When I sit down to write this blog, I have usually been thinking over and over about a topic or idea. And then just blog on it in one sitting without many re-writes. Of course, the typos may have clued you in to this (and I purposefully don’t correct them) but the blog merely serves to get some thoughts out of my head to make room for more. It takes me about thirty minutes. That’s not the most conventional use for a blog – many bloggers post current events links or make cyber-nods to blogs they enjoyed reading. I do that occaisionally…but not much. I am not a hub of information for politics, social agendas, or TV reviews. The point of it all is merely to put thoughts out there that hopefully will mean something to the person who needs it. So, here are some thoughts I’ve been having lately about “you,” whoever you may be:
You are more than your mistakes. Mistakes happen all the time. But to associate your worth and status with the sneer of a socialite or the frown of a co-worker is ridiculous. It’s much better to say, “I made a mistake. And that’s all it is: a mistake. It doesn’t define me.” Swinging for the fence never works anyway. What does work is a purposeful, intention lifestyle. After all, credibility comes with longevity and “stick-to-it-ness,” not necessarily a particular skill set or a level of education. You can always self-educate. Similarly, you are more than your job. Contrary to the old adage, you are not the job. People who say such things have made an unhealthy pact with their Blackberry to-do list. Also, lack of education doesn’t decrease credibility any more than education gives someone entitlement to elite status. Truth is we are valued because God breathes value into us, regardless of how we choose to label ourselves. You’re not a label or a bank account or a job or a talent. You are worth knowing without any accomplishments, credentials, or clout. More importantly, you are worth knowing in spite of your accomplishments, credentials, and clout.
You’re unique unto yourself. You’re identifiable apart from your spouse, children, and friends. You are interesting as you are – without posturing for self-importance or dropping names. You have inherent value that cannot be “improved upon” by someone else’s approval. Everyone has a story and your story is just as telling, evocative, and inspiring as another. You’re not someone’s hood-ornament, prize, or trophy. You are not an accolade for others. Neither are you a pawn for other’s agendas. Those who see you as those things are trapped in a world of pragmatism and ego. You do not have to feed their need for self-importance.
Don’t be restricted by limitations others place on you. You can do anything you want. Now, notice I didn’t say you could do anything you want easily, but there’s no reason for you not to follow your aspirations and dreams. Refuse to associate with those who are comfortable in the world they’ve created. Surround yourself with restless people who have like-minded dreams. Be unconventional – as Seth Godin says, “The ’heretics’ are the new leaders.” In other words, be the “heretic” who doesn’t follow the crowd. After all, normative is normal…and boring. And when you make choices, make them full-speed. You must make choices anyway. For the love of God, the least you can do is go all out.
Finally, save the best parts of you – your energy, resourcefulness, kindness, and graciousness – for your family. Not the workplace or community, but for those closest to you. Make sure your family sees a part of you that no one else can – reserved especially for them. Stare into your spouse’s and children’s eyes with more interest and intent than you would give to the CEO of your company or the richest person in your city. There’s more treasure sitting there across from you at the dinner table anyway.