Jul 13, 2011

Rules of Life

The more I push the boundaries of acceptable, the more I realize, there are no rules to life.  

Is anyone else a Joseph Campbell fan?  He wrote about myths and the motto: Follow Your Bliss.   He also laid out 3 really great questions that I adapt to the big picture decisions I make in my life. 

1. Where am I going? 
2. How will I get there? 
3. Who will go with me?

Where am I going? It's a good idea to know where you're going in life.  Growing up I never had the idea of becoming a model. I didn't know that job existed.  I didn't really know what I wanted to "be."  But I knew that I wanted to be recognized as having been helpful.  Just that little bit of information helped me push forward and make better choices. For instance, I could take a risk and step into a leadership position at school, church and at my part-time job because I knew I'd need to learn how to lead to reach my goal of being recognized as helpful. 
How will I get there? I played basket ball on a high school team that made it to state every year and rarely lost a game.  The pressure was intense.  I was a starter center in J.V. and was working my way towards a starter position on varsity.  I was invited to varsity practices and participated in summer basketball camps and summer college ball teams.  I also played in the high school summer leagues and stayed extra hours at the gym practicing. Some days I would wake up in the morning and play ball until I went to sleep that night.  However, I never intended to make it to playing varsity ball.  My real goal was to go to college my senior year of high school because the state would pay for it if I had the grades. 

Why would anyone spend so much time on a sport they never intended to play beyond college?  It was because I knew I needed to develop the skill of commitment and the ability to follow through.  I knew by watching the people in my life that were successful that if I wanted the level of success they had, I had to commit to the tasks in front of me at the same level.  I could play ball and so that's where my opportunities lay for me to practice commitment and follow through. 

The first two questions were easy to answer.  I knew I wanted to move towards being recognized as helpful and I knew that a deep level of commitment and follow through would get me there.  The third question, who will go with me, is one that is constantly changing.  
Who will go with you? My mother taught me a key lesson to success in life.  She told me numerous times, relationships most important.  You can have everything or you can have nothing but if your relationships with yourself, with others and with you God aren't right, you'll never be happy.  I've carried that with me as I've looked to see who will go with me. 

And most of the time the answer is I go alone. This doesn't mean I don't have support of friends and family.  For me, with a lot of the decisions I've made in my life, I've had to have the courage to step out of the pack alone.  But for me, that's where the magic of life lies.  I've discovered time and time again that that last question gets answered once I jump. It's only after I decide the take action that others follow or appear.  And what gratitude fills me when people do come with me or appear to help guide me.  

What jump did you take today?  Where are you going?  What principal will guide you? 

The photos are of me, my brother-in-law David and our cousin-ish Paul Glazer committing to a good time in West Hampton last week.  

1 comment:

  1. I really like this post. I am not exactly sure where I am "going" but I do know that being on vacation, away from daily routine and responsibilities, and having a few moments of peace, serenity and creativity will help guide me.