In this world there are people who attack life and people in which life attacks them. It’s a rational choice that becomes habitual and sets the course for your story. I am a person who attacks life. Most of the people reading my blog are people who attack life! Early in my Christian life I memorized a verse and this phrase stuck out to me, “make the most of every opportunity.” That struck me because I never thought Christians could be aggressive, but Paul makes a very aggressive statement!
I just got back a 24 hour trip to Michigan. I am exhausted and pumped up at the same time! Basically, 12 months ago I did the same trip in opposite fashion so it’s not like I’ve never done it before. The truth is I’ve done that type of trip many times before. For example in October 2001, I flew from Chicago to Heidelberg, Germany for a five day trip in which I spoke 10 times. The mindset of, “I’m going there to do business and than coming home” is not new to me.
The flip side of this is the notion of living a balanced life. A key reason we want to live a balanced life is sustainability. Which begs the question, “How do you live an attack-oriented life” It seems anti-balanced life to have some of your calendar year balance between family, friends, service, and work while other– big chunks– of your life is spent out attacking a project.
I think its easy to over-compensate on both fronts. You meet people on the road who attack life too much. And you meet people at home who play the role of the attacked. The key is determining which things are opportunities that you need to make the most of because they advance your life’s purpose (whoppertunities) and which are just plain-old opportunities that will gain you some more income, notoriety, or just be an item to check off your list. And then there are things that masquerade as opportunities but are really distractions.
In other words, part of being a leader is discerning which things are opportunities, whoppertunities, or distractions.
Whoppertunities don’t come along often and they are worth dropping everything for. Opportunities come along fairly often and you need to take the time to discern if they are worth pursuing towards your stated goals. And ones that aren’t worth pursuing you need to label (at least mentally) as distractions.
You ability to do that determines whether you can balance it all. Invest in too many distractions and you’ll soon be too busy to see whoppertunities or even opportunities you need to jump on.
My stated goal is to change the world in which I live. By very nature that is an attack-oriented life as the only type of change the world does on its own is negative, entropy-driven change. Change for the betterment of an ecosystem is hard work. But it is never impossible!
My advice to anyone who wants to change the world in which they live is to not give into the notion that you can’t be both balanced and driven by your work. That’s plain nonsense.