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Giving My Life Meaning.
When it is all said and done, I want to look back and know that I lived a life full of meaning.
You can drive a fast car, sport a hefty income, or whatever else gives you a temporary jolt of happiness–but none of those “things” gives you a legacy to leave behind. A reason to be remembered.
Ultimately, I have found that any legacy-worthy feat in my life has been when I have chosen to put others first. As a measuring stick for meaning and purpose, I have identified the two areas where I have the most interaction with other people–the most opportunity for impact–and believe it to be when I am with my family and when I’m at work. If those two areas of my life are in order, the rest seems to fall into place.
Meaningful Family life
Oftentimes, I look at my kids and think how lucky I am to be their dad. It is the single hardest job I’ve ever had to do–yet, clearly the most rewarding.
Parenting, in general, gives the word ‘balance’ a whole, deeper meaning. It’s knowing when to be strong and when to show weakness. It’s deciding when to be tough and when to let some things slide. It’s figuring out how to be present and yet find the time to also make a living.
With all this subtle give and take, there have been some points in my parenting where it seemed like being a great dad was quite possibly an impossible undertaking. Then, I came across this quote, “Strive to be the person you needed when you were younger,” by Ayesha Siddiqi.
With pause, I stopped to think about what kind of person I needed when I was younger. Funny how this question applies to many areas of life. If I think about this in every situation, for instance, it’s not too difficult to decide what to do. Be who you needed. When I’m with my kids–be the parent I needed. When loving my wife–be who I need. When cheering on my team–be who I needed in my journey of success.
I thought about my parents and my other role models and what they have given me. I also thought about anything that I could improve upon. I came up with many things, but it all boiled down to the same theme over and over again; time.
I needed someone that I knew would always be there for me–as a personal cheerleader, as a confidant during tough times, and as a friend to spend the moments of everyday life with. So, that’s exactly the person I want to be.
Luckily, with my career I have been able to set my own schedule. I have put in the long, hard hours. Now, when my kids have an important event, I can take it off. What better way to ensure your kids always know that their mom or dad is in their corner than by making time for the little things?
Finding Meaning at Work
For me, I become my kids’ biggest role model with my career choice–because that’s where I spend the majority of my time outside of the family.
So, when I go to work, I keep in mind that I have my kids observing me–whether it’s subconsciously or consciously–for guidance. I use that as a compass and strive to be someone helpful, caring, diligent, and important.
I’m proud to say that my time is well spent being a light on my client’s darkest day. My career has supplied me with resources to help others in ways I couldn’t have previously dreamed. Most importantly, for my family, it’s where I’ve formed a legacy to pass on to my children.
I can say that I’m proud of what I do, and I hope I can inspire my kids to do the same. I have a career that is full of meaning and purpose.
Now the question is, can you say the same?