Committing our lives to living fully and vibrantly in every way is by far the greatest decision we can make.
While crafting a life of significance takes courage, faith and vision, it is in the moments that we take those steps along the road where the ‘faint-hearted never tread’ that provide us with the greatest sense of accomplishment, peace and fulfilment.
Questions for Reflection
- Where do you need to embrace greater courage in your life?
- Where have I given up hope?
- How can I restore faith in my ability to craft and create the life I truly desire?
Vale George Michael
While the world may have lost a another great artist in George Michael, we are all the richer for the legacy of music and connection that he provided all of us.
To this day royalties from his songs Last Christmas and Jesus to Child continue to be donated to worthy charities.
Rest in peace George, and may your essence, compassion and generosity continue to mark the life of one who chose to experience and shine their greatest light in the world for all to see and be blessed by.
Les Price is a transformational coach, author, speaker and intuitive who helps aspiring individudals, heart-centred business owners and purpose-driven leaders connect more deeply with their purpose, lead with their hearts and awaken their greatest potential. Visit our website to discover more about our range of coaching services, transformational programs and breakthrough sessions, or contact our office to organise your obligation-free transformation discovery session.