and make the ordinary extraordinary

Why we all need a friend or five and why less is often more

It’s a lifesaver, discovering people that can support you, especially in areas that you can barely support yourself.

To some degree we all tend towards a certain level of self-criticism. In balance it’s fine, questioning yourself is okay, but if it gets out of hand and there’s no one there to help fight the barrage, then it can become a real problem.

I noticed myself battling those feelings that I could never give enough, that I had to be and do more in everything that I did. It’s good to have aspirations, but if it’s never enough then things quickly go out of whack. In work, as a father, a son, a husband it seemed feelings would erupt that I had to add more. It wasn’t anyone telling me that I wasn’t living up to the mark; it was me, constantly on my case. And as I pushed myself to the edge, with burnout encircling the camp, something had to give.

Then something changed.

As I sat with a radical friend we talked about achievement, drive and all things push, and in that moment an epiphany was reached. My thoughts went back to my childhood and some of the best times of my life, those times when my parents were nowhere to be seen. With no adults around we set the rules, the structure of play was all up to us. And it was brilliant and fun and adventurous and exciting; we’d play and never want the day to ever end. Letting us be kids with them not around meant that they were best parents we could have.

And in that moment I realized that I didn’t have to be everything, in fact it could be advantageous, to everyone, if I was ‘less’ in certain areas of my life, and a lot more into me where it really counts. I didn’t need a dad to generate all my fun, and either do my children. In fact sometimes what they really need is for me to get out of the way. I can go have a rest or do whatever I like. Less is suddenly more.

But it’s hard sometimes when you’ve done it one-way for a while (or for all of your life). Sometimes you need a friend that can back you and remind you how brilliant you already are and that nothing more need be done. Sometimes you need another who can hold your bigness until you finally wake up. I’m blessed; I’ve been lucky enough to find a crew, especially my wife, who can hold it down for me until I catch up.

Because it’s a radical idea and tricky to hold down, that you’re perfect and brilliant and ready, just the way you are, immediately!

Sometimes you need a friend, because life begins to flow when you’ve got someone watching your back.

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