I've been thinking a lot about value lately. Specifically, the conversations and presence with my kids. In the last seven years my core has been fully engaged with them. Not because I'm some rock star at parenting or a nominee for father of the year. Believe me, I've tripped and blown it more times than I care to remember. It has been a God-induced form of luck, struggles and on-purpose effort.
I didn't always find real value in my kids. I loved them and many times justified my career chasing as a benefit they'd reap from. I was afraid and self-absorbed. Always thinking I would get the time, find the time or that time would send me a relationship wrapped in red ribbons. It is about prioritizing and being deliberate about pouring yourself into the relationship. I was humbled by that truth. And, yes, it carries tremendous risk. Living always presents this and there is no living without it.
I'm now at a place where I understand true value and I am learning the art of living it out. Living it out means seeing, in the arena of my family, my relationship with them as equally valuable as a financial pursuit or a social engagement.
Here's the potential rub for you and me. If we're not careful we'll allow our career to dominate the other 7/8ths of life. Like a drug, we'll want (not need) that fix. You know, the feeling of importance, fake significance and most dangerously, identity. Don't fall for this, don't buy into your employer who tries to convince you that their most important should be your most important. Like Steven Pressfield's Resistance, in the book, The War of Art, there is something fighting against your best intentions.
A few years ago a friend of mine told me he thought I was courageous to walk away from a career that had taken over much of my life. I wasn't, but I did see (sometimes not clearly) value in life and living. That truth remains.