The joys of parenthood are many and ever-changing.
The mental victory dance you do at 2:12 a.m. upon hearing your 3-year-old flushing the toilet after her first nocturnal visit to the potty? Yours precedes her own victory dance, two years later, after she’s finished confidently striding across the stage to collect her Kindergarten “diploma.”
Why are you crying, Daddy?
You’ll understand when you have kids of your own, sweetie.
What does the above have to do with sports? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And that’s why I dig writing here, in my independent little corner of the world wide web, more than any place I’ve written.
With the exception of my book, which was a true labor of love (“labor” being the key word, as it was arduous for both me and my expectant bride), I’ve been writing what other people want me to write my whole career — and for a long time that was fine.
But as I grew older, as I grew more independent in my thinking and nature, I did what a lot of people do as they get older.
I developed something of a stubborn streak.
I decided that when push came to shove, I was going to stick to my guns and insist that I’m right.
Not always the best approach in the corporate world, and my two most recent jobs have been with huge, national companies. It’s as much about who you spend time trying to appease as it is the quality of your performance when it comes to working in big buildings, and I’m the first to admit I haven’t always played nice with the people holding my career cards.
So here I am, writing when I want and about what want.
Liberating, to be sure. Lucrative? Not so much. Not yet, anyway. That’ll come.
That’s the plan, anyway, but it has to start with great work. And for work to be great, it has to be something you love. This is one of the many lessons I’ve learned in the wake of Steve Jobs’ death.
While he was living, I didn’t pay much attention to Jobs’ life, his legacy, his overwhelming impact on the lives of millions of people. Since he passed, though, I’ve devoured every word I can find detailing that life remarkably lived, and among my joyous and profound discoveries is that he lived that remarkable life because he figured something out that it takes many of us far too long to realize, and it’s not a complicated lesson or message.
In fact, it’s pretty simple.
A career is far too long to not spend it truly loving what you do, and life is far too short not to spend it doing what you want with those you hold most dear. Find a way to marry those concepts and you’re way ahead of the game.
You might not change the world as did Jobs, but you can change your world and the world of those around you.
And that’s pretty remarkable, too.