What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

I recently spent some time with my family out west in Montana and Wyoming. We explored places like Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. It was one of the best family vacations we have ever taken. It was also the perfect opportunity to take stock of the year and reflect on many aspects of my life. What follows in this series of posts was born from time spent there. 

Lesson 1: I need to do less but better. 

One temptation I constantly give into is doing more. If I do enough, I feel accomplished. So I push through my natural limits to finish the tough workout when I am tired, write the blog post when I feel uninspired, and coach Little League in the spring. But instead of feeling accomplished, I often feel like a boxer holding on to the ropes, struggling to make it through the round (or, in my case, through the week). One of my go-to jokes is that I have been tired since 2011 — when Will was born — and I wear that joke like a badge of honor. 

The reality is that I do not want to live this way anymore because it is not sustainable.

But doing fewer things better is. 

This forces me to ask hard questions, starting with “What really matters?” 

For me, what matters most is: 

  • Jesus: I know this may sound weird, but my relationship with Him is real and life-giving.
  • Sarah: There is no human relationship that matters more. 
  • Will/Ben/Sadie: I have renewed perspective on how short the time I have left with them living in our house. I will invest here.
  • Work: Specifically, relationships. My executive coach has been reminding me of the importance of me building into others. Leadership is the process of doing things with and through other people. So I need to spend the majority of my work time with other people: teammates, customers, and suppliers. Work is human! 
  • Everything else 

Before moving on, and in conjunction with lesson 2 (which I’ll talk about next time), I am considering changing the cadence of this blog to every-OTHER-week in 2023. I am considering the change because I want to do less but better. I want to slow down my writing process to put extra thought into what I am sharing. I believe that you, the reader, will win when I do that.

My goal with these posts is still the same: I want to reach and encourage readers on topics around life, leadership, and faith. And reaching one reader is enough; I don’t count success in a number of views, but rather in hearing feedback that a blog post encouraged someone or made them think differently about a topic. Expect me to be as real as ever in the upcoming months. I pray that something I share will positively impact you because that is the goal.