Todd Dewett | May 11, 2020
[I was thinking about my two boys yesterday. They are amazing, and also normal and sometimes lazy – hey, they’re teenagers. It amazes me how much time they spend doing nothing (i.e., gaming, watching videos). I fight to remind myself that I too did a lot of nothing at their age. Then my inner pontificator takes over. I imagine giving them this speech, but I love them too much to do it. Maybe I’ll just print this out and send it to them in the mail. Think they’ll know it’s from me?]
I want you to be more. More is about possibilities – envisioning them, evaluating, chasing, seizing, and sharing them. It’s is a mindset. It’s a way of thinking. It’s a way of life. See past the constraints. See more.
More is not about material things or conspicuous consumption. I’m not trying to promote wealth as happiness or any of the other paper thin mantras that find attention now and again. I’m also not suggesting that you’re not yet good enough. You are. I’m not accusing you of low standards or of having failed in your endeavors.
Be more is about imagining more.
It’s about goals and dreams. Think about your vision for life. What? You don’t have a vision? Short-term goals, like just trying to survive the day, are understandable. I respect that, but how dare you stop there. You have human imagination. You’re capable of radically more. You don’t need me to ___.
Be more is about striving more.
Hard work typically precedes knowledge. Knowledge and expertise attract opportunity. Get to work – or, you could just binge online, or maybe game for two days straight. They have tournaments now. Maybe you’ll be a winner. Maybe you should ponder the difference between merely expending hours and actual striving.
Be more is about learning more.
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is how little you know. If that statement excites you, you’re on the right path. If it confuses you, well, you have more to learn. Good news – learning is a skill, a thing you can successfully embrace if you so choose. If you’re honest about what interests you, it might even pay your bills or touch your soul.
Be more is about achieving more.
Yes, it’s about accomplishing more than you have so far. Too many people are crippled with fear of failure, instead of being driven by a fear of not achieving. If you understand the meaning of more, you’ll only fear not accomplishing all you’re capable of accomplishing. Be thankful for that particular fear. It reminds you that you’re alive and that being alive is something you should approach with clear intentions.
More is also a warning about feeling content.
Your current status might be noteworthy. It might be meritorious. It might be clearly above average. Cool. Enjoy that. You earned it. However, be wise and put a cap on the celebration. Every achievement, though beautiful, is what happened yesterday. Enjoy that day, and maybe the next. Then it’s time to start again.
Replace feeling content with gratitude. Be genuinely thankful for what you have: health, safety, family, friends, the dollars in your pocket. To be content for more than small periods is dangerous. You risk believing that more is not necessary. With a focus instead on gratitude, you appreciate where you are while giving more the room it needs to grow.
Again, more is not about stuff. It’s about adding value to life. Value comes in many shapes and sizes. It is new knowledge and skills, new connections and relationships. It is tasks accomplished and people helped. It’s your vocation and volunteering. It’s about your mind and your body. It’s about living fully.
Like everything else, more is what you make it. What exactly are you making?