My daughter was having a bad day. Rainy weather interrupted her soccer game. Her brother snubbed her by choosing his buddies over hanging out with her. Our well-intentioned toddler decided to help “organize” her room by pulling everything off her shelves. She was late for her flute lesson. To add insult to injury, the family was headed to an event where there would be lots of adults and little kids, but no one her age. The compounding effect of these little annoyances grew into honest frustration that bordered on anger. These emotions placed her on the precipice of a decision. How would she respond?
Still, well into adulthood, I find myself just wanting to fit in. It’s not in the same way as it was in high school of course. I’m not hoping to be invited to the right party or pretending to smoke a cigarette or claiming my drink in my plastic cup isn’t water. This was how I “fit in” as a teen. Today, I want to fit in with a life that follows the appropriate succession of events.
By now you know we love Shauna Niequist here at Storyline. She’s an incredible mother, wife, speaker and writer. We love the boldness of her femininity and the beauty of her intense intellect. We’re proud to have her keynote and host the Storyline Conference in Chicago.
Our bike rides in Nicaragua gave me a lot of time to think about what I needed to shed on my pursuit to discovering life purpose. These decisions that define purpose separate their decision makers from everyone else. If we want clarity in what we are intended to do, we must release and clearly say no to the things that we know are not a match for our calling and say yes to what we are made to do.
I have a confession. I’m given to self pity. I hate it and I don’t want it in my life anymore. It’s costing me. In the past month or so I’ve been studying Richard Nixon. We just passed the 40th anniversary of his impeachment and resignation, so interviews and articles have been floating around the internet. Nixon lived in a bit of an ethical fog. But in my opinion his ethics problems weren’t his primary flaw. His primary flaw was he felt sorry for himself.
I could theorize and offer scientific evidence all day long. I can give you source after source, anecdote after anecdote on why our obsession with our phones is killing us. But here’s the real truth: Your fixation with your phone is killing your ability to do work that matters. While your phone harbors many tools for good, when you get caught in its tractor beam, you’re in for a swamp of time sucking molasses.
We’ve all experienced moments of feeling like our pain is being “put into perspective” when other people’s pain is exposed to us. Whether it comes from witnessing horrible tragedies on the news or in walking with our friends through unimaginable circumstances, you’ve probably, like me, sighed in the heaviness of it all and thought something along the lines of “man, the stuff I go through is so petty in comparison to this.”
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