Monday, May 28, 2007

Are you a spinning top

Are you a spinning top, originally uploaded by davidjay13.

I was reading this morning and came across a quote that I think really nails what business or work has a tendency to become - a distraction!

Work can easily become a drug that keeps us so distracted that we don't have time to confront the realities of what our life is really about. We become like one of those toy tops that you spin on the table. They spin round and round and they are moving really fast but they're not going anywhere.

In the book Brian Mahan says, "the power of the social scripts of mere success, then, is not, as it is often thought, the power of seduction; it is the power of distraction."

In my own life I've redefined the word "success" and I encourage you to adopt this new definition as well.

The tendency is to define success by how much work we have and how busy we are because these things make us feel important and hide the truth about our life, but instead I think we need to define success not by how FULL our schedule is but by how FREE our schedule is!

I spent years distracting myself and maybe some of you have as well. Maybe some of you have spent decades - it doesn't really matter because what matters is that you make the change today. That you stop distracting yourself from what you're really meant to become and you free yourself up to live a life with greater meaning and purpose.


Nathan Sawatzky Photography said...

Wow, what a thought, thanks for sharing DJ.

Unknown said...

Awesome insight as usual. :)

LaCour said...

This is a great, challenging book that reminds us that there's a difference between a job and a vocation.

Robert Coles is one of my favorite thinkers, as are many of the folks referenced in the book!

Never forget:

"Our calling is where our deepest gladness and the world's hunger meet." -- Frederick Buechner

BTW, check out "The Call of Service" by Coles :)
You'd enjoy that one too.

A Boston Bride said...

Wicked awesome... I am determined to have more free time!!!!!

amber said...

thanks for that dj! because im at a point in my life where i am just starting to really take my dreams and goals seriously, and realize they actually ARE a possible option...i hope i can catch grasp of this concept now. but it is a struggle to keep in sight of the real reason you are persuing your dreams. its not to stay busy or just to make a buck...but at least for me...its to fulfill my life by impacting and fulfilling others. and its just the means im blessed enough to accomplish it through that changes. whether its singing a song that truly touches someone exactly where they are in life, capturing their family just as they are through photography, or just being a friend to someone who's lonely...i want to always remember WHY im doing what im doing...not just focus on WHAT im supposed to be doing. so on that very long note...thank you again for using your blog to provoke thought and inner evaluation :)

Jules Bianchi said...

Hear hear!! I need to take this more to heart on a daily basis.

Nicholaus Haskins said...

Hey DJ!
I know exactly what you mean. Except for me, its like I am the energizer bunny who keeps going, and going, and going...going nowhere sometimes it seems though!

Unfortunately, but fortunately, I have too much free time! Getting bookings in the beginning can be hard! What a great insight!

...and thanks so much for the comment! Really means a lot!


Daniel J. Watkins said...

I used to have free time. Now I have kids...which is a great way to measure success in my opinion. :) They are the ones I will leave all of my riches (or my debts!) to anyway! LOL

Alex Robb said...

Life goes by very quickly - its not all about work and toys.

Just went to a Chinese church in Irvine. An old friend from China was speaking there - Mark Geppert at He has written 4 books. One is about prayer walking and his latest - "A Faith to Die For." Must reads.

Dane Sanders said...

that book is really fantastic. i'm in the middle of some major "aha" moments around simplicity and higher calls (epiphanies of recruitment) and this was super timely. thanks man.

Marcos Martinez said...

Awesome! That makes me super succesful. I get up when I want and spend all day with my wife and kids without much to do but enjoy life... except on Saturdays when I shoot weddings and I love shooting weddings. By the way, I bought your ShowItWeb software yesterday and posted my first wedding with it and already I'm having great responses from it. I can't wait till the bride sees the slideshow (I bet she'll cry). Check it out at and click on BLOG.

Cameron Clark | baby business blog said...

awe, Gheesh more to read? I need another beach vacation.

LaCour said...

DJ, I've had your post in my head for the past three days now. Thank you for saying what you said. Yesterday I finished up a big chunk of work early, and usually I feel like, "OK, what do I need to start on next?" But there was nothing immediately pressing, so I went outside and played with our dog for a long time, and messed around in our garden. It felt great! And I didn't feel guilty about not working - because I had read this post.

Thank you. ~ Erin