Mark Twain supposedly (I can’t find a verifiable source) said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” While this is profound and has surely greatly affected many lives for the better, I struggle with its seeming limitation. Putting aside the philosophy of Karma and the belief in the birth/death cycle, there’s no doubt that one is only born once. However, there isn’t only one day in each of our lives when we feel like, “This is what I was born to do.”
I’m sure Bill Gates must have felt like he was born to be a programmer. With his abilities, he built an empire, made a lot of money, and now has a name recognized anywhere in the connected world. Surely he was born to do that! So, what about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? This is an organization that, to put it simply, just gives billions of dollars to charity and educates the world about places and people who need help to survive. If all Bill Gates was born to do was be a programmer, this couldn’t have come along. He was surely born to give away money, but that wouldn’t have been possible without everything else he was born to do. On that note, he may realize one day that he was born to do something else entirely different, and that too will not have been possible without what he was born to do today.
Finding our calling is a great thing. It gives us a determination to carry out what we set forth to do, but we shouldn’t feel tied to those things forever. Sometimes we need to pass the torch to someone else and pursue other dreams and find a new calling. When that day becomes the present, it too becomes one of the most important days our lives.
While I would be more inclined to think/write, “The most important day in your life is today,” in the context of this quote, however, perhaps I would feel more comfortable with the following:
The most important days in your life are the day you are born and the days you find out why.