Well this may be the strangest blog post I’ve ever written. I’m typing this from the 8th floor of Palmetto Richland Hospital in Columbia, SC. More on that in a sec. But first, looking back I can hardly believe it’s actually it’s been over 2 months since I last posted here — WOWZERS!
So where have I been? What the heck’s been going on? Where do I start! Frankly the last couple of months have been a crazy whirlwind of stuff…
- We Went to Uruguay!
I was able to take my whole family on a mission trip to Uruguay for the whole month of July. Yes, even our 9 year old and 4 year old! What a huge blessing this was to our family! I’ll save the details for another time, but I’ll just say God was good, we saw clear reasons we were supposed to be there, and the experience left a profound impact on all of us.
- My Little Girl Went Under the Knife!
We returned home from Uruguay to our youngest daughter Kelsey (age 4) needing kidney surgery. She’s had kidney reflux for a while now and we knew surgery was a possibility, but the suddenness of it all still just kind of threw us for a loop. I’m sure you can imagine it was just so, so sad to see her like that! But thankfully she’s really back at 100% now and doing just great!
- I Got Funky!
Returning from Uruguay I found myself in this strange, funky mix of feeling inspired and exhilarated by our experience, and at the same time oddly unfocused and unmotivated, and really struggling to force myself to work (which is very unlike me). It’s even made me question what I’m supposed to be doing at all. I mean real mess-with-your-head type stuff.
- My Dad Got an Air Head!
The short story is this: I got an unexpected call from my sis after church last Sunday that my Dad was in the ICU in his hometown of Columbia, SC. Apparently with a sudden and severe brain injury due to a badly broken nose, which started seeping tons of air into his brain and spinal fluid started leaking out. Now he’s in just a heap of pain, and the hospital’s still trying to sort out what to do.
So that’s the roller coaster we’ve been on these last couple of months, and why you haven’t heard from me in so long. Today I’m sitting in room 849 beside my poor Dad, just being here with him as he battles through this. I’ve been here since last Sunday and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be here. Time will tell.
Which brings me to two important things I want to share with you…
First, Regarding My Dad…
Frankly I’d really covet your warm thoughts and prayers for my him.
Imagine like the worst migraine you could possibly think of — times ten — nonstop. Big doses of morphine and Vicodin are just enough to get him temporarily to a 6 or 7 on the 10 point pain scale, and really for only an hour or so. It really just sucks to see him in this much nonstop pain, and to still not have any solid answers on what’s next.
He seems to be slowly improving, but we’re far from being out of the woods. There’s still a half dozen different things that could go wrong at any time. The guy’s only 62 and has a lot of life left him him.
So I know this email reaches people of many faiths, but if you’re the praying kind, I humbly ask you to please offer up a prayer for him. His name is David Moses. AND THANK YOU.
Regarding My Personal Funk…
Can I continue with the vulnerability for a moment?
As mentioned, I returned from Uruguay simultaneously exhilarated and inspired by the whole experience, and also flat out unmotivated, totally unfocused, and baffled by feeling this way. I’m not a lazy bones – just ask my wife! But I’ve felt stuck in the mud of uncertainty, and really struggled to get much done. A tough, weird, and challenging place to be sure.
But I’m happy to say, I’ve started to turn a corner…
All this time in hospitals lately has given me a lot of time to think…to ponder…and to really wrestle with all this. And all this time in my own head, plus some heartfelt counsel with my lovely wife, my pastor, some close friends and even those crazy FLIP VIPs cats, I believe I’ve come to a welcome, albiet sobering realization…
“I’m Seriously Lacking a Specific, Clear Life Vision”
And I’m now convinced this is the core issue underlying this crazy funk I’ve found myself in.
Now hang with me here…
It’s kind of a weird concept, this “life vision” thing. But trust me — once you start to get it, the light bulb goes on and you realize just how huge it really is. Let me explain, and see how this resonates with you…
Here’s how my buddies Steve Cook and Shaun McCloskey (of Lifeonaire) aptly put it…
“With Lifeonaire, we teach people how to come up with a vision for their lives. Having a vision might sound a little bit foo foo and even complicated, but it really doesn’t have to be. In essence it just means knowing exactly what you want life to look like. It means deciding and planning your outcome in advance rather than waiting and responding to whatever happens to show up each day.”
“I speak with far too many people who find themselves waking up one day asking themselves, ‘How did I get here?’ Sadly most people spend more time planning a weekend vacation than they do planning the rest of their lives. They simply let life happen and end up wondering why they’re not very satisfied with the results. But the most truly fulfilled people I know didn’t just get there by accident.”
So there is is…and this is exactly what I’ve been facing head-on lately. And it’s forcing me to wrestle with some really tough questions. Questions I thought I already knew easy answers to, but I’m realizing now how sadly mistaken I was.
I started at first slugging it out with questions like:
- What will it take to get me excited & motivated again?
- Am I really doing what I’m made to do?
- What is it that truly brings me the most fulfillment?
- Am I doing what am I best at? And what I’m really most passionate about?
- What do I do that brings others the most value, satisfaction and joy?
- What’s my real motivation for doing it all anyways?
And man, them are some tough questions! But that was just a starting point. As I’ve continued trekking through the vision crafting forest, I’m pressing into questions like:
- What are the things that are really most important to me in life?
- Does my life truly reflect that these are most important to me? (Youch!)
- What do I want to be most remembered for?
- If I could write my own eulogy, what would I want it to say?
- What experiences in my life have brought me the most joy? Real, lasting joy that I can still experience today when I think of them?
- At my core, what is it I will need to do in order to truly win the game of life? (Hint: having the biggest bag of money is not the right answer)
Ouch! Clearly these are gut-check questions dealing with a heck of a lot more than MONEY. They deal with your MISSION. Your CALLING. Your SWEET SPOT. And ultimately finding and fulfilling your PURPOSE in life.
“So What’s the Point?”
Ha, I’m so glad you asked! ;-)
Well I’m still working through this process at the moment. Things are getting clearer for me, but I’ve still got work to do. More questions (beyond those above) are still to be answered. And to be really honest it’s kind of painful, but also exhilarating, inspiring, re-focusing and inspiring at the same time.
But I’m sharing this with you for two reasons:
…This process will absolutely craft the shape of things to come from me. Including REI Tips, real estate, family time, church, friends, service opportunities, and everything else I do.
Once my vision is crafted, rebooting myself will become an exciting process of refocusing myself on exactly what it will take to get me there. Which will mean saying “Yes” to many things and “No” to many others, with crystal clarity of how they will and won’t help me accomplish my vision. (Yesssssss….)
…I’m inviting you…no, I’M CHALLENGING YOU to delve into this process for yourself!
Look, I’ve a feeling more than a few others can relate to all this. And if this stirs anything within you, don’t ignore it!
Don’t be Afraid to Wrestle with the Tough Questions
Yes, these are questions that really rattle your cage and mess with your mind…in the best possible way. Questions that force you to clarify who you really are, what you really care about, what you’re really made to do, and whether or not you’re really accomplishing it.
These are very good questions, well worth wrestling with. And within the honest answers I’m convinced you’ll discover what true fulfillment and ultimate success really look like — for you.
So what say you? Are you up for the challenge? Anyone else stirred up? Convicted? Alarmed? Confused? ;-)
Start by taking some time to seriously ponder the questions I’ve posted above. Do it on paper, not just in your head. And plan on investing at least 30 minutes up to a couple of hours. And if you’re really serious, consider a larger paradigm shift. Consider becoming a Lifeonaire.
Also, here are some other vision-related articles I really found helpful…and you may as well…
- “What’s Your Vision?”
- “Life: Define it Backwards, Live it Forwards”
- “What You ‘See’ is What You’ll Get”
And Do This…
As always I welcome and appreciate your comments. Please share what you think about all this below!
Thanks for listening and caring…
PS – UPDATE ON MY DAD…
Thanks again for keeping my Dad in your warm thoughts and prayers. I’m happy to report he’s been released from the hospital and is doing much, much better now. The air that’s been pressing on his brain seems to have finally been reabsorbed by his body, and spinal fluid no longer seems to be leaking. His head’s still hurting pretty bad, but not nearly on the super-migraine level it was for a week plus. He’sstill likely got another 2-3 weeks of bad headaches ahead, but all things considered, we’re feeling very good right now.
I’ll be honest – I came to Columbia with funeral clothes packed. We weren’t sure he’d make it. But God’s done his thing and verified this 62 year old cat still has the best of times ahead of him!
Hear me when I say THANK YOU for your warm thoughts and prayers during this last week and a half. THEY’VE BEEN FELT, and mean more than you know. What an honor to have a community of folks to lean on when life throws tough crap at you like this.
Now…back to working on my vision… :-)