Doing everything

I meet a lot of people who feel guilty because they can't do everything. Some are gifted speakers who feel guilty because they feel they should be writing as much as they are speaking, while others are gifted writers who feel they should be speaking as much as they are writing. Some are gifted musicians who think they need to be doing more design, while some are gifted designers who think they need to be playing more music.

I understand why this happens, because I often feel the same way. My last job involved music much more than it did writing, and at the time, I always wished I had more time to write. But then an interesting shift happened: my next job became more about writing, and this forced me to leave behind the amount of time I had to write, play, and share music with people.

I suppose that's why people say be careful what you wish for....

Actually, I don't regret wishing I had more time for writing. Even if it has resulted in me not being able to play as much music as I used to, it's pushed me deeper into a calling that has been placed on my life from a very early age. Yes, music is a part of that calling, but I can honestly say that what I'm doing now has pulled me into a deeper level of that calling—to use media in its various forms to communicate something that I believe is powerful and life changing.

The point of sharing my experience is simple. I can't do everything, and neither can you. You may feel like you have to do everything at this point in your life, but you don't. You only can do one or two things on a regular basis if you want to be excellent, and the other stuff can be done for kicks when you have a little extra time on the side. Maybe that on-the-side-stuff will become your primary focus later, but don't allow it to distract you now!

As much as we can, let's try not to feel guilty for not being able to do everything. Instead, let's be excited that we have the opportunity to pour ourselves completely into that one thing that we have been called to do at such as time as this. Who knows... maybe I'll be called back to play music more than I write in the future. I can't say for sure, really. But what I can say for sure is that I'm learning to feel less and less guilty, stressed, and anxious when I accept the reality that I can't and don't have to do everything.

Yes, social media has sped up the way people do things and has allowed them to produce and share more work in shorter amounts of time. Taken at face value, this technology produces more opportunities and seemingly gives us permission to be a quadrillion threat. But when we drill a little deeper beneath the surface of the social media landscape, we uncover the valuable truth that people are still people, and they can only manage so many things before they break down.

So unless you are able to build and program robots to write your great American novel and record your double platinum album while you speak to millions, you might just want to focus on the one or two things that you are for sure wired and meant to be doing at such a time as this.

(Actually, if you have some robots that can do that sort of work for me, can you lend me some? It would be greatly appreciated. I wouldn't mind starting work on my platinum album while I write a symphony).