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Having it ALL

His hard hat and heavy tool belt was conspicuously out of place in the plush elevator that frigid winter morning. A well dressed lady with a shiny briefcase asked how he felt about working outside in the bitter cold. “I’m lucky today,” he said “I’m doing repairs inside.” The door opened. As he stepped out, he stopped and said, “I really don’t mind working in the harsh weather. We do what we need to do for the ones we love.”

Standing behind the cash register in a busy garden shop she moved methodically amid the potpourri of plants and garden pots. She had officially retired a year or so ago with a good pension. Like many retired people, she assumed all her time would be spent in volunteer work and leisurely activities. Wiping her hands on her garden apron, she beamed, “But there’s just something about getting a paycheck.”

What does having it ALL mean? These two people have something that makes life work for them, but do they have it all? I have found that there are three ingredients in the mix of having it ALL: Achievement, Legacy and Love.

A chievement – Accomplishing something that is recognized favorably against similar goals that other people you admire have achieved. Examples might include: education level, certifications, job title, professional recognition, awards, fame, fortune or a paycheck.
L egacy- Realizing that your values or accomplishments will help others find success in the future. Which could involve such things as: teaching a child, contributing to a foundation, writing a book, creating a painting, mentoring, volunteering, building a successful organization or constructing a building that lasts.
L ove – Knowing that you have made a positive impact on people you care about and that you invest in enjoying life. Think about your family, friends, colleagues and the notes written, jokes told, stories remembered, homes shared, adventures, and hobbies that hold on to your heart. As Og Mandino said, “Success without happiness, success without laughter, success without love is the worst kind of failure.”

My chance meeting with the retiree lady and the construction guy brought to mind the need to be more intentional about having it ALL. Like me, you may sometimes feel that you, not only, don’t have it all, you wonder if you have it at all. Consider the possibility you might have it ALL, but you just haven’t noticed that you do.

Journal Entry:
Today: Write down 3-4 current activities/accomplishment in your life and work. Look at each one in light of the ALL ingredients. What is your discovery? Which of the three ingredients will you need to be more intentional about as you move into the next phase of your leadership and life?

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