Achieving vs. Becoming
Over the past two years I've been able to achieve a lot. My wife and I welcomed our first child into the world. Went from starting a business and working a day job, to making my business my full time gig. I've started eating better, and consequently kept some weight off, although I'm not where I want to be yet. While I've achieved a lot I've neglected to become who I want to be.
I set goals and attain them. The goals typically have a very tangible quantifiable way for me to demonstrate that I've done what I set out to do. Most of the time my goals are extremely lofty, like setting a goal to increase Rethink's sales by 8 times of what we did last year. Or to lose 35 pounds in the next 3 months.
What's amazing is I have a high level of success. No I don't achieve every goal I set for myself, but I do achieve quite a few. I place a high value on attaining the seemingly impossible. While achieving goals is fantastic it hasn't filled my soul. I've discovered that achieving is a fleeting feeling that reassures me that I'm on the right track, but in reality I'm still the same person. Attaining my goals hasn't changed me. It's simply a fresh coat of paint.
So while I've been achieving at increasingly high levels I've neglected becoming the kind of man I want to be. I want to be more loving, gracious, generous, open, kind, and selfless. I've devoted a vast majority of my time, not to bad things, but to making my aspirations a reality rather than becoming a better human being.
Can you achieve goals and become the kind of person you want to be? Absolutely you can, but when one overshadows the other the lack of balance will eventually catch up to you. There is a tension between the two that must be maintained in order to progress as an individual. To find this balance again I've steeled myself towards making time to become the kind of person I want to be on an ever increasing level.
The reality is I don't want to be Don Draper, I want to be David Valentine. I don't want to be the guy who's absurdly successful, and who's soul is in tatters. When my days come to an end I hope to be remember as a man who loved well, who gave of himself daily, and who leaves a legacy for my children and grandchildren.
So today I take a step toward a better tension of achieving and becoming. I want to reach my goals not in spite of my character, but because of it.