Things that keep me up at night (understanding my why)

Motivational speakers often comment on the importance of your “why” and understanding exactly what your “why” is for doing the things you do. Until very recently, I think I’ve had lots of trouble actually enacting this kind of vision into everyday life in a way that is meaningful to my activities.

This post is a little more personal than things I usually write, so if you’re not at all interested in learning more about what makes me tick, you might go back to Hulu and be happier for it.

Like most everyone who has half a heart, I’m sometimes heard saying that my family is very important to me. In a very real sense, my parents and older brother have provided me with the means to chase success on my own terms. This is something special to me, and I don’t think I recognize it enough.

I have a goal sheet framed in my bedroom and sitting on my desk, and of the dozen-or-so goals written on that sheet, included is a goal to provide for my family’s financial independence. My family has never been wealthy, and thus my father has bootstrapped his way through raising 3 kids (and he’s not done yet at age 65 with a 17 year old daughter – do the math).

Without going into too many of the dreamy and emotional details, my father has a hobby in winemaking that he and I would both like to see come to fruition in his retirement. A retirement that currently is not an option due to financial constraint.

I’ve shared the back story of the “family vineyard” with several people over the past few weeks, and the result has been surprising. Earlier this week, I spoke to my dad on the phone (I try to call about once a week). As always, we shared what we’ve been up to lately, and he detailed out a few days of rather difficult manual labor.

As I heard him describing what became the conflict in my mind between his current scenario (a sore, stiff body after several hours of sanding, painting and home repair work) and the one I want him to be in (sitting on a porch in Grand Junction, CO overlooking several acres of vineyards and orchards), I started to become angry. Literally angry.

I tried not to let it ruin the phone call, but I found myself having to change the conversation, as I was making myself physically ill at the thought that I had not made better strides toward my vision and my goal. I’m not yet sure exactly where the disconnect is, but the thought of my father working his way through retirement just isn’t acceptable to me.

And while I don’t like the idea sickly feeling I’m left with after this thought, the clarity of vision and drive towards my goal that it creates is beyond most clarity I have ever felt in my life.

To make a long story short, the next time you see me and feel like helping me along this path, ask me, “Why?” Why slave at your own business? Why give up weekends? Why work until 2am on that presentation?

Because there’s a porch in Grand Junction, CO.

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