Sunday, April 03, 2005

Don't sweat the small stuff...

And it's ALL small stuff!

I read that book once, forget the authors name... But I remember thinking as I read it "This guy doesn't live in my reality!"

In retrospect though the concept is right on the money... It is all small stuff... Think about it.. In a 100 years or so everyone involved will have died and forgotten all about it... What ever it might be.

While driving with my wife yesterday we got to talking about how folks are always worried about what people think... My comment to her was "I don't really give a damn what anybody thinks... I care what I think"... (and to be 100% honest I do care what she thinks, but I felt we were talking about the rest of the world)

That may sound cold, or self involved, but it really isn't. I'm the one I have to look at in the mirror every morning. I have to be happy with that person staring back at me. I want to feel good about how I go through life, the things I accomplish, the goals I set and achieve... The price I'm willing to pay to achieve them. In the final analysis, it doesn't matter what others think of us, it matters what we think of ourselves.

Years ago, shortly after my Dad passed away, I found myself drifting with no seeming point or purpose... I felt lost... Like I'd lost my 'compass' or something... For the first time in my life I felt I had no 'drive'.

It took a lot of soul searching, but I finally realized that I had been living my life in hopes of hearing my Dad tell me he was proud of me... That I'd do something, anything, where he'd say "I'm proud of you". That had never happened... At his wake, his friends all told me how he had always bragged, or at the least told them, about the things I had done... The various careers, jobs, skills, etc I'd acquired and how proud he was of me... But I'd never heard those words from him.

Later, in this realization, I found myself wondering if I would have tried so hard, done so much, without that underlying need to hear those words. Then, after he was gone, so was the motivation. I suppose I could have kicked back, relaxed and just let life happen.... But it seems what I really needed was a new goal.

For a while, it was hearing my wife tell me she was amazed, or proud of what I was doing... Then slowly, day by day, I came to the understanding that I was the one I had to impress! I was the one who needed to be proud of me... That I had to seek that 'validation', inside, not from the outside, or I'd never be really happy.

So, little by little, day by day, I began looking inside (at first a little afraid of what I might find), and identifying those things that made me feel good, about me.

Since then, when ever I feel at all lost, like I did last July when my employer of 11+ years and I parted company, I look inside, find a new path and set out on the journey.

Last July, I ultimately decided I wanted to resurrect my consulting career... Start contracting again, only this time not spend all of my time away from home, but to find projects I'd like and be able to be home every night... Here it is April now... I'm doing exactly what I wanted to do, and... Have a contract that will take me at least to the 1yr anniversary of the career change.... And, I'm excited again... Making a big contribution to the project... having FUN again....And happier and more relaxed than I've been on 10 years!!

So don't sweat the small stuff... Look inside... Find a path that will make you happy to be on and take that first step!!


RealLady said...

wonderful post darlin!

Bill said...

Why thank you :) Nice to know at least one person read it!! :)

I do appreciate the feedback!

Braleigh said...

Very touching post. I completely agree with finding the mindset where, though you take others into consideration and aren't galavanting around like some sociopath, you operate according to your own principles, feelings, and opinions. It's great that you can do that. For me, I think perhaps I used to live far too hypersensitive to those around me, not realizing that they neither deserved to have such a profound impact, but that they were completely unaware that they did. t is healthy to live moderatley self-centeredly.

Bill said...

Braleigh -

Thanks for your comments... Is it really being 'self-centered', in any way, to follow your own path?

I believe we can follow our own path, "dance to our own drummer", as is often said, and still have a genuine concern for others.

When all is said and done, I'm of the belief that being true to yourself is actually the least selfish thing a person can do... any thoughts? anyone?

Braleigh said...

I meant it not with the harshly negative connotation that are given those words today, but that one should be concerned chiefly with one's own being. So really, I meant it technically, one's self being the center of focus, while reaching outwards from that point to ensure that the well-being of others is also being taken to heart, rather than ALL of the focus being placed on one's self. Haha. maybe I'm not explaining myself very well, solely because I must somewhat alter the denotation of the words as well to express what I mean. But trust me, I mean what you said. :D

Bill said...

My question was more rhetorical than anything... I really had your meaning in hand.