We all get caught up with it at some point. For some it is the story of their lives. You know what I mean, the homes, the cars, the position, the influence, getting noticed, the exposure, the Klout number (that was a new one for me!), the name dropping, you get the point. It never ends doesn’t it? We are caught up with promoting ourselves because we have a “message” to give. Nowadays I find myself more often than not, questioning why I do things in my own life. I want to do everything with excellence, I want to be a role model to my family and those around me, but I am looking more intently into the why I do what I do. You might relate to this. When we want something, we can be very persuasive (even when talking to ourselves, I do it often!), and rationalize what we want. By the end of the conversation, we have everyone nodding in agreement with every point we make. Anything that will support our pursuit of “whatever”. But there is a fine line between doing things well and self promotion. And I struggle when I see it, even in my own life.
There is something bigger than things, positions or influence. We find ourselves chasing all sorts of new trends and ways of doing things more efficiently, and I agree that there is a place for that in our lives, but sometimes we get so busy that we miss the most important of them all, relationships. John C. Maxwell always says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership” and that’s a paramount truth, but I would also say, “Everything rises and falls on meaningful relationships”. Watch carefully that I said meaningful. In our culture we are so obsessed in raising our social/wealth/influence numbers, that we put little or no emphasis on the meaningfulness of the relationships we create. As a friend told me once, “We can create big momentum but we cannot follow through”. What he was referring to, was to the capacity to stir up something, and not being able to sustain it long term. We try to create a trend or align our lives to them, just to find out in the end that it was not sustainable of even worth it. Wind.
I look at my own life and ponder. I can be at times like the train in the movie “Unstoppable,” with no brakes, gaining more speed with every second that passes, and in the meantime our most significant relationships suffer. I would advice you to, slow down. Something amazing is happening right before your eyes and you are missing it. You are chasing the wind and at the end you will run out of breath. You might be in the early stages of a new endeavor. It could be family, church or a business. Whatever the place you might be now, slow down and enjoy the moment. You might realize that even in the situation you are right now, something significant is happening. Your son or your daughter needs a hug, your wife just wants you to hold her hand and reassure her that you are present. Yoyr husband needs your affirmation, your friends might just need a pat in the back. But you are running to fast and running out of breath.
• When is it to much or when will it be enough?
• Am I caught up with the hustle of getting ahead?
• Does it concern me more what others think about me, than what you think about myself?
• Do I have a sense of restlessness in me? Do I secretly envy what someone else has?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be chasing the wind. You could say, “No you’re wrong, this is an opportunity of a lifetime, a great house, a fantastic car, a wonderful school, a great church, a no brainer deal.” Whatever you might call it, it’s just wind. If your relationships are not flourishing, you are chasing the wind and you’ll end up very lonely.
Slow down and invest in the most important aspect of your life, meaningful relationships. The greatest teacher of all also did this when he said …Consider the lilies of the field, showing us that even he had stopped to admire the most simple things of life. It might be time to take a walk with your son, to have a conversation with your daughter, to give a hand to your father, or sit down and lend your ears to your mother. It is time to forgive and forget. It is time to love and not reproach. I believe that when you do this, everything else will sprout out on itself and you will enjoy them more. The funny thing will happen, you’ll find out that what you chased, was not that important after all. What really mattered, and flourished where the relationships you nurtured and nurtured you back. Everything rises and falls on meaningful relationships.
“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2012