Hey everyone. I hope your weekend is going really well.
I’ve been thinking about something this morning and thought it might be worth sharing. I feel like it something that I’ve struggled with a fair bit in the last number of weeks. I don’t think it is something that I will ever “get over,” rather it is a struggle that will continue to be a part of my life for as long as I live.
That thing is this. What is my identity? What makes me “me?” What do I value above all other things?
I write this from the perspective of a web developer, because that is what I know, it’s kind of “what I do.” The truth however applies across the spectrum of people and occupations.
I went to church this morning. As is often the case, I found myself being challenged.
As I sat in my pew and thought about life, my life, what I’m doing and where I am going, I was challenged. The challenge was offered from the lips of a pastor at the church I am attending. A wizened older gentleman who cares for the those he shepherds.
His question, to me, to all in attendance was “where, in whom, or in what do you find your identity?”
To be totally honest, the question caught me a bit off guard, it took a few minutes to process exactly what I was thinking and feeling.
What Are You Known For?
A big part of what we value as our identity can be found if we ask ourselves what we are or what we want to be known for.
When people think of Eldon Yoder… what do they think of?
- Do they think of a Ruby on Rails developer?
- Do they think of a stuck up know it all?
- Do they think of someone who would do just about anything for anyone?
- Do they think of a stubborn blogger?
- Do they think of someone who always needs to have their way?
- Do they think of someone who they would be glad to call a friend?
I don’t know what people think when they think of me. All I can really go on is how I live my life each and every day. Taking how I want to be known and moving it into how I live each and every day, that is where the magic lies.
Think about that for a minute.
What do people know you for? What do you want them to know you for?
What About the Stuff?
When time is done. When the world gets to the point where it needs to “get off the train.” There are very few things that will be left.
- Your car won’t be very important.
- Your bank account won’t be very important.
- Your job won’t be very important.
- Your comic book collection won’t be very important.
- How you played the guitar won’t really matter.
- The web apps that you built… won’t matter.
What Really Matters?
Here is the deal. When push comes to shove. It isn’t what you have that matters.
What really matters is what did you do with the stuff, abilities and opportunities that you had?
- Who did you take to school in your car?
- Who did you bless with the money in your bank account?
- Who’s life did you touch with the work that you did?
- Who did you encourage as you shared your love of comic books?
- Who did you inspire to play the guitar?
- Who’s life was blessed or changed by the web apps that you built?
I really believe that if we ask ourselves questions like these every morning as we prepare to face a new day… we will find ourselves facing life with an entirely different perspective than if we were to never think about things like these.
Wrapping it all Up
So what am I trying to say? Life is great… none of us knows how many more days of life we have.
Find something worth living for. Make it part of your every day. Stick to it.
Do amazing things that aren’t about you.
Live today (and every day) in such a way that you wouldn’t be sad if it was your last.