Reverb 10 Prompt: Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?
One of my favorite past professors is Steven Tomlinson. Every now and then, I search him out to read what he has written or said. In doing this, I found his TEDxAustin 2010 presentation transcribed as a blog post. An excerpt from “Lead with What You Love” is as follows:
“So I sought out a wise man – Will Spong – a professor at the local seminary who had a reputation for insight and tough love. And I said, ‘I need a moral authority. I love business education, I love theology, and I love theater. So will you tell me what to do? Do I hold my nose and do the research and get tenure? Or do I move to New York and write plays until I’m discovered? Or do I give it all up, join the seminary, and become a priest? Whatever you say, I am going to do.’”
“He said, ‘This is the stupidest question anyone has ever asked me.’”
“He said, ‘You’re telling me there are the three things you love and you want me to tell you which two to cut off so you can limp along on the other one.’ He goes, ‘This is not how things work. The advice I have for you is ‘don’t discard.’ Find a way to keep all three of these things in the mix.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but what am I going to do for a living?’ He said, ‘You’ll find out. Right now what you do is spend two hours a week wholeheartedly engaged in all three things. They’ll talk to each other in your life and something will begin to happen that is unique and powerful.’”
Love of family is a given. I also love my work in marketing and branding; it is a great balance of creativity and practicality. My independent writing and my work in developing a new youth program set fire to a new passion. Doing all three does not lessen any one of them. In fact, I strongly believe that doing all three heightens my senses and raises the quality of each.
Using my time wisely, all three are done. I can honestly say that I am happier in this approach than I would be in dropping one or more. Family, work, and life are better and more meaningful.
My lesson learned is don’t give up something because it seemingly conflicts with other areas of your life. If you really love doing all three, then determine a way to do each of them. As the wise man said, “find a way to keep all three of these things in the mix.” I plan to continue this philosophy in the year ahead. Life is too short to ignore this.
It is about more than having it all. It is about doing all that you love, and let it unfold in a magical and spirited way. A better life choice.
What was your lesson learned from the past year? Join the conversation.