Sunday, August 26, 2012

Building Sandcastles–Taking Life Too Seriously

As a long time entrepreneur and Fortune 25 / Wall St. strategy and technology guy, I stand accused of the following charges:

1. Taking myself too seriously while not taking the value of my time / “fun” relationships seriously enough.

2. Always preparing for tomorrow instead of cherishing the moment that is today.

How do I plead?

Guilty, your honor.

Yes, there are times I would like to believe that I have optimized everything perfectly in my Life.

But I know I haven’t.  I am human, after all.

And no, I don’t sit in regret, looking at my Life as a collection of woulda-coulda-shouldas.

My Life has been the perfect collection of memories, events, relationships, victories, challenges, stumbles and learning lessons that make it what it is today.

And so is yours.

While we see a lot of “experts” espousing the ideals of being more efficient, more productive, more intelligent, more wealthy, more beautiful and more “everything else”, we need to recognize the importance of being a little less efficient, a little less productive and gasp, yes, even a little less intelligent – on occasion, not as a way of living, of course.

And as we run around in circles building our legacies, building the legacies of others or having a legacy built for us by someone else, sometimes it is nice to build something temporary, enjoy it for what it is and then let it dissolve with no regrets or attachments.

After all, while we would like to believe that we are the masters of our destiny, having wilful control over everything in our lives, some of the most powerful things in our Lives are created when we step back and just let things occur as they are meant to occur, not caring what others think about what we are doing or what the long term contribution is to our Life.

And for us to savor those moments as they are revealed.

The beauty of a sandcastle

Some of us may have cherished memories of building a perfect sandcastle with its wonderfully imagined details.  At some point, we were called in for the day and regretfully, left our sandcastle behind to the whims of the tide.

And while the sandcastles of our youth are long gone, the memories that were imprinted in our psyche will last a lifetime.

Some of the most powerful memories in our lives are of the victories we have achieved, the relationships we have built (and possibly lost) and the challenges we have overcome as we attempt to live a Life of purpose and meaning.

However, some of the most powerful memories in our lives will have been created when we didn’t take ourselves too seriously at all and we participated in an activity because it was fun and not because it was a step in some master plan that we had contrived.

Tomorrow will be filled with the excitement and challenges of Life, as we work with others to write the story of our lives.

But today I think I will head out to build a sandcastle.  In the storybook of my Life, those pages are important also.

How about you?

In service and servanthood,


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