Drifting Through Life

Drifting Through lIfe

This past week I had the wonderful blessing of being able to spend time at Atlantis in the Bahamas thanks to the hard work of my wife Donetta and her Scentsy business. Three full days in a tropical paradise with no Internet connection (by choice) was completely refreshing. I relished the fact that I would not be able to see and respond to emails, nor that I would be able to engage in conversations on Facebook or Twitter. The freedom of only being focused on the here and now on an adult playground was totally intoxicating. I loved every minute of it!

Drifting Through Life

One of my favorite water rides at the Atlantis was the Lazy River. As the name clearly states, it’s a “river” that you can lazily float around in while basking in the sunshine. You move slowly and simply go with the flow of the current. There is no destination and you only stop when you’re ready to move onto something else. I really enjoyed spending time with my wife, talking about our dreams together, and traveling in endless relaxing circles. Yet I also realized something. My life has become just like that lazy river.

It’s not because I’m lazy, not by a long shot. I work very hard in my business and in my personal life. The problem is that I’ve let the currents take me wherever they want to go. I’m drifting through life right now and this can be dangerous. A recent post from Michael Hyatt about avoiding the power of the drift sums the idea up clearly. This post was a clear reminder that I need to lift my head out of the water and start paddling for the shore, otherwise I might end up lost in the ocean.

Before we left for our Scentsy incentive trip vacation, I knew that I seriously needed to do three things: recharge, refocus, and rebrand.

Recharge

This was the easy part. Getting to spend a week in a tropical paradise and a five star resort is an incredible way to recharge your batteries. We all need time away from work and our lives at home. We need to find opportunities to turn off our mobile devices or say no to the Internet. We must step outside of the daily grind and experience an atmosphere that is relaxing. If we don’t, we will explode. Getting away to the Bahamas is a blessing, but it’s not enough to stop the drifting through life.

Refocus

I think there are many of us who see so many great opportunities that we want to do them all. We want to commit to ideas that excite or interest us, even if we know doing them all is practically impossible. Yet as impossible as it is to fulfill everything on our list, we keep adding more to those lists. We then become stressed or exhausted in trying to keep up. At some point we are going to crash and burn. You and I only get one life to live our dreams so we have to make it count! Unfortunately there’s not enough time or resources to do them all.

One of my biggest fears has always been not achieving all of the ideas I conjure up on a weekly basis. I have lived with regrets and I hate it. This fear keeps me from paddling furiously in one direction and causes me to drift through life. One day I will end up in the middle of nowhere because of it.

Trying to fulfill all my desires is robbing me of joy and happiness in every day life. It’s time to refocus and get my bearings again. I’m prepared to let go of and say goodbye to business ideas, people, social media channels, or professional circles that distract me from my focus. It is what I have to do.

Rebrand

Your brand is one of the most powerful assets you own. How people connect with you and perceive you makes a huge difference between success and failure, both professionally and personally. If your brand is off-putting, you are going to struggle. If you’re brand is loved, then you will flourish. It’s that simple.

I’ve never believed in being the kind of person who is fake or insincere. I don’t like posers or liars or bedtime storytellers. I feel that we should be able to live our lives authentically as we can and that we should always be true to self. Unfortunately, there are now so many different world-views today that you have to continually watch yourself or take the risk of alienating yourself from a large group of people. It’s far easier to be hated than to be loved these days.

My wife has reminded me over the years that people who don’t really know me will often not “get me.”  My personality and my brand is both Yin and Yang. While I sometimes jokingly talk about #ScorchedEarthPolicy or throat punching people, I really am a down-to-earth and friendly dude.

I am also straightforward about my opinions and will defend my values. Sometimes this attitude may come across as rude or insensitive, but I don’t intend it to be that way. I just believe in being honest and real. However I know this doesn’t work for everyone, and while I am certainly not trying to please everyone, I want to strive to improve my personal brand for various reasons.

Drifting Through a Lazy River is Fun. Drifting Through Life is Not.

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy a good lazy ride in a water park. It’s nice to just go with the flow when you don’t need to be anywhere or do anything. Go ahead … lavish in the sun and ride the currents! However if we take this approach to all of life, we are going to eventually drift so far away that we will end up in trouble or worse. I don’t want that and I hope you don’t either.

I’m fixing my sights on the shore line and to my destination. It’s time to start paddling my way back.

2 Comments

  1. Kathryne on October 13, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Enjoyed this post, James as well as your most recent on leaving WP. I plan to keep your contact info & will connect in the next few months for branding advice. I appreciate your honesty on your About page that you are a Christian. Too many hide their faith and values in the secular marketplace. I don’t. I know the Lord kept you from acting on your thoughts in your recent bout of despair and has marvelous plans for your future. Jeremiah 29:11. You’re destiny is not yet complete! There is much more for you to accomplish here.

    • James Dalman on October 13, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks Kathryne! Appreciate you reading both posts and for your kind words. God has blessed me incredibly and I always remember that. : ) Please let me know if I can help you.

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