A few years back I wrote that the “Real Secret of Life” was never growing up.
What I’ve learned since then is that there should be an asterisk after that, with the following warning:
“CAUTION, your rediscovered child-like wonder may take you to too many places at once”
Indeed it can.
Because it recently happened to me.
I’ve always known about the old problem of “being a mile wide and an inch deep” – that is, spreading yourself so thin trying to cover multiple tasks, projects, businesses, etc, that you cannot really do a good job at any of it.
But yet, that “secret of life” instinct has a habit of convincing our rational minds that it’s really worth taking on yet another challenge – because hey, it’s another bright shiny object!
I must grab it. Experience it. Work with it.
Well OK, that’s nice, but what about all the other bright and shiny balls you’re already juggling?
The child says – “Hey, what’s another ball? I sure do like those shiny things!.”
That child, the one that I so readily allowed to come back, especially since I left my day job, moved to Portland, and became a fledgling entrepreneur, has been winning just about every argument lately.
The asterisk had disappeared.
And so, when the child starts to fatigue (after building that mile wide road) and the adult rational mind begins to process everything that has happened, it notices “the inch deep” part – there’s a lot of activity, and doing, and more activity, but the quality of it has deteriorated. Unless something is done, there’s danger ahead.
THAT’s where the asterisk HAS to kick back in. Fortunately for me, it did.
So the child remained, as it should, but let’s just say it now has a little parental supervision.
The lesson here I’m happy to share: Yes, by all means, keep that kid in you. Don’t ever let it slip away. Just don’t forget the asterisk. And you’ll do just fine.