Letters to my sons
A collection of thoughts and lessons I've learned along the way for my little men, and anyone else that's interested.
Posts tagged with #Fulfillment
Something in life that’s very difficult to balance well is risk against comfort. While these are often at odds with one another as many other things are, these two have the power to completely shape a life. Comfort can be a place of healing, of relaxation, of rejuvenation and recovery. Risk can be a place of trial, of hardship, of overcoming, of victory and growth.
Both of these in moderation can be great things, and finding a strong balance between the two is difficult. To top that off, there are many different philosophies and beliefs as to what the right balance is, and undoubtedly you have friends and acquaintances that will strike different balances and may even entice you to share their view.
I urge you to strike a balance that leans towards a risk and growth mindset.
Now, I’m not saying that comfort, rejuvenation, and relaxation are bad things; rather, I’m saying that those things reduce momentum and lower movement. There are certainly times in life where lowering movement and being still are exactly the right things to do. But those times shouldn’t be as often as our times of movement.
Life is a constant refinement; we were made to grow, to move life forward, to progress and advance our world. One cannot do that without motion.
And so I challenge you to keep moving. Let your default be to move, to risk, to take action, to grow. Know that inertia is hard to overcome. Know that comfort has many vices and becomes easier the more we seek it and stay in its embrace. Know that you are not a finished product, that the potter has much molding to do, much refinement to make. And know that I will cheer you on, in whatever race you’re running, along whatever path you find yourself on.
Tags: #Movement #Character #Focus #Fulfillment
As the technology of our time advances to automate more intelligent tasks, the differentiating factor becomes the ability to create, to innovate, to dream, and to realize those dreams. Our world has evolved such that success and productivity are no longer achieved by repetitive and well-known tasks. As we automate more of the routine tasks required for sustaining life, the acts of creativity and discovery come to the forefront.
It’s said that creativity is simply us discovering things that God has hidden for us.
If that’s the case, we must ask ourselves how we can discover more of these things. What lifestyle changes, what behavioral adjustments, what values and investments do we need to shift so that we’re ready and able to see what’s hidden there? What can we do?
First, we can be intentional with the time that we spend. As with any other skill, the skill of discovery and detailed observation takes practice. Set time in your day to thoughtfully observe, to ponder, to consider. Be thoughtful about your experiences, your circumstances, and the inputs that you have in your life. Examine them to see if there’s more than meets the eye there - you might find some transformative insights there. (Yes yes I know, your dad’s a Transformers nerd).
Second, find people that are interesting and run with them. Interesting people tend to be thoughtful about their interests, and tend to have reasons for doing the things that they do. These conversations help shape you, help refine your context, help polish your thought process. Interestig people also tend to have interesting friends, so expanding your circle there helps too.
Lastly, never say no to a new experience. Yes, I know there are exceptions to that rule, but your default stance should be one that is willing to try new things, to expand your horizons. This is something I didn’t do nearly enough of when I was younger and it’s one of the few things in my life that I’d change if I had to do it over again.
I’m not guaranteeing that by doing these things, you’ll end up discovering the next big thing. I am guaranteeing though that these actions will make your life that much richer and that much more full. And ultimately, that’s the prayer that I have for you every day - that God would give you a rich, full, abundant life.
Tags: #Character #Fulfillment #Intentional #Purposeful Living #Creating
People do things for a myriad of reasons and motivations, but at the end of the day, it generally boils down to fulfillment, meaning, and purpose in this life. No matter how cynical the individual, mankind was made for advancement. We were made with the innate desire to move forward, to advance the state of our species, to strive to be ever greater than we were before.
This quest for fulfillment and for forward progress can be a good thing.
The differentiating factor then is in the semantics of what brings you that fulfillment. What is it that ultimately makes you feel satisfied after having done something? What is it that you're ultimately looking to achieve?
I read a very pointed quote the other day that speaks to that:
"A creative man is fulfilled by accomplishments and a competitive man is fulfilled by beating others"
I love that contrast. While at the end of the day, both men may be accomplishing something, the motivation and drive that propels them to action is critically important. Not just because the competitive man cannot feel a sense of fulfillment on his own, but because the competitive man is not looking for the betterment of others, and hence becomes limited to achievement that is defined by others that he is trying to beat. Because his fulfillment is found in comparison to others, he will always look for the next competition, the next person he can beat to remain fulfilled.
The creative man on the other hand, is a man who finds fulfillment not in beating others or in the praise of others, but rather in having accomplished that which he set out for. There is a saying that sometimes the best reward for having done a thing well is to know that one has indeed done it.
My challenge to you is to consider what you're doing, and why you're doing it. Is it to beat others? Is it to please someone else? Is it to demonstrate that you are worthy of something? That you are better than someone or something? Or is it genuinely for the betterment of others and for the sake of the accomplishment itself?
Ultimately, I want you to live a rich and fulfilled life that is not dependent on others' praise or demise, but rather is made significant by the things that you strive for, and the accomplishments that you achieve. Because that is something honorable, something noble. That is how the world ought to be.
Tags: #Character #Changing the world #Fulfillment #Purposeful Living