Throughout my life, I’ve always tried to treat others fairly. Like all of us though, I’m human. Being human means I’m imperfect and being imperfect means that sometimes I can be a jerk. I don’t set out to be, but being human brings with it emotions that aren’t always conducive to good and proper responses. I think that’s how it is with a lot of people. Deep down we all believe that we’re good, but sometimes our emotions get the better of us, and we say or do things that we probably wouldn’t on any another day.
Maybe I’m a bit better at this than most people because I’m a pretty laid back person, I don’t anger easily, but I always try to put myself in others peoples shoes and ask myself how I would want to be treated if the roles were reversed. Sometimes people see that as a weakness and try to take advantage of the situation, me, or both. If you know me, you know I’m not a pushover. I’m not a fan of being pushed around and will usually let people know just how I feel. No, I won’t reciprocate, it’s just not in me. But, I’ll let people know when they crossed the line and will tell them how I expect to be treated.
I say that to you to give you a better idea of who David N Johnson is. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the word, but I always strive to better myself and correct character flaws as they pop up. This hasn’t always been the case with me. I haven’t always been so honed into who I am, what I want, and where I’m going. I’m not where I want to be. Not yet, and probably not ever, but I’m okay with being a work in progress. Especially since I keep pushing the bar just out of reach. Why? Because I know that I have to keep moving. I know that I don’t like to stay stagnant.
I have a career that I love (digital marketing), one that challenges me every single day, and I thrive in that environment. I also write this blog and am working on a book (more on that in a future post). I love spending time with my beautiful wife and kids. They are my reason. I certainly have a lot going on (not to mention helping my wife launch her own business), but I’ve learned which projects in my life bring me joy. We’re all wired differently, but if each of us worked to find what brings us joy, no matter what it is, then the whole world becomes a better place to live. Not just for the individual, but for all of us.
I wasn’t sure where this post was heading, but I’ve been asked why I write what I write, and while I can say that I do it because it brings me joy, I think it goes deeper than that. A coworker recently asked me about my book and the why behind it. It took me a moment to get my thoughts in order, but I told her that as I get older and as my philosophy about life matures, I feel the need to share it. I think that comes from my nature. I’m a fixer. That’s not always a good thing because not everybody wants to be fixed and not everybody is broken from their point of view. I’ve learned over years of hard lessons learned that it’s sometimes best to model your principles than it is to voice them.
The second reason I gave her is legacy. I’ll be 40 this year, and while I don’t consider that old I’ve been thinking more about the legacy that I’ll leave behind. What people will say about me at the end of my days, or better yet, what I’ll think about myself. I know that sounds morbid but it drives me to think about my life and if it’s a life well lived. A life well lived has a different meaning to all of us, to me I want my life to matter. I want to live on after I’ve exited this world in the actions of others. I want to inspire people to become the best versions of themselves with a desire to pay it forward. Grandiose? Maybe. But, it brings me joy.
Joy isn’t fleeting. It isn’t temporary happiness that comes from the good moments in life. Joy goes further than that. It lasts beyond the moment and effects your entire life. It colors how you see the world and motivates your decisions. It’s what makes people want to be around you. Joy is infectious. Joy is what separates an average life from an extraordinary one. I want that for you. I want you to grasp and hold onto the things in life that bring you joy. Seek them out. Then, once you find them, never let them go.
Some of you may live with depression and anxiety, and I understand that finding your joy isn’t easy. That’s okay; you’re not broken. That may be contrary to how you feel, but from where I’m standing and from seeing how it affects the people in my life it just means that you feel more than most people. It says that you’re more in tune with your emotions and because of that, you must be vigilant in finding your joy so that you can better overcome the dark thoughts. Where do you find joy?
Writing is therapeutic. It gives you an outlet to organize your thoughts. As I write these words, without worrying about the direction it takes me, I’m reminded of a third reason why I’ve taken on this project. I do it for me. It gives me time to reflect on what I want to say and helps to cement into my mind the things that I need to work on. It reminds me to be more. More thoughtful. More intentional. It reminds me of the important stuff and the important people in my life. When you write, it’s a good idea to always think of your intended audience. Mine is me. I write to myself as a reminder of what I need to work on in my life. How I can be a better person. Doing that also reminds me of what I said earlier and the importance of modeling the change.
As I tell my kids as they walk out the door in the morning for school, be the light! In a world of darkness be the lighthouse that guides people to shore. It’s dark out there, do your part and shine on!