Nick eats eight meals a day. He has little containers of food that he brings to work. He goes to Sam’s Club to buy the big bags of broccoli and diapers.
Kevin takes long bike rides with a group. They stop at a buffet after their rides.
Rick has 2 dogs which he misses every day when he comes to work.
So my story is… these people. Their stories become part of my story. The story of our lives is the background in our lives. The stuff that gets blurred out as we acclimate to the noise or don’t bother to ask.
As we get more focused on getting from point A to point B…apartment to house, house to bigger house, less pay to more pay, this partner to that partner, single to married, searching for the cool place to go and hang…we miss all the infinite points between. Those points are the people, places, and opportunities. They form the canvas of our life. When they’re connected, they become our life drawing.
That’s why when our actions are made without context, without others, without a why, without looking around first, then those actions become indefinite, their borders hazy, and after years of this, our life ceases to be meaningful.
The aim is not make a straight line. The point is not to hit each point, each milestone, checking the box, then seeking the next one. The point is to expand over our canvas, not stay isolated in our office, career, home, or family. The intent is to learn, and absorption doesn’t work unless you’re listening and putting yourself out there.
We do need goals. But what are the goals? Career, personal life, family life…how much effort to spend in each bucket? The tangibles can be met fairly easily, especially here in the US, but what happens when you realize that you’ve lost years of experience, potential friends, lovers, and new places, because your goals became your life, and living the moments fell off the list?
“We change, but always at a cost: to win this you lose that.”
– Geoffrey Wolff
Choose carefully, but just make sure you choose. The tangibles are easy to measure. The intangibles are not. Thing is, we’re here for the intangibles.