Earlier this week, based on the recommendation of my new colleague and friend Jessica Commins, I joined the website This Is My Jam. I love music and I’m obsessed with finding efficient avenues for finding good new music. Joining was a no-brainer. (So join and let’s connect.)
Her Jam at the time of me joining was “What Are You Willing To Lose” by Lucero, and it remains her Jam currently. I loved the title of the song immediately, and I liked the song as well once I listened.
The video is embedded at the end of this post if you want to listen.
Here is a taste of the lyrics:
So what if all my heroes are the losing kind
Not a chance in hell but still they lay it on the line
Would you give it all away for what you want to do
Would you keep on going if you couldn’t make it through now
What are you willing to lose
O what are you willing to lose
Jessica posted about this on G+, asking her friends there what they were willing to lose. I responded thusly:
“I am willing to lose lamentations on the past and unproductive thoughts about the future in exchange for more focus and presence in the NOW.”
It’s one of my mental goals moving forward: leave the past behind and think about the future only in ways that move me forward productively and positively. There is simply too much to do and experience in the present to not be fully engaged in it.
But that’s also some pretty general, abstract stuff. It’s damn near mumbo-jumbo (even if it’s true).
So I decided to get a little bit more specific. What else am I willing to lose in pursuit of happiness? Here are a few things right off the top of my head:
I’m willing to lose sports.
Well, some of sports anyway. I still love my IU basketball; I still love the 49ers; and I’ll still follow the White Sox once baseball season comes around. But I have found myself enjoying life more and more as I have pushed all of the other sports noise into the background.
It’s not that I don’t still enjoy watching sports, playing sports, and discussing sports; but I didn’t realize just how much sports were permeating almost all aspects of my days. I had to take specific steps (ditching cable, cleaning out my Twitter feed, etc) to reduce the sports noise in my life, and I’m finding my life is better for it.
I’m willing to lose excuses.
I think I make too many excuses. There are things I should be doing, things I know would make me happier and more productive, especially at work and as a writer in general, that I’m not doing. And I find myself having excuses for not doing these things. No more.
Admittedly, there are times when the excuses are comforting. They allow me to let myself off the hook. They also prevent me from moving forward as best I can. So I’m willing to lose the comfort and cover of my own excuses in exchange for being better. Seems like a good tradeoff to me.
I’m willing to lose likability for respect.
In self-assessing, I’ve come to the realization that I am naturally more focused with being liked than respected. I am a natural appeaser. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I certainly don’t think it’s always a good thing.
And while I do believe that one can, and should, strive to be both liked and respected, it’s important that there be a balance. For me, I think when this area becomes unbalanced it does so towards the side of likability as opposed to respectability.
Well, I’m willing to lose the amount I am liked, in certain situations where appropriate, if the tradeoff is more respect.
I don’t think you’ll notice any drastic changes as a result of this shift in thinking – I am who I am after all, which is a guy who likes being liked. But I think I’ll notice, and I think the subtle shift in thinking will be a positive for me in a number of ways, both at work and in relationships with others.
There are three things I’m willing to lose in pursuit of my dreams and goals and my daily happiness. Now I ask you…what are you willing to lose?