Something has to give!
It’s become painfully evident to me – I can’t do everything I need to do – something has to give.
The question is what do I give up, and who gets hurt by it.
Disappointing someone doesn’t feel good.
I always think I don’t really need much.
When I met my wife, I was renting what was supposed to be an office in a condo building.
It had a single room maybe 10 feet square with a bathroom attached.
I slept on an old orange couch — not a hideabed, but almost long enough to curl up on with my 6’4″ frame with my toes sticking out the end under the armrest.
I’d walk down to the grocery and buy a bag of bagels and just munch on a bagel when I felt hungry.
It was a simple life and no one was demanding anything from me. I had enough money to pay the bills and pay for a bit of time in a recording studio to work on my music.
I was making about $200 a week.
Simple, good life.
When I got married, things got a little more complicated.
30 years later life is still good, but it’s not as simple.
I could still live in that office and eat bagels and live a simple life and to be honest, it sounds pretty good some times.
But to do that, I’d have to give up a lot.
First of all, I’m pretty sure my wife doesn’t want to live in a 10 foot square office and sleep on a small couch – certainly not with me in it too.
Then there’s the son in college at Penn State – college bills up the ante a bit.
And the daughter who is getting married in April.
So the simple, gets a bit more complicated when other people start to get involved.
It turns out people have expectations of you.
- Your parents want to see you succeed.
- Your spouse wants to be loved and supported.
- Your children want to be cared for.
- Your business partners want your focus.
- Your friends want your time and attention.
- Your customers want results.
It turns out, people all have needs and if they are connected with you, they have needs, wants and desires they hope YOU will meet.
Ironicly, the more successful you are, the more people need and want you.
And you want to help.
This can pile up.
I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone who is really famous or really wealthy.
So many people must want something from them. It’s frightening.
You don’t have to be famous or wealthy to be overwhelmed by the needs of others.
I know you’ve felt it too.
As much as we love giving to others and as much as we may generate energy from giving, passion and purpose eventually we realize we only have so much to give.
There are only so many resources and so many hours.
Maybe you’ve been a volunteer for a religious or civic group.
If so you probably realize, once you volunteer and actually do something for someone, the number of people who ask you to volunteer seems to grow expontentially.
There’s always a need for reliable volunteers.
Or maybe you are a natural leader.
If you are even a semi-public figure the number of people who want you to help solve their problems increases dramatically.
If you really think about it, you know we are pretty demanding of our leaders.
I’ve been building relationships online since there first was an online.
Over the last 15 years, there have been literally hundreds of thousands of people who have been directly connected to me in many, many ways.
They come and go, some closer than others and they all have needs.
At this instant, I’m probably in recent contact with 40 to 60 thousand people who in one way or another are looking for me to help them.
Some of those needs are more urgent than others.
I have good friends dying of cancer, in danger of losing their homes, battling through divorce right now.
I have literally thousands of people who are friends or subscribers who can’t pay their bills this month.
And only so much to give them.
I know deep in my heart, the best things to give are those small moments of encouragement you give when someone is beaten down.
Those are moments that have real impact.
But words only go so far.
That’s where action comes in. It’s not so much that you “feel” someone’s pain. It matters more when you “do” something about it.
Right now I have too many projects and not enough time and resources.
Cutting any of my projects will hurt someone.
Think of it …
- Should I cut out my dream of Tobri?
- Should I quit doing my live events?
- Should I stop writing?
- Stop working with non-profits?
- Ignore my kids?
If something has to give, there are lots of choices to make.
- You can try to be more efficient with your time.
- You can focus on projects producing results.
- You can try to get more resources.
- You can outsource tasks other people can do better.
- You can beg, borrow or steal.
Or you can do nothing.
If you do nothing, chances are, things won’t get better and most likely will get worse.
That’s what usually happens when we just get tired and decide to quit — not always, but usually.
So what am I going to do?
Six steps out of overwhelm.
If you keep taking steps, you will have a real impact.
All the best,
And more, more, more.