Posts Tagged ‘life worth living’

LEGACY 17: The Significance of Productivity

June 2, 2018

My son raised a question about my last blogpost (about Gary M. and NOT FITTING THE MOLD), the question of what my point really was. And reading back through it, I realized I didn’t make that clear. I’ll do that in a later post, but for now I want to go on. I’ve committed to writing a post every day I can possibly manage it, so this is today’s.

Part of posting every day is being productive. And productivity is important to me. It adds significance to my life, makes me feel useful and valued, and in many cases, creates tangible results in other people’s lives. Our company does electrical contracting, and I like being able to look back at accomplishments that are concrete and visible: a Cracker Barrel, a Firestone Auto Care, retrofit lighting in some major buildings in the Greenville SC area (Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Brookwood Church auditorium, a Carolina Handling/Raymond facility, and others), a large generator installation at local assisted living facility (Capstone R&H in Easley), etc.

Personal and business connections are also a way of being productive. I can scroll through my memory and enjoy events, interactions, conversations that have added value. They are too numerous to even try to list—I’m almost 66, and having just completed 25 years full-time in business and 45 years doing electrical work (41 as a master electrician). But having just completed a celebratory event in which I listed a summary of accomplishments, I was surprised at the “long obedience” Nietszche spoke of

The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is that there should be a long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.

http://www.azquotes.com/quote/816360

I have to say that the productivity that has resulted from my “long obedience in the same direction” has made MY life worth living. I think it has made others feel the same. I have said many times that my goal is to get to the end of my life, so far as the power lies within me, with everyone feeling that they were better for having known me. There will be exceptions, obviously. Life isn’t perfect. Mistakes happen. But to do the best you can, and do the best you can to correct mistakes, is the best you can do. (Kind of circular, perhaps, but true.)

I told my pastor and his wife a week or so ago that the one thing I would want as my epitaph, to be spoken at a ceremony celebrating my life when I’m gone, is that my life fulfilled the quote by St. Irenaeus: The glory of God is man fully alive. I want to have been fully alive. I want to be fully alive now. I want to continue to be productive until I stop breathing. “Retirement” is an opportunity to be more productive in more ways than I’ve been before.

I like slogans like “Life is good” and “It doesn’t get any better than this” (in the positive sense that “This is great!” rather than the negative “It’s all bad, and it just doesn’t get any better.”).

I want to make people laugh longer and more often, love more deeply and more fully, live more vibrantly and jubilantly. I want to be deep-rooted with good-tasting and abundant fruit. Producing significance in our lives is our calling, our mandate. It can be our greatest joy.

This I want to be my legacy.

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LEGACY 16: The Value of Focus

May 29, 2018

(Originally written 10/12/15, but reading back through it, it reads like today, except for a few of the specifics being updated! I am at the point of revisiting my focus, re-focusing. Part of that has been a mastermind group on John Maxwell’s THE 15 INVALUABLE LAWS OF GROWTH: Live Them and Reach Your Potential.

Interestingly, though, as our company, Easley Electric Inc., celebrates 25 years of existence this month, I find that over the course of my life, I’ve been more focused in the long view than I had realized–45 years doing electrical work, 41 years being a licensed master electrician, 29 years in business with 25 of it full-time under the incorporated name, 5 years in a BNI chapter). And in marriage, I’ve been very focused also–one marriage of 25 years, ending in death of my spouse [I’d still be married to her, I believe, if she had lived], and coming on 19 years in the second. I like how Eugene Peterson, author of THE MESSAGE paraphrase of the Bible, titled his autobiography of his journey, using a phrase from Nietzsche: “a long obedience in the same direction.” The context reads

The essential thing “in heaven and in earth” is, apparently (to repeat it once more), that there should be long obedience in the same direction, there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living; for instance, virtue, art, music, dancing, reason, spirituality– …

So I guess, there is focus and there is focus. My life has been worth living. And that would be a legacy I could wish for everyone.

This is the last of the blogs on Legacy I’d written 3-4 years ago. Stay tuned for a new direction tomorrow!)

I have lost my focus. Again. It’s been exactly a year since I finished 13 blog writings in less than a month. In that intervening time, I’ve written 2, 1 in March, 1 in May.

Maybe I should say I had different focuses, other focuses. I decided to try to become a Life Coach in January this year, so I was devoting a lot of time to that. We were engulfed in a custody battle for our grandson that ended (abruptly and badly) in May. I was depressed after that. I tried doing a website for a tangent to the coaching (assessments), and that was a fiasco. Legacy was not even on my radar.

I was brought back by reading the section in Donald S. Whitney’s SIMPLIFY YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE: SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES FOR THE OVERWHELMED, the section on “Simplifying and Your Journal.” I was reminded of the legacy we need to work on consciously leaving. So here I am, back at it.

I’m getting some coaching myself, as well as coaching one guy, so I’m realizing the value of focus. I am re-committed to building the business in a more focused way.

Focus is key. Focus is primary. Focus is central.

Focus is critical. Critical to success. Critical to leaving a legacy.

Focus is a mindset. Focus requires perseverance, realignment, elimination, simplification. Focus requires focus.

Yes, that’s a circularity. (Maybe that’s not strictly the meaning in the discipline of logic, but it makes sense to me.) Focus begets focus. Focus encourages focus. Finding focus, ironically, encourages focus.

But it’s so easy to get off track. Life happens. Emotions waylay us, and we cave in to them. Situations arise, and we focus on them, and lose the bigger focus.

How do we stay on focus?

We keep coming back to it. We revisit it. We re-focus.

We remember. We remember being focused, the clarity, the sense of purpose, the rewards of being focused.

So here I am again.

Focusing.

And that’s enough for tonight. More tomorrow.