One thing I miss from the early days of blogging was the rough, 90 seconds from brain to blog style that I used for a long time. Particularly 2002-2006, it was fairly rapid fire.
Back then, the blog was titled “Stuff I Think”. If you surf the archives, you’ll find I thought a lot of stuff. Some of it was entertaining, some flirted with profound, and a good chunk of it was just baloney.
Later, I slowed down. Now, with the exception of the Randomonium posts, I try to produce better work than I used to. Confession: I kind of miss the old way. I’m not ready to bail on the newer style, but I am ready to drop a few half baked ones once in a while so I’m going to start another unscheduled series called “So I had this thought….”. Here we go, friends.
I was on the phone with a friend the other day…a guy who lives a few hours away and has a really big family. Bigger than ours. Like, they could play a regulation basketball game and not need the neighbor’s kids to go 5 on 5. For real.
Anyway, we were talking about life and plans and how when your family unit is of the scale of ours, not much is easy, not much is fast, and some things really are permanently out of reach. We might cut a mighty swath through Costco, but we’re probably going to do without some of the niceties in life. I’m not complaining – we made our choices. It’s just a fact that having a MacroFamily closes some doors in life.
That’s when I had this thought….and I shared it with my friend. “Bro, we’re freakin’ geniuses…”.
He didn’t track with me right away. Either that or his kids were distracting him. Regardless, once I explained, he admitted I had a point.
I acknowledge that we are willingly putting aside the ability to achieve some things – financially, professionally, personally. If I had 80 hrs to put into a career, I could climb a ladder that I can’t climb while balancing my kids. If I had the freedom to travel, I could hobnob the conference circuit. The size of our family simply rules out some things.
This is an anathema to the leadership gurus, but I am limiting the capacity – and short term, the impact – of my life…but I’m intentionally trading it for the impact of seven lives a generation later. I am getting seven times my investment. I just need to be ok with the fact that I won’t see it in my lifetime.
Which begs the question…if I’m not okay that I won’t see it in my lifetime, am I really searching for impact or am I searching for personal renown? I could gather a little more renown for myself right now, but it would cost me impact later.
If I thought this world was all there was…if I believed the American Dream was a dream from God…if I thought I needed to cash in my chips and move to LeisureWorld at 55 so I could goof around hot rodding my golf cart…then I’ve really painted myself into a corner because I can’t even afford to fix my truck right now in my prime earning years.
However, if I really believe that we’re impacting eternity…if I really believe in continuity from this life to the next…then I’d want to double down and put every chip I have on the table, knowing the pile will be seven times higher if I play the cards right.
Honestly, I go to bed most nights tired, nearly broke, and often a little dazed and confused…but even then, lying there in the dark….in my heart of hearts I know that the genius of my plan will be obvious to all fifty years from now.
I can wait.
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