in, Self-Improvement

Sorry, I had an Ayn Rand moment earlier today and was struggling for a title — so there it is.

In the last couple of months, I’ve noticed a few changes in my patterns of decision-making. I haven’t decided if I like them or not, but they are definitely part of who I am now, and I can’t turn back time. I used to go to funerals because I had some kind of close tie with the deceased, I used to go to group activities to tell stories, I used to go to work to change the world, I used to do these things.

In the last couple of months, I’ve skipped funerals in favor of a private meditation about what that person meant to me, or to carry on doing things that make me feel like I’m somehow fulfilling their wishes for life to carry on in their absence. It hasn’t felt selfish yet – but yet weeks afterward, I wonder what, if anything, would have been different had I been there. It’s done now, I guess life goes on. I don’t mean to sound cold, but it’s true.

In the last couple of months, (really years), I’ve focused more on group activities for the purpose of supporting others, rather than the value that I can get out of them for me. As a child, I was probably the typical class clown, and getting older only changed the subject matter, not the behavior. Now, I focus on what I can do to make things better for whomever I’m with. At least I try – every crowd still has folks whose personality is either too different or too similar to mine to make it comfortable to stay still and be the friend I want to be.

In the last couple of months, I’ve found myself getting a little pessimistic about the speed of change in my career. I’ve got goals to change a few things, but it seems to take so much time. So. Much. Time. Lots of opportunities have passed by for one reason or another, and I mostly feel like I’m still in the same place I was four years ago. It’s hard for me to see needs which I’m capable of fixing, sometimes uniquely capable of fixing, but not being able to give appropriate time to those tasks, in favor of some other task which might be urgent – but many times don’t feel important. Importance is largely based on who wants things – so I get it, there’s a bigger picture and all. I happy to just do what I’m told sometimes – but my passion is in things which I find broken that I decide I want to fix. I want to feel the mission and purpose behind the fix – something greater than myself, perhaps.

I wrote about Millennials in my series on team building, and now more than ever, I feel like I have (relative to my age and upbringing) a unique contribution to give to the world, and either I haven’t stumbled across the right opportunity to create the change, or I haven’t garnered the boldness and courage to simply take what I want and create the change without permission from the world.

All of this brings me to ask, who am I? I don’t want to sound like I’m on some stereotypical journey of discovery like one of those whiny Millennials — but it’s not unlike that kind of journey – I still have to pay bills, so I work and I don’t live in the woods.

Enough about me, what about you?

When you go to a baseball game, are you so concerned with the game that you can’t stop for a conversation with a coworker or stranger?

When you go to the store, do you scoff at people if they ask you where to find an item – or do you help them even when you’re not the one being paid to help?

When you go to church, are you going to be part of a club or social event, or are you going to minister to others and draw closer to God?

When you go to work, (heaven help me), do you go just to clock in, clock out and hope no one asks you to do anything difficult – or do you allow yourself a few challenges to grow into and learn from?

I find that the more I focus on others, the more I don’t worry about my own struggles. Why should I worry about my struggles, anyway? I’m a child of the King, I figure he’s got things under control. As long as I can bring that thought back to the forefront of my mind, I do well. I suppose this is my journey – to be constantly reminded of God’s goodness.


Go love people,