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At age 16 Sacagawea helped the Lewis & Clark Expedition at a pivotal point on their journey. And, she carried her baby most of the way.
Ann Frank got a journal around 14 years old and wrote in it for two years. It just happened to be the two years that her family was in hiding from the Nazis.
Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King Jr. knew as young children that they had a purpose to pursue in life and that purpose involved helping people.
Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein (and his first wife) were full of ideas, theories, and experimenting.
Abraham Lincoln was a voracious reader, despite his lack of schooling, and was able to increase his influence from small town debate stages in Illinois to the Office of the President at a crucial time in the history of the United States.
Harriet Tubman never read, but her ability to strategize, lead, and live a life filled with faith in possibilities gave others courage and strength to fight in another way for the same freedoms Lincoln was seeking.
These are only a few of the people I’ve been reading about this week from a series of children’s books sharing about the lives of influential people.
Most of these people weren’t educated by the “you should go to school and get a college degree” standard. Most never retired. They gave their entire lives to a purpose. Some died young (Anne Frank, Sacagawea) and others lived into their 80s.
Each purpose helped people, but in unique and different ways.
They offered up their best work in the way that only they could.
Are you finding and offering up yours?
Episode 122 Show Notes
Episode 122 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark Episode 122 offering up your best work. This podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? Yeah. Mm hmm. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world anne frank in the United States. A lot of us grow up with a very long list of should should on how the world should be, how your life should go And we see examples all around us that kind of reinforce that. So some of the sugars that I hear all the time are, We should be able to grow up in a house. That’s an American dream. And when kids are growing up, they need to be to school on time. It’s great if they never miss a day and if they’re involved in sports or in extracurriculars and it’s very normal for parents to be a two income household and to be taking kids around to preschools and to daycares and to schools and to have a busy schedule of things taking place. It’s very normal to expect your child to do well in school and to not just do pretty well, but to excel take advanced classes and tried lots of different sports and try to do their best in all of those sports. Mm And even if that means you need to join traveling teams and stay very busy. You do all this to get into a great college and to get a great job that you would go to every day and at some point you may marry, you may have kids and you start the process over and somehow in that you’re all going to go to great vacation spots along the way and make sure that you also get some extras right, You get the extra nice car you want or you say it’s okay to save extra for a really nice college degree and save for retirement. And then of course you’re going to retire and that retirement is going to happen somewhere between 60 and 70 years old, most likely. And when you retire, you’re going to see the world or see your grandchildren, you’re going to golf, you can do all the things you wanted to do as long as you saved up the right amount of money. Right. And some of this in this process, read all the books and do all the learning and think, oh wow, we’ve got to be prepared with all the money and we have to have had all the degrees or certifications or had gotten the top position at work and given our Children all the best opportunities and if we’re really great will probably pay for our kids college. But what’s very interesting is this is a fairly recent phenomena. I don’t know who I was listening to or talking to the other day, but they were saying how college was the greatest marketing campaign ever created. I thought that was interesting because so many of us think well of course we should go to college, that’s supposed to be part of our life. That’s how people progress. There’s all the statistics saying this is the way you should do it. And so it’s surprising when we actually read accounts in history and accounts in life and realize this isn’t the way it actually goes for quite a few successful people in the world that make contributions. And this was glaring to me this week as I made it a point to read one or 2 books a day to my son. And each book starts with the title, who was and it says their name and it has a question mark and it’s from who HQ dot com. So who headquarters, your headquarters for history, the who, what, where these are written for Children. I don’t know what age level because I always try to do what my mom said and read to my son above the age level he’s in. But I’m assuming that six year olds through Maybe 13 year olds would be interested in this book. Of course I should extend that age range because I very much enjoyed them because it very much simplifies the lives of people that have contributed to the world in some way. They’re very interesting reads. They take about 45 minutes for me to read to my son. So I only can do one or two a day, right, I got to save the voice and there’s a lot to consider now the books that we have read so far include Harriet tubman, mother, Theresa Albert Einstein, Benjamin franklin, anne frank, Abraham Lincoln, Sacha Julia, black beard and walt. Disney. Next on the agenda is martin Luther king and steve jobs. If you take a look at the demographics, some of them from these individuals, you will find that some died young and some not so young. So anne frank died when she was a teenager And soccer Julia died when she was about 25. So these people are known throughout the world But Anne Frank was 16 actually Sacha Julia 25. And then we have people like Benjamin Franklin lived into his 80s and those like Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln that died because they were martyred from this list of people. Anne frank was born in Frankfurt Germany mother, Teresa Macedonia sculpt key I think is how it’s pronounced, you have Albert Einstein, there was born in Alm Germany and then martin Luther King and Benjamin franklin and Abraham Lincoln and Harriet tubman and sake Julia were all born in the United States. You have people of different races, you have people of different religions and cultures. But all of these people have a book written about them. In fact most of them have Over 50 books written about them and movies And articles all about their lives. And it’s quite interesting to read a 45 minute book geared toward young Children to help them understand how these people lead their lives. I wanted to draw from these books today as I do this podcast because I often talk about offering up your best work and when I look at the list of should is that a lot of us have in the United States today that we should have this house, we should be involved in school, graduate, go to college, be involved in every possible sport, music, art, whatever and add technology to that nowadays that we should have these vacations and save for retirement and do all these things that it wasn’t always so and it still isn’t always so that this is the way you do things. So I wanted to point out a few trends that I thought of as I read through these books and remembered that we all have a unique purpose. We all have a different work to offer up and when we compare ourselves to what we think we should do versus what the inner inklings are inside of us. We will not bring forward our best work and in order to do that, we have to get in tune with what’s going on inside and expose ourselves to different options because we might find that our path is a little different and that’s okay because maybe that is what is required. So I wanted to point out right off that most of the people I mentioned had very little schooling from formal schools. Now you can argue that’s because of the timing That they were born in the 1700s, and early 1900s. But isn’t that fascinating that a lot of them learned everything through books? Because they love to read or through listening to others and learning and living through their life experience like Harriet tubman who was known to never be able to read and write, but she was very good at telling a story and disseminating information and very strategic, not a lot of schooling, so fascinating apprenticeships were common in early America and often to do the apprenticeship you would leave home. And Benjamin, franklin’s father and mother decided he needed to take this route. He was quite the experimenter and they wanted to get him busy, mhm doing something. But everywhere they took him, he was not interested, he was not interested in laying bricks. And this happened after his kite experiment where he discovered electricity was in the clouds. And since it was common for boys to do apprenticeships, they took him to men who made pottery and silverware and furniture and of course the bricklayer and he didn’t like any of them. So he had a brother named James who was nine years older than he was, who was a printer. And Benjamin thought that was the best option. So he went to work and a printing apprenticeship, I think this is so fascinating because most of us think oh kids need to stay at home and be with their parents all the way growing up. And to find out that a lot of kids didn’t. They actually left home fairly early. In fact Harriet tubman was hired out when she was six years old to be a helper in a different house, right? It didn’t work out mm I mean she’s a six year old, right? She’s Serving others and she was brought back and then she came back to do different work in different capacities, right? So she was a good little worker but she’s six years old, she’s being hired out. And that’s probably why we had a lot of the children’s labor laws coming into place later on in the 1900s as more Children were working younger and younger and coal mines even and society decided there needed to be a change up to that. Now there’s pros and cons to that right? Obviously some people abused that opportunity and others did not. I started a paper out officially at age nine, it was under the 12 year old limit but they needed someone desperately. My parents are supportive and they decided to give me a chance and it worked out well. So Benjamin franklin went away from home and also mentions later on when he’s married, how he was doing more printing at home and his wife was binding some of the books and how is very common for people to work out of their homes. So, teleworking is not new. People did that in the past, they had their work around their homes. It was intermingled with their family life. So interesting, isn’t it? And now as we go through pandemics and things like this, people are experiencing that once again. So I find it very interesting that some companies think they’re going to go back to having people come in the office after we’ve gone through this because yes, the offices are great for some things, but there is something about home, right, being able to Live life and more of a balance perhaps. So, teleworking is nothing new and of course it isn’t new. I mean, I would tell her worked back in the year 2000 And that’s over 20 years ago now, sometimes we think we have to be born into money in order to succeed, right? If we were born into money, if we’re just born into money, we’d have a home, we’d have all the things we needed to buy and be able to sign up for the extras afford to go to the great college, all that kind of thing. But if you look at most of the people I read about, they were not born into money, I thought it was interesting that mother Teresa was born into probably a middle class family. They could afford to help themselves and they had often have people over to dinner when she was young from the town, Her parents said that they were family and friends but come to find out when she was a few years older, they told her that they were actually poor people in town that needed some food and they’d invite them to dinner and share stories and have great conversations and they had enough. And so she was very used to having enough and giving to others at a very young age. But her father died I think she was around eight when he died and at that point they pretty much lost his business and lost everything because the mother did not have rights to take it over or anything and until she started her own embroidery business and got them back on their feet. Mother Teresa’s family was poor, so she understood having and not having all before she was like 10 years old and of course Harriet Tubman Sake Julia and Benjamin Franklin, Abraham, Lincoln. All these people didn’t come into wealth when they were born and yet they had curiosity, they decided to learn and somehow that created momentum in their life for them to find creative ways to make things work to get the right opportunities and move forward. We’re planning on reading martin Luther king and the next day or so and that I have a dream is what stands out to me without having even read that book yet and the importance of having a dream right? Literally some people have a dream, they have a vision, others have moments where they are seeking something and they don’t know what it is and then all of a sudden it gets very clear, you take Mother Teresa for example, she knew at a very young age that her purpose in life was to help the poor and she went off to India as an older teenager to become a teacher, she was a nun and she started teaching in this convent and her mother reminded her that she had wanted to help the poor and that’s when she went through special processes to get permission to go out and live in the slums. But she said at one point in this process when she was making the switch from being the teacher to kind of the none slash teacher in the slums, that she believed that she got her direction directly from God and all she had to do is take a step and she said it was a command something to be done, something definite, I knew where I had to be. And once she knew that she went through the process of convincing the priest and then the higher one and then all the way to the Vatican that she needed this chance to do something different without losing her credibility or her honor and rights as a nun. And she was able to do that very successfully and she started all of these missions of charity branches around the world that continue to help millions of people martin Luther King had this dream, Mother Teresa had this focus. Harriet tubman had this focus right? She didn’t just get out, she decided to go back and help others get out and she just kept that process going until she couldn’t any further. Another trend that I saw on this and I think this is such an important story. And forgive me if I say some of the words incorrectly, their native american words but two periodically take time to remember that you are unique, right? My roommate surely would always joke. You are unique and special just like everyone else. Mm But that’s the beauty of reading all of these stories like these people are all completely different. They were from different parts of the world. They had a different purpose and they fulfilled their purpose. Anne frank, got a journal for her birthday and she wrote in her journal for two years and those two years happened to be the two years that they went into hiding and she died along with her mother and her sisters. And thank goodness she had stated that she had hoped that she could have a book written someday about their hiding place. The secret place. Her father was able to make that come about because one of their friends came into the secret place after they were discovered and took ann’s journal before the Nazis could come back and take all of their belongings out of the home. But Sacha Julia has a very interesting story here. You have a woman, a Shoshone woman that is stolen, kidnapped from her tribe taken from that Idaho Montana region over toward north Dakota. And so she gets married off and while she’s living and working in that tribe, she’s just a teenager. The Lewis and Clark expedition comes through as they’re exploring the Louisiana territory and the Lewis and Clark expedition was called the Corps of Discovery. And it arrived in the hideouts some villages In 1804 and 1805 time period. And they interviewed several trappers who could interpret and help them on the expedition. And Lewis and Clark knew that when they got to a certain point on the Missouri River which happens to be in Montana area, that they would need to trade and get help from the Shoshone tribes who lived in that area and they would need horses to go on the rest of their journey. And they didn’t have anyone who could speak social and sake Julia. The girl that was kidnapped that was now married to a man like three times her age did speak Shoshone and she was pregnant with her first child at the time. And so she and her husband and the baby went on the expedition with Lewis and clark and she helped them in numerous places, help them figure out which berries to eat, helped them understand directions to go and was of course very helpful if they came upon anyone that could have been an enemy because everyone would see that there was a woman in the group and in being able to come in peace even to the Shoshone tribes. So fascinating. This woman had a purpose here. She was kidnapped, taken to a place hundreds of miles from her family, never to see them again. And people come on this expedition for the United States government and they need a person that knows how to speak, show show and they’re up in the middle of North Dakota. Have you been to North Dakota? Mhm. There’s not a lot of people there. What are the odds. There’s some kind of divine intervention going on here for our life purpose. Right? That brings them together. And she was able to not only do the job, but she was willing to do it in to the point where when they got to her tribe, she realized that some of her family members had already died and she went on from there to help Lewis and clark on the rest of their journey and even came back through and kept going back to North Dakota at some point And ultimately she died of a sickness when she was around 25 years old. I love the trend about experimenting and being curious and I think this is especially evident in Benjamin franklin and Albert Einstein, right? These two guys constantly were thinking. They were constantly reading and often didn’t fit very well in school because they had a different way of learning about the world. And yet they both went on to write so much and contribute so many new ideas and theories and thoughts to the world. And we can also include Einstein’s first wife in this mix, right? Because it said that somehow in their conversations it’s somehow helped his ideas go to that next step of being able to implement them and bring them into the world in a way That he hadn’t been able to bring them into the world without her so many fascinating stories and none of these people that I’ve talked about so far are in the last 20 years. Right? These are people from hundreds of years ago and notice about how half of them that we read about were women. So sometimes we hear these things about how women are suppressed or they have different income levels or not the same opportunities often because their mothers and they disrupt their work career or because people don’t value their salary as much as the males. But I would offer you to second guess all of these things. And the reason I offer it to is because I know in historical records for my own family, I have many women relatives that were doing amazing things many years ago. And so maybe there are some of these suppressive activities going on in the world. But at the same time there are many, many other examples where they’re not and that inner desire to contribute propels people forward, man and woman from any country of the world, from any race or religion. It’s fascinating sake. Julia happened to know the Shoshone language and she was super valuable and she walked thousands of miles with a baby on her back. Harriet tubman face so many dangers in her quest to escape and then be part of the underground railroad. Anne frank kept a journal that is read by millions around the world and it’s red in several different languages. Martin Luther King made a huge dent in civil rights and equality. Albert Einstein and Alberton and both dealt with the jewish problem as Hitler would think it would be right. They were in that time of the war World War two and had to deal with the concerns and worries of being captured and escaping and trying to figure out where they could actually go in the world. Now, of course, you most likely know that anne frank and her family were discovered and she did end up in a concentration camp and she did go to a working camp at one point and she died from illnesses in that process. I haven’t talked much about Abraham Lincoln. But here’s a hard working person that went through a lot of trials and challenges when he was a young boy and yet he constantly was learning and constantly taking the next step and growth and became one of the most beloved presidents the United States has ever had. What I love is that none of these people really retired. They worked until they died, whether it was 16 years old or 84 years old, they weren’t worried about retiring. If anything, the more they engaged in their purpose, the more they wanted to do. We’re reading about walt Disney today and walt Disney started drawing cartoons. He was a troublemaker in school kind of and he’s always kind of the class clown and he started drawing cartoons and they had failed and he has a hard driver, he’s a hard worker. He kept doing the cartoons, doing the cartoons and finally turned one to a black and white silent motion picture and then he got into the colored animated pictures and he got into movies and he got into theme parks and then toys and all these things that kind of came from that of course martin Luther king and Abraham Lincoln kept working until they were assassinated. Albert Einstein was constantly working. Even when he moved to the United States, it was supposedly retired. He was still offering up ideas. Mother Teresa was working in different parts of the world by the time she died, going around to the different missions and helping them get set up. Saka Julia gave her whole life right, anne frank in her short life, wrote in her journal till the end. I loved that about these stories. When you get in the mode of trying to find an offer up your best work, there doesn’t need to be an end until it’s the end of your life. And what’s fascinating is all of these people ended up going to different places in the process of offering up their best work. Right? I wonder if Harriet Tubman ever thought that she would be going to places like Maryland and pennsylvania and new york and Canada, if Mother Teresa ever thought she’d be traveling the world, anne frank was out of Germany and they ended up in Amsterdam, Albert Einstein went around the world. Benjamin franklin, I don’t know where Abraham Lincoln went, but they went to more places than their little log cabins or their little apartment building, but it wasn’t all for leisure, it was to offer up their best work. So some thoughts to think about encouraging you to not default today to what you think should be the path for you, your friends, your family, your spouse, to realize there’s many ways to fulfill your life’s work. All of these people took a different path and they all contributed something to the world and they all wanted to contribute but never realized how big that contribution would be, the kind of contribution where I’m reading a book about who was Mother Teresa who was Ben franklin, who was walt, Disney who was Harriet tubman, you are here to offer up your work and it can take a lifetime to figure that out. Or you can get a glimpse of that in a split second and you get to decide whether to follow those inklings or do the things you think you should do because everyone thinks that that’s the way it should be. I encourage you to not default in this area and to remember that you are a unique person that has a unique work to offer up the world. It doesn’t have to be huge. Like some of the people I talked about it can be small in your home, in your neighborhood, at your office online with simple comments, two people in your human orbit, but you have a work to do and you’re the only one that can do it because you’re the only person that’s a combination of those experiences and skills that you have right now. So I encourage you to go forward and continue to offer up your best work. I will talk to you soon. Yeah. Mhm. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends sign up for a weekly nudge at move your desk dot com