BE OFF OR ON
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my theory surrounding the idea of being off or on. I’ve mentioned before in some of my previous videos how most people do not know how to be one or the other. It's often the case that they don't know how to be on because they've never seen it.
Life is full of mountain peaks and valleys. Just absolutely jammed packed full of them. You don't understand the ecstasy of a peak unless you understand the depth of a valley. You truly do not understand it. You truly cannot appreciate it. It is the contrast. So when I see the most unsatisfied people, it is those who are never truly off and never truly on.
Let me explain this just in work circumstances and then we'll relate it to some other things. If I'm truly on at work, then I am there. When I'm there, I'm not a dad, and I'm not a husband. I'm not anybody's benevolent benefactor. I'm not the charitable Joseph. Those are off – completely off. I know this sounds weird but when I'm working, I'm on. I am the CEO of Consolidated Assurance, and I'm on for that designated time frame.
Now, when I'm off, I am no longer the CEO of Consolidated Assurance. I flip that completely off. There are people that show up to work at 8 a.m. and they're getting messages from their kids at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. They're constantly back and forth. They're pacifying a spouse about this or about that and they're not really doing their job because there somewhere in the middle of off and on all the time.
The concept that is far too underrated in these situations is focus. When I'm the CEO of Consolidated Assurance, that's what I am. I am on. I'm not your dad and I'm not your friend. That's not what I'm there to do, right? Now, when I am together with one of my awesome friends, I'm not the CEO and I'm not talking business with you. I'm not thinking about business because that's not who I am at that moment. I'm truly on when it comes to whatever I'm being.
When I'm dad, I'm dad. I am 100% present in that moment with that child, whether it be with one of my three little girls or my boy, that's who I am. I'm 100% on as dad. You may say, "Well, I have so many things to juggle". Everybody has the same damn 24 hours in a day. Come on. Learn how to be off and learn how to be "on".
Now let's be real about it. This whole concept has been my hardest struggle. It's been the hardest thing to grasp. I would come home and it's time to be dad, however, because I was pulled during the day between all these different things, I would allow myself to be pulled that night. I would get pulled back into work, and my little girl would be talking to me and I would be thinking, "Did I make the right decision earlier at work?" or "Crap, I forgot to do this!" I'd pull my phone while we're at dinner or while we're sitting around playing a game, I'd find myself check messages again making sure I didn't miss something.
Here's the thing, if you do that, you're never truly off or on in either place, and it will crucify the present. It'll crucify the present no matter what you do whether you're being a dad, a mom, a sister, a brother, a son, a daughter, a business owner, an employee, or whatever role you're supposed to be playing at that moment.
If you're always in the middle and you're always being pulled between so many different areas, and you're never truly on in one, get ready for a miserable ride. It's truly a miserable ride, I promise. I've spent years attempting to apply this theory and I've yet to fully grasp it. However, I'm certain that this is the way to be happy. This is the way to find contentment with who you are in those different areas and to truly enjoy the present – to truly be present with people and to love those people in that moment.
You may be thinking, "Well, I love my kids." But do they freaking know it if you're not present. I love my wife. I stood at the altar and I said, "Till death do us part." You're going to have to rely on that statement. Be present. When you are a friend to someone else and you're in the middle of something and you're supporting someone, or they're supporting you, be present. Be on. Cut the other things off.
It's so much easier to say than to do, right? That's the goal. Start today and practice.