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Do Something That Matters

May 25, 2021

Recently, I had breakfast with one of our team members, Maria Kalina.

Maria is doing a 6-month fellowship with ADDO in between working with Tom Brady’s company TB12 and starting her MBA at Rice University. I am so grateful for all of our long-term team members, but I’m also grateful for leaders like Maria who work with us for a season and add so much value to our business.

At breakfast, Maria and I got into a conversation about the natural human tendency to make life as comfortable as possible, and in response, Maria shared some wisdom from her mom. 

When she was young, Maria’s mom taught her to think about herself like a battleship—not a cruise ship. On a cruise ship, the goal is to make things as comfortable, easy, fun, and distracting from everyday life as possible. But on a battleship, you are working on a mission, moving toward a goal, and there is no illusion that things will be easy.

Far too many of us have decided to pour our energy into making our lives as easy and comfortable as possible. I see this play out the most on social media. People of all ages like to post about how they are enjoying their lives and how you should enjoy yours. Don’t get me wrong, I think life should be enjoyed, but I don’t think that’s our ultimate purpose.

The purpose of your life is to do something that matters for something bigger than yourself.

I understand that this message may not be popular. It’s countercultural. But I believe that it’s true. 

If you’ve been reading these blogs for a while, you’ll remember that our greatest accomplishments in life never come easy. Easy is not bad, but easy shouldn’t be the goal or purpose of our lives. So consider with me what it looks like to be a battleship in the different areas of our lives.

At work, being a battleship doesn’t mean we show up every day trying to blow things up! But it does mean that we expect and anticipate obstacles. It’s embracing the unexpected and working hard to pursue your organization’s shared vision—even when it’s not easy.

At home, being a battleship means that you love your spouse and children despite your present circumstances. Whether members of your family are battling illness, exhaustion, or relational strain, it’s sticking around and helping each other run the race of this life well.

At church, being a battleship means that you remain steadfast and faithful to serve. It’s being there for others even when you don’t feel cared for in return. It’s serving them with no strings attached, rather than with an expectation it will be reciprocated.

Today is a great opportunity to change your perspective.

Carry yourself with the commitment and mission-mindedness you would on a battleship, instead of ruthlessly eliminating all discomfort from your life like on a cruise ship. 


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