Remember the time when compact discs were around?
Those were the days when you would hear a song on the radio that you liked, and then you’d have to mow a few lawns so you could ride your bike to the music store because you HAD to have the disc.
And if you were like me, you’d listen to the song a couple hundred times until you would puke. Then you’d find another song to listen to and do the same until you literally wear the compact disc out.
By then, not only did you dislike the album, you began to dislike the band.
Fast Forward in Time
A few years ago I picked up the hobby of running, which believe it or not is something I never thought I’d get into. I started out with shorter distances, and ran a handful of 5K’s.
I began to like the idea of running, until I jumped off the deep end not long after that and ran my first half marathon in Las Vegas along with my wife and two of our closest friends.
And then it happened — addiction set in.
Since I decided to stop being a couch potato, I’ve run 13 half marathons and have put in over 600 miles of training just this year alone.
I feel that it’s something I eat, breathe and think about practically all the time. Right now, it’s one of the things that define who I am.
With this, however, has slowly developed a feeling and emotion that’s not quite so wonderful. I’ve really become a competitor of myself, and am starting to gauge my success on how fast I run, or if I can PR a race.
The Irony in Loving Something
When you find something you enjoy, and it’s something that takes over your life, you run the risk of being owned by it and resentment can occur.
It has happened to me with running at times, where I put too much energy into, and fail to really enjoy it. I get so burnt out, that I’m ready to throw in the towel of doing something that deep down I really love.
There come times where I get so focused on winning, that I lose sight of what it was that got me started — the love of the game.
I’m sure most of you have seen the movie Jerry Maguire, and yes — I’m going to quote his “The Things We Think and Do Not Say” manifesto.
We are losing our battle with all that is personal and real about our business. Every day I look at a list of phone calls partially returned.
And then he goes onto say:
Driving home, I think of what was not accomplished, instead of what was accomplished.
And here are some parting words:
We are pushing numbers around, doing our best, but is there any real satisfaction in success without pride?
Notice what’s fairly consistent in these quotes? A lack of true meaning, a feeling of emptiness and acknowledgment of things that are left undone.
A Point of Transformation
Later in the manifesto, Jerry turns the corner:
We are now at a point of transformation with this company. But this is not something to fear, it is something to celebrate.
It’s ok to have hobbies, and to find value in accomplishments. But …
Stop overdoing things. Stop doing things too much. Stop beating things you love into a pulp. Stop putting up fences that hold back your passion.
Enjoy doing things in moderation and remove any unnecessary and irrational expectations that you might place upon yourself.
You probably knew this was coming and good for you. Although it’s a bit cliche, that doesn’t remove the truth you’ll find in the statements below.
Now we get to the answer that Dicky Fox knew years ago:
The answer is fewer clients. Less dancing. More truth. We must crack open the tightly clenched fist of commerce and give a little back for the greater good. Eventually revenues will be the same, and that goodness will be infectious. We will have taken our number oneness and turned it into something greater. And eventually smaller will become bigger, in every way, and especially in our hearts.
Go on and make some changes — and stop hating the things you love.