In light of the death of Steve Jobs, let’s get down to business.
Mr. Jobs was a wise man, a genius of a man. Beyond his technological fame, he gave us inspiration. He told us to follow our hearts. To stay hungry and foolish.
He meant for us to get busy doing what we love because time is limited. He meant for us to do it with reckless abandon and without fear of failure or looking silly. He meant for us to do it with passion.
Do you ever wonder what the hell you are doing with your life? Like, what you are REALLY doing? Do you ever stop dead in your tracks and realize you have been alive for “x” number of years (in my case 44 – eat your heart out EMZ) and you catch your breath in your throat, terrified that it might be all amounting to nothing?
44 years. A lifetime for some. Half a lifetime for others. I’ve always thought it our personal duty to figure out what our gifts are and to give them back to the world. It can be the gift of writing about poop or the gift of saving children’s lives. Better to and easier to strengthen our strengths than start from scratch and try to minimize and improve our weaknesses.
We are all good at things. All of us. And, we all suck at things. All of us. My greatest hope for myself is that I use my strengths to my advantage and to the benefit of those around me. This will be my legacy when I’m in heaven or hell or when I am reincarnated as a porta potty or pro-athlete. This will be what I contributed that made a slight difference. For me it will never be curing cancer, but it might be inspiring someone, making someone laugh or letting someone know I was around when they most needed me.
I chose social work for obvious reasons. To make a difference. Lately my path has taken to me to work in international adoptions and this is an exciting new venture, and very important work. Yet, I find myself trying to bridge the gap between my social work/therapist/clinical self and my running/coaching/writing self. Right now I live in two distinct worlds with very different focuses. I have to believe that over time and with diligence and openness to life the answers will unfold. Because, yes, I do believe I am here to do things great and small and that my life, like yours, has meaning and depth.
Today I was reading “My Year with Eleanor,” a woman’s quest to do one thing every day that scared her. I got caught up in how she spoke of being a perfectionist, mostly because it applied to me (and maybe to you):
Perfectionism is the fear of making mistakes. There are two sides to perfectionism. At its best, it’s motivating and inspires you to set high goals for yourself. But it can also get out of control. Perfectionists can turn into workaholics because their efforts never feel good enough. They engage in all-or-nothing thinking about their performance – if it isn’t perfect, it’s horrible. They give up easily. They procrastinate on goals, waiting for inspiration to strike or the timing to feel right. They organize their lives around avoiding mistakes and end up missing wonderful opportunities.
In a sense, have perfectionistic qualities can paralyze you. Waiting for just the right thing or just the right time might mean you wake up one day and realize life has passed you by.
I know not what the hell I’m saying or my point. Only that life is short so go out and f$cking get it by the balls.
Is there something you’ve been wanting to do – Become a parent? Run a race? Start a different career path? Get out of a stale relationship? – but haven’t done it because you are waiting for the right “time” or “opportunity”?