Original Thought · Uncategorized

Icons and Bull’s Eyes

What are we chasing? False gods, idols icons? Or are we on target to hit a bull’s eye that defines our raison d’etre? Is there any meaning found in a new car with a shiny hood ornament or a new Apple with a bite taken out or shoes with someone else’s initials? Are we defined by how many square feet we occupy – withe more being better not worse? Are there objects or possessions that you fill with uncritical adoration, at least in the shortest of terms?

All generalizations are false. including this one” ~ Mark Twain

That being said ” we are always better if we are pursuing meaning rather than materialism. It is weird that the word material means relevant, important and significant but materialism is none of those things. The stuff we hold and horde and lust after are immaterial and their shine fades within ticks and tocks of the capture.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain (again) (showing my literary biases again).

I come to this troubling conclusion by looking at the accumulation of 11 years. When we moved last, we did a major purge and now closets and book shelves and storage spaces are jammed. We have added a second property and soon a third and stuff is piling up there too. I have hundreds of books and every year I donate a couple of boxes to a local literacy charity. I borrow ~ 100 from our library every year and still somehow I find another shiny cover that lures me in. I now own about a dozen pairs of shoes (and can somehow justify needing another pair), I have 6 pairs of snowshoes – snowshoes, really. There are so many technical running shirts and race t’s that they take a full drawer, 20+ colored shirts, socks and socks and socks. You see where I am going – too much stuff and I confess too much attachment to meaningless stuff.

The books and shoes and shirts and jackets were once supposed to make me better at something – health, running, writing, coaching, networking, a better dad, a better man, someone who could be loved. The hole I/we are trying to fill can’t be plugged with meaningless objects. Only meaning making will fit the hole and make us whole.

Find your mission and make it so.


Self Improvement

What are You Willing to Give Up?

Are you moving towards a change or contemplating something new in your life? Do you need to read more, exercise better, study, make more calls, find a solution … Are you jam packed and struggling. Maybe you are too busy. Too busy with meaningless activity or trapped in a spiral of day-to-day-today.

We all believe that we can handle more if we schedule better or get up earlier. But the reality is that we can only carry around 3 +/- 3 things and be effective. I have habits that no longer serve my agenda. I do things that don’t serve by preferred future and are likely moving me away from important opportunities. If you recognize some meaninglessness in your day, what are you willing to give up?

Today and tomorrow make an inventory (hand written) of all your activities that take more than 5 minutes of your time. It is best to pause for 30 seconds at the top of each hour and write down Activity and Time. After two days ask yourself ” what do I notice?” Out of 48 hours, did you sleep 16? Roughly 32 hours awake – how did you use the 384 five minute blocks? Are you aware of how long five minutes is? Do you know how much you can accomplish in five minutes? Is it possible that 1 5 minute block or 100 blocks can change your life.

Learning how to manage our 5 minutes helps us mange our 168 hours and our 29,220 days and it begins with taking inventory and then figuring out what you are willing to give up.