I love the 2006 movie “300.” Most people know the true story that inspired the film. When Frank Miller wrote the graphic novel, he insisted on being as historically accurate as possible. He is quoted as saying that he showed the finished film to some historians and, despite its over-the-top dramatic nature and visuals, was 95% historically accurate.
The true story involves 300 Spartans who go with their King Leonidas to confront the massive Persian Empire and defend their homeland and their way of life.
300 men take on upwards of 200,000 to 300,000. (Even though the film suggests 1 million soldiers, we know that cannot be remotely possible) The 300 Spartans killed 20,000 Persians before their defeat by betrayal.
It is an inspiring film. It provides a glimpse into the idea of doing what must be done despite insurmountable odds. It shows what a few motivated and well-disciplined men can do when their way of life is threatened. With their brethren beside them and their women behind them, they fought a battle that made them famous for eons.
One of the most famous scenes in the movie (and certainly my favorite) is where Leonidas and his 300 march to the field of battle. He is met along the way by the Arcadians, who historically numbered around 3000-7000. When the Arcadian asks why Leonidas brought so few men, the following exchange occurred.
The Spartans were warriors first. Their other duties to society came second. The Arcadians, however, were soldiers – when called upon to be such.
This scene even demonstrates the difference between soldiers and warriors. This point is proven throughout the film, as they make several references to the Persians driving slaves into battle at the crack of a whip, whereas Spartans were born and raised as warriors first.
One could say they were the European equivalent to the Japanese Samurai. The Japanese Samurai were warriors first. But the Samurai also learned poetry, calligraphy, painting, flower arranging, and other artistic endeavors. They lived by a code that provided a well rounded education coupled with ruthless, efficient battlefield prowess. The Spartans were much the same.
Spartans honed their craft by constant practice and experience. But they also learned the art of conversation. Even more, they learned to exercise sharp banter. They would routinely practice cutting each other down verbally. This is shown throughout the film, and even in the scene above. When not practicing fighting and warfare, they were tasked with maintaining the duties necessary for society.
The Spartans had one profession, fight. It was their job, their career. All other pursuits ranked second.
But this culture gave the Spartans purpose.
And this is the nature of our talk today.
You, there, what is your profession? Moreover, what is your purpose?
I didn’t ask you where you work, or what is your job.
What is your purpose?
What does your life mean? What value does your life provide? And what provides value to your life?
In modern society, we go to a job. We put in our hours. We work for someone else, then go home. In school, we are told we must go to college so we can get a better job. Work for a better company. Make more money, better health insurance, better vacation. Often, we find we are simply part of a vast machine that makes money for someone else. We serve only our paycheck. We are the necessary tool that grants a handful of shareholders a better portion of a quarterly financial statement.
We go to work, then we go home. Laundry, dishes, sweep, scrub. We help kids with their government issued homework. We encourage them to do well in school so they can also get a better job. We get them to sports practice on time. We fall asleep exhausted so we can wake up and do it all over again. Day in, day out. We go to work for someone else, collect our pay, go home, do our chores, and watch a few sitcoms before passing out.
Is it any wonder why we are all so unfulfilled? Why does life seems so empty? Why am I here?
There must be something else.
There is something else.
Each of us is spirit. A perfect, luminous spirit. We chose to come here to this place. We chose to wear these meat suits. We chose this life, at this time. We chose our handicaps, our shortcomings, our limitations. We chose our parents, our mates, our children. But we also chose what we brought with us.
We each brought a gift. A drive. A pursuit. A passion. Every one of us has a gift. For some, it’s music. For others it is poetry. Some can paint. Others can write novels.
I’ve told my clients for years that the greatest achievement in life is to discover our gift, develop that gift into a skill, mold it into a talent, and then put it to use serving the world.
If you write, write books that inspire people. Let them read your books and forget the rest of the mundane world and lose themselves in the story you’ve told.
If you paint or sculpt, create art that people stare at intently for hours. The kind of art that hangs in galleries because it moves people.
If your gift is music, write music that people can identify with, that moves them so deeply they remember the song decades after the first time they hear it.
If you are a natural leader, inspire others to find the treasure within themselves. Lead them to their own greatness.
If you are an orator, speak the truth so that everyone who hears you is wiser for having heard the words from your tongue.
A job is a job. But your passion should move others.
Your passion is normally different from your employment. But not always. For some, their gift manifests as their pastime. They engage in what they think is a hobby, but it is actually what they brought with them to do. If they promoted their hobby, they could earn a decent living and not have to go to that job all day.
Ever watch Bill Dance on TV? I’ve seen half a show, perhaps. That guy makes a million dollars fishing. Yes, fishing. He catches fish and people pay him. His is one of the longest running shows on TV – since 1968. He catches fish. He’s worth millions.
What did you bring with you? What do you do? What are you passionate about? What fires you up? Do you listen to music, and really like music? Learn to play. Learn to write songs. There are several artists who write songs for others to sing.
Finding your gift doesn’t ever mean that you must give it away. Service to mankind allows you to earn a living doing what you do best. Would Garth Brooks be worth $400M if he gave free concerts and CDs away? Would Brad Pitt be worth $400M if he acted for free and his movies were played for free in theaters? Would Bill Dance be worth $4M if he had only fished on Saturdays? Would painter John Currin be worth $1.4B (yes, that’s Billion) if he had kept his paintings in his garage?
Each of us brought a gift. Discover it, develop it, disseminate it. Make it your livelihood.
Living your purpose creates passion. Life is passion. Purpose and passion create a fulfilled life, full of joy.
Purpose and passion can be your profession.
“People of the world, what is your profession?”
Ooh, ooh, ooh.
Joe “Weeg” Weigant is an empowerment coach who specializes in combining different bodywork and energy work modalities (Reiki, Acupressure, Tuning Forks, Massage, Reflexology, Sound/Vibration Therapy) to release trauma, reset the autonomic nervous system, and balance the energy systems of the body. This begins the healing process in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our lives. Weeg sells herbal products by Nature’s Sunshine and Pure Herbs Ltd. and is a Representative for Juice Plus. Weeg teaches Karate and Tai Chi, Reiki Certification, as well as seminars and workshops in metaphysical and spiritual matters. Weeg is available for sessions at Tri State Holistic Wellness by appointment only.
Contact by text 812.568.5356, or Facebook Messenger to set an appointment.