Thoughts stay thoughts without action.
The definition of passion…
- Any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
- Strong amorous feeling or desire; love; affection.
- Strong sexual desire; lust.
- An instance or experience of strong love or sexual desire.
- A person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire.
- A strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything
- The sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death
There is the more interesting definition: suffering – the state or experience of one that suffers.
Passion is the willingness to suffer or sacrifice for something important to you.
Passion contains the essence of what purpose is about.
The definition of purpose…
- The reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
- An intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
- Determination; resoluteness.
Understanding what you’re passionate about, informs your purpose.
Purpose gives you a “why”.
The “why” makes each day, every task, and your “being” a thing to enjoy. Regardless of what the mundanity, you can be confident in what you are doing. You will be doing it deliberately and intentionally.
Because of your passion, you live on purpose.
- In three words, describe your personality.
- List five of your most dominant interests.
- Describe your character, including your virtues, vices, strengths, and weaknesses.
- List the past four opportunities that opened doors for you. Who facilitated those opportunities?
- In the coming year, what opportunities would you like to have open to you?
- Who are the people with who you most often deal? List the greatest joy(s) and the greatest challenge(s) in dealing with them.
- If you have a mentor, describe what you admire about your mentor. If you do not yet have a mentor, describe what qualities you’d like your mentor to have — qualities that you would like to emulate.
- List the places where you have lived. What possibilities did each place offer you?
- List the places where you have traveled to. You can list just the ones that had a clear effect on you or all of them. In each place, what changed in you as a result of your visit? What did visiting each place teach you?
Who You Are Not
There’s a lot in this speech by McConaughey. From 11:11 to 13:33 is a great thought about knowing who you are by first figuring out who you are not.
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; big men and small character; steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce; fancier houses but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this essay to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight or to just hit delete.
Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember to say “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
and always remember…
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
– Dr. Bob Moorehead
You do a really good job of taking care of yourself physically. You work out, you eat right, but that’s not all there is. Your mind needs to be in good shape too. What does that look like? I think it’s different for everyone, so it might take a little experimentation to discover what works for you.
- Read: You know you like to do it. Plus it provides you with mental stimulation, stress reduction, improves your focus, allows you to “escape” without having to go anywhere, and all sorts of other benefits.
- Write: On paper. It’s good for you.
- Meditate: Being able to calm your mind is a skill. Build that skill.
- Challenge yourself: Get out of your comfort zone. Learn or do something you might not be good at or even interested in.
- Remember the past: take the time to remember details of something from your past you love and enjoy. Write it down, you’ll have something comforting to read and add to later when you need it. Why? To remember where you’ve been and to know how far you’ve come.
- Take a walk: Get outside. Move your feet. It’s not an intense workout, more of a way to focus and free your brain.
- Be alone: It’s another skill to develop. Being happy alone releases you from the tethers of always having to be around someone else.
- Be with people: Find good people to be around and do it. You can also just go to a coffee shop, the gym, or even the mall to be around other people.
- Talk to a counselor or therapist: Professionals who are trained to help you figure this out are a great resource for solutions and the reason why you might be feeling the way you’re feeling.
- Observe: Engage with everything around you. This means focusing on things outside of you and disengaging with distractions. Try to find the interesting in the mundane or try to see the everyday differently. Write it down, take photos, or don’t.
Sara (my wife) is the best cheerleader on the planet. She believes so much in me that it almost makes me sick (I can’t imagine what other people think). Regardless of what I’m doing or going through, she is right there supporting, helping, or just adding her “you can do it!” two cents. I know I’m super lucky to have someone like that in my life. I’m even luckier that this person is my wife and my best friend.
I attempt to be a cheerleader for her. I’m not sure if I succeed, or even get close but, I’ve found that she isn’t he only one to benefit from my cheerleading. I benefit too. Being someone’s cheerleader gets you involved on a deeper level, shows you’re interested, and gives you a different perspective.
As the cheerleader you are involved, even if your cheerleading is only limited to jumping around and being excited for the other person. It is rarely limited to that though. Let them bounce ideas and questions off of you. You ask your own questions to find out more. You get involved and try to help solve problems. You’re invested in what they are doing and the results. That alone should warrant you picking up the pompoms!
Showing You’re Interested
The questions, suggestions, playing devil’s, any way that you get involved all show them that you are interested in what is going on and in their success. Your interest makes them feel important and when it comes down to it, that is all everyone wants, is to feel important. So get interested, find out how you can help, and you’re providing something that not many people get enough of, but should.
Looking At Things From A Different Perspective
Simply put you’re giving them a different perspective, somewhat objective, and that is very valuable. This is why other people need cheerleaders, why that need to talk things out, so they can get that other perspective. That isn’t where it ends though. Many times, the suggestions I give to Sara help me in my own tasks and problems. It gets me to stop, take a step back and look at things from the other side, or at least another angle. The ability to do that has helped me with problems and my adventures many, many times.
Cheerleading doesn’t have to be limited to your wife or husband, it needs to be done for your kids, your friends, and even for yourself. Being a cheerleader is one of the best things I can think of that you can do for someone else.
I’m hope you know this. If you do or don’t I still need to say it. What you do and how you do it really does matter.
I’m Sara’s (my wife) best friend, and she is mine:
- She wants to spend time with me, so I make time to spend with her.
- She takes on my problems & feelings, even if I ask her not to. So, I try to be mindful of the way I respond to things.
- She knows when I’m not happy, and can sense when things aren’t “all good”.
- We enjoy just being in the vicinity of each other.
See, I really am her best friend, I have proof:
Even more proof!
I’m thankful for you. My husband, my best friend, my partner in crime!
— design007 (@design007) November 28, 2013
Aidan specifically & kids in general are the most perceptive little beings on the planet:
- Aidan knows when I’m there or not.
- He knows when I show up to one of his events.
- He notices when I make and effort, or don’t.
- He keeps track of me – probably better than I do.
- He knows what kind of a mood I’m in.
Anyhow, the point of all of this, is that we have an affect on the people around us. Even more of an affect on our loved ones. So make a conscious effort to think about how you do things. Because what you do and the way you do it really does make a difference.
Here are five things you can start doing to be a better dad.
- Stop and listen
- Be the bad guy
- Do what they want to, when they want to do it
- Don’t solve the problem for them
- Put the device down
- Tuck them in
Stop and listen
When Aidan wants my attention, even if I’m in the office working, I’ll stop what I’m doing, look at him and listen to what he has to say. Now, I’m not perfect I don’t do this every time (I wish I did). He is also 11, so sometimes I need to interrupt the story he’s telling me about a baseball game he is playing on the Xbox to tell him that I have work I need to get finished. Doing this lets him know that I care about him and what he has to say. It also provides the opportunity to let him know when it isn’t the right time to try and grab someone’s attention.
Be the bad guy
Yep, it sucks, I hate doing it, but I have to let Aidan fail and deal with the consequences of that failure. More often that not I can’t help but feel like a big a-hole for doing it too. I do it because it will teachhim to stand up for himself, and that he is going to fail, bad things will happen, but it isn’t the end of the world.
I love and hate this quote at the same time.
That is what it means to be a parent – to teach your child to live without you. – Nicole Krauss
Do what they want to do, when and how the want to do it
Every now-and-then I’ll play Halo with Aidan. It used to be that I would be the better video game player. Not any more. Being a competitive personality it is very difficult for me to lose especially to an 11 year old. But I’ll let him school me all day, because he enjoys it. Not just the pure domination of him repeatedly blowing me away, but it provides me the opportunity to ask him questions and get him to teach me something. A skill that I know will serve him well int he future.
Don’t solve the problem for them
Similar to letting Aidan school me in Halo, I’ll let him doing things his way, even if I know a better way or that his way won’t work. He needs to fail, figure out where he went wrong and then fix that misstep. That is the only way he’ll become a better, more self-sufficient person.
Put the device down
For a long time I was distracted. Emails, status updates, things I needed to do and see. I couldn’t miss a thing. My face was always down in my phone reading what others were doing or what they needed me to do. That is fine when you’re working, but you can’t always be working. Take the time to disable your email alerts, turn off Facebook, or better yet, turn off the device entirely. I go the jitters the first few times I did it. It took some getting used to. But, when everything didn’t burn down and the world kept spinning without me there to make sure that was happening, a great thing happened. I got to present in the moment and enjoy the things that were going on right then.
One more little thing – you don’t have to take pictures of everything. Take a few photos, then put the phone/camera away. You’ll enjoy what you are doing more, and then you’ll have actual memories when you look back at those photos.
Tuck them in
The last thing is to tuck them in at night, at least when they are young. Luckily Aidan still let’s my wife and me tuck him in at night. It is a great thing to give him a hug and kiss and tell him to sleep fast every time you can. I’m sure for Aidan it is a comforting thing to know that that will happen every night.