One of the interesting insights I’ve had from dealing with a serious illness recently is that you come back to your normal life, relieved that you are even alive and functioning, but also struck by a strange sensation. I don’t know what to call it so I’ll name it the All or Nothing Syndrome. It feels like this: you’ve had a trauma – it could be anything, a car accident, a near death experience, a diagnosis, a second chance – anything that looks your future in the eye and questions it. So you go back to your life after this crisis and of course the petty things are no longer an issue – right? Because “that stuff doesn’t matter anymore” now that you know what your life is really worth, with a better sense of how you spend your time and energy. But then this other thing happens where, because you’re alive and breathing and able bodied, you care about EVERYTHING – the way the books are arranged, how your house is cleaned, the cups and saucers that don’t match.
Everything matters because what a luxury to be here to care about stupid stuff! For me, I’ve walked that line over the past few weeks, not knowing where to “stand” (it’s okay to care about the superficial as long as you don’t care too much), or “fall,” (let it all go and only focus on what matters – like the people in your life.) The truth is that both have a place in your life – it’ s okay to care about how your assistant represents you even if it’s not a life or death matter, and it’s also good to let things roll off your back and remember that most small things don’t equate to much – so letting them go is often a good exercise.
This has been true in business, too. I am looking at all the things I want to bring to SMARTY to make it more valuable, more interesting, more amazing – because it’s good for you and good for the company – but I also wonder, do these things really matter? Don’t the in-person connections and programs do enough – and doesn’t our community “glue” count for a lot in terms of posting requests, getting replies, helping each other when needed? Do we need to go so much further? Do we just replicate what’s already out there by trying to be too many things to too few people? Hmmm.