Two things are true about me today:
This is a 18 hour day for me filled with work and intermittent touch bases with the people I care about.
Also I’m really enjoying this day.
Interesting the expectations that the first statement raises for me and the surprising truth of the second statement. I think the difficulty of this day is only eclipsed by the purpose and utility that I’m finding in the things that I’m doing within the day.
Let me be clearer.
Although today is a very long day – definitely one of the longest in recent history. I can also see quite clearly the positive impact that the decisions that I’m making today are going to have on my family and my future and it makes me feel like every minute is worth it.
Also I recently got clarity that this is actually a blessed time for me. I’ve been very blessed to be able to have the opportunity to pursue the type of work that I’m doing. I’m also hopefully building in myself the capacity for a new level of focus, time management, and stretching out my ability again to tackle the hard things.
This day is very nostalgic – it reminds me of college and residency.
I’ve always been more effective when I’m a very busy person. Although there is of course a wall I hit over a certain amount of time with no rest. For some reason, too much rest makes me less productive. I guess the adage that says your work will expand to whatever amount of time you have available is true.
I also know by applying hard won wisdom that I will need to make sure that I’m scheduling some deep rest to ensure that I’m not going to run into a wall later which usually includes full body shutdown and some variation of a severe 24-hour cough and cold.
I also can’t express how great it has been to keep the small commitment of writing everyday for my mental well-being.
It makes me feel like a person who can keep promises to himself.
I confess that there is a dream I’ve always harbored of starting a company or building something that would enable me to push myself to my limits and beyond. The dream of laboring deep into the night creating something that I would be proud is a pretty common theme in American work culture.
I also have had that sneaking suspicion of a truth that I’m not always willing to face full on. The whispered doubt that I am not always giving every endeavor my best effort. In the past there has perhaps been tendency has been give enough to do a good job while prioritizing my sleep schedule, or desire to not be uncomfortable.
Which can be fine I guess.
But unfortunate consequence is that you run alongside people who give everything they pursue their absolute all. Usually, while your in the midst of the struggle to create something or invest in the future – their next level sacrifice can seem nonsensical. What is the benefit of all those bleary mornings, coffee-laced nights, and the obvious frustration of perhaps trying and failing.
Why swing so hard at the fences that you fail spectacularly and publicly?
What is the difference between the prodigious amount of seeds they spray and the calculated but much more modest seeds I carefully place?
Time passes and eventually seeds bear fruit. Even the ones you can’t see.
A mustard sized seed can still grow a tree.
And those friends who push themselves and run up against the limits of themselves over time seem to steadily move ahead and reap the rewards that only full engagement, sacrifice, and faith can grow. They also gain a confidence that can only come from the self-knowing that whole hearted pursuit gives.
Meanwhile the rest of us must do battle with the insecurities that grow stronger in the shadows. And wrestle with the silent disappointment that not living on 100% gives birth to.
I’m hopeful that in this season of my life I’ll be able to learn the skill of deep commitment and the habit of excellence even in the midst of the raging storm of doubt, fear, and the unknown.
Fly or Fall.