Are You a Drifter or a Developer? by Robin Trimingham
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1
I have been a “do-er” all my life. You know what I mean; the kind of kid in high school who is on three sports teams, edits the school newspaper, gets straight A’s and still complains that they have nothing to do on the weekend if there is not constant activity.
This life philosophy has stood me well in that when I have spare time I can develop endless ways to fill it – even the dog looks to me to fill his social agenda to the point that he pouts if I spend too many hours in a row at my desk without announcing an expedition to the water cooler (aka the ocean side bit of parkland across the street from where I live).
These days the bulk of my busy-ness is derived from developing all things Olderhood and it is hard for me to imagine a time when my life won’t be completely taken up in this way, but this wasn’t always the case.
Before Bill Storie and I started our company, I came up with endless ways to fill the day, but it was just that – fill.
I knew that I needed make some changes in my life and to come up with a plan but my thoughts were so confused. It was as if the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle were rolling around in my head and every time I managed to connect two or three pieces together I seemed to reach an impasse and was not able to develop any of these ideas any further.
Days would drift into weeks and no matter how busy I managed to be, the same group of questions milled around and around in my head:
I knew I wanted a big mountain to climb, but which one?
I knew I wanted to help people, but how?
I knew I wanted to live a life of meaning, but what did that mean?
I knew I wanted to travel and be busy all the time, but doing what?
I knew I wanted to start my own company, but what type of business could I start that I would be able to keep doing as I got older?
I knew I wanted to provide a service for people, but what did everyone need?
For a long time, I did not feel like I was making much progress but I did my best not to let it get to me. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and unless you exceptionally gifted or very lucky, it can take a lot of time to weed the garden in your mind sufficiently to uncover your life purpose – time, and patience and trust.
For even though it was not always easy for a do-er to drift from one day to the next not certain where I was heading, I did trust that there was a plan for me out there and if I completed the journey I had somehow embarked on, all would become clear; and it is fair to say that it has.
By Robin Trimingham