I often say that "Everything happens for a reason," and that it's up to us to find out the reason. Recent reflection on this topic has caused me to alter this philosophy just a bit.
I am still convinced that everything happens for a reason, however, I am also convinced that it is up to us to define that reason within our own lives. Events have meaning because we assign meaning to them. Events only have significance when we choose to do significant things because of them.Events only have significance when we choose to do significant things because of them
In my recent post about feeling "stuck" in my action lists, I realize that a big factor in that "stuckness" is that I haven't been doing enough to create significance out of the opportunities before me. I'm not talking about earth-shattering things; more along the lines of less time focusing on things that don't matter in the grand scheme of things, and more time focusing on the things that make a difference.
A bunch of recent events and "nudges" came together to get me to this point. In no small part, I owe a lot of the credit to the blogging community where I've found a gold mine of ideas, great advice, and a lot of inspiration - thank you. Ironically, the final piece clicked into place as my wife and I were watching the movie "Envy," in which the main characters (played by Ben Stiller and Jack Black) each go through a period where their effectiveness ratings at their jobs were good for most of the year, but their performances went down the tubes when their "focus score" was poor..
So, now that I've seen the spark, what will I do differently? On the personal side, I spent a refreshing few days with the family doing fun family things the last couple of days (had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, saw Nemo On Ice, saw the new Harry Potter movie, got my 12-year-old son signed up for our local health club and took him to work out a couple of times, and stuff like that). And, as Lisa suggested in her comments, I stayed off of email. I intend to do plan more stuff like this.
On Monday, I am going to take a "clean slate" look at everything I'm doing at work and decide what significant things I want to achieve there. My goal is to stop sailing on the prevailing winds of urgency, stop putting off "hard stuff," and chart a course that feeds my passions and plays to my strengths as fully as possible..
This realization is simultaneously a very liberating and frightening to me, but I think that only good can come from it. And it's up to me to make that true, isn't it?