Monthly Archives: October 2012

Feed Your Soul – for everything else, there’s MasterCard

Good Monday Morning,

I was talking to a close friend of mine this past week about work, career, and jobs and came to a very interesting conclusion that I thought I would share with you. I think we all go through life wondering if what we’re doing at any particular time is the ‘right’ thing for us in any number of areas of life.

If you’re like me, on an occasion, or more frequently the older you get (daily sometimes), you ask your self questions about work, career, and what you do in life as your calling.  Seemingly the older you get, the more frequently this question arrises; yet, it’s when your younger and in the formative, “I’ve got to figure this out” stage that it should really be asked most often – continuously.  I guess the first learning is that if you ask the question “What do I want to do, to be, etc.?” more often when you’re younger, you really wouldn’t have to ask it at all later in life. Because, you’d have figured it out reasonably well and to a certain level of satisfaction. Obviously, circumstances in life change and questions like this are often the result of changing events, beyond our control; however, generally speaking, I would argue that asking these thought provoking questions early on in life eliminates or at least mitigates the need to ponder them as one matures.

So, the real essence of this question, and what I want you to think about, is this: “How does one satisfy the soul while at the same time feeding the pocket?”  And, this is what I believe to be the root of much unhappiness – how do I satisfy the altruistic needs that I have and know to be the ‘right’ thing to do for a career and life calling while still meeting the financial burdens that society places upon us?  These two ideals are definitely at odds with one another and often we choose one over the other or at the expense of the other in deciding what our life calling/career should be.  This was the focus of the conversation that I had with my good friend and we could both relate, similarly.

After much discussion, here’s the position that we arrived:  If you feed the soul, the rest will come naturally, including financial security, happiness, and peace of mind knowing that you’re doing what you love and are passionate about. If you do that “Feed the Soul”, I believe that in your life’s work – your calling – you will achieve a level of satisfaction and happiness that is immeasurable. And, once again, that satisfaction and happiness will fuel your success, which as a result, will feed your pocket.  It doesn’t work the other way – you can’t feed your pocket and satisfy the soul.  As you continue your academic endeavors, don’t quit asking, looking, and seeking that which will feed the soul, make you happy, and the things in life for which you’re passionate i.e., your calling.  In large part, that’s the purpose of what you’re doing – to validate and solidify that part of your life.  Ask the question, “What do I want to do, to be, etc.?” frequently without ceasing until you achieve clarity, and then, continue to ask it until you know in your soul that it feels right.

“Feed your soul – for everything else, there’s MasterCard” . . .

God bless & have a great week.

High-Tech / High-Touch

Good Monday Morning,

Staying connected is easier than ever, today.  Those words rang true for me last week as I reflected on the amount of email that I send every day, the number of text messages that I receive, and the instant connection that I have to everyone, anytime through all of the technology devices that I have.  However, even though I have all of these means to reach out and connect, I somehow feel less connected than I have in the past and I wondered why.

I reflected on this question for the better part of the week and I think that in this high-tech always connected environment in which we live, while we’re able to connect to anyone through virtually any means, the connections seem shallow and not as deep or meaningful as they once were.  The monthly letter that arrived in the mail and was hand written seemed much more meaningful than the numerous realtime conversations that have replaced this former means of keeping in touch.  Not that letter writing is gone, it’s just not as popular as it used to be in this hurry up world that we live.  The conclusion that I came to was that it’s all about the time, effort, and thought that goes into the preparation, sending and delivery of the message – in making the connection. In other words, you care to take the extra effort to do something special.

When I first got into technology we used to talk about a notion and a time that would come which we termed “High Tech – High Touch”.  What we predicted was that there would come a time when things became so high tech that there would be this backlash and a need for reaching out and being more personally involved in things – aka “high touch”.  I think that we are now at that tipping point with the hurry up, impersonal nature of always staying connected with one another through technology that we experience today.  And, this has given rise to a culture that is lacking something – that personal touch.  Why would I want to talk to someone when I can just send them a two line email? Why would I want to sit down and hand write a letter to someone when I can send a 140 character Tweet?

Why? – Because it takes time, is more meaningful, is more thoughtful, and might just communicate something more relevant than the tweet / instant message – “Getting coffee at Starbucks.”

Have we become so hurried in our lives that all we care about can be expressed in a simple 140 character sound bite? Are we so busy in our day that we can’t take 30 minutes to sit down, grab a pen, write a letter, put it in an envelop, and put it in the mail?  I’ll make the argument that if you take the time to write a letter, a card, or connect with someone you know on a more personal level, you’ll have an incredible experience. And, not only will you have a more meaningful experience as the giver, the person on the receiving end will also experience something more, too.  And, from that, I believe, will evolve a much deeper relationship with that person.

So, while writing a letter is a simple, tangible example of the High-Touch effect that I’m purporting here, think of other ways to connect that are more High-Touch.  Buy someone coffee, lunch, visit someone at their home – “reach out and touch.”

Give it a shot.  But, don’t quit texting me!

God bless & have a great week.

October 2012