/ Life

Objectives, Priorities and Three-year olds

I recently had a discussion with someone regarding how my son basically exists right now to destroy and get in the way of everything I try and build up.

Okay, it's not that bad, but the point was that I couldn't get anything done as a "team" without him losing patience 1/3 of the way through and wrecking whatever we were working on (e.g. building an awesome Kapla Block Tower).

She nodded her head, laughed in agreement, then said something that really struck me. "What's the purpose of you playing with your son?"

That simple question solved the dilemma right there and then. For good measure though, she continued, "The objective behind playing with your son isn't to build something cool, but rather to spend time with your son. If he isn't interested in building something big, then findsomething he is interested in. And chances are, he won't be interested in it for more than five minutes, so you're going to have to switch what you're doing a lot."

Of course. The entire time she's speaking, I'm already lost in my head thinking about how I had completely lost the purpose of the activity. I've been so concerned with making the play "meaningful" that I forgot that it's intrinsically meaningful. I don't have to build anything cool right now for the play to be fun. He's a three-year old boy; just living is enough for him.

Think for a moment about the purpose for why you're doing what you're doing right now. What is your ultimate goal? Is it to read? Is it to be a better person? Is it to be entertained? Any of those reasons is valid, just make sure you have one.

Too often we get caught up in how we do something that we forget the 'why'. We replace the objective that we originally had in mind with some other thing that we've focused too narrowly in on.

I've always held back on writing and creating because I feel like no one is paying attention and it won't matter. Why write if no one will read? Why create if it won't be great? I need to step back and say "I will write for the sake of writing". Because I enjoy writing. And I enjoy reading what I wrote.

Ask yourself what you're doing (or not doing) because of some objective that doesn't really matter. Go back to original purpose. Play for the sake of playing.