How Being at the Beach Taught Me the Essence of a Fulfilled Life

When I am in town and doing my thing, I am on it. I am a lead angel in two companies and a passive angel in four. I advise entrepreneurs at the ATDC and ATV. I invest my time in the Atlanta Technology Leadership Prayer Breakfast as well as the Angel Lounge. I have a wife, four kids, two sons-in-law, two grandchildren, relatives and friends. I am blessed with a full life.

I Get Overwhelmed

Then I get overbooked and exhausted, trying to do too much and not getting enough sleep. Add to all this the Christmas holidays, and I am flat out overwhelmed.

Just after Thanksgiving, I had the idea for Kathy and me to go to the beach. Just take a break. The last time we did this, we spent five days in London just before Christmas. It was a blast. That was over ten years ago.

I called my travel agent, Jason, and told him to recommend some great beach places. So here we are in Jamaica.

We are staying at the beautiful, relaxing Half Moon Resort in St. James Parish. It is wonderful to have every need satisfied by the superb staff at the resort.

But you know what? My contentment didn’t last.

My first thought this morning was, This is a life without purpose.

To Kathy, I said, “We need to get back to Atlanta.”

Kathy said, “What are you talking about?”

I said, “Our big decisions today are: Where to have breakfast? What beach will we lay out on? What book should I read next? Where to eat lunch? And when is the pickup for dinner?”

Life’s Circle of Meaning

Enough of this resting. There is so much more to life. If I am not serving someone, then my life is meaningless. It was this thought that gave me a new insight.

  1. We are all built by God to serve others.
  2. Serving others with our gifts and experience gives our lives meaning.
  3. Serving without allowing others to serve you results in exhaustion.
  4. Allowing others to serve you gives their lives meaning and you energy.
  5. Rest is good.

As our waiter kept saying last night, “It is all good, good.”

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One thought on “How Being at the Beach Taught Me the Essence of a Fulfilled Life

  1. This is good, Charlie. I can relate. It is not either/or, it is both/and. The balance between rest and purposeful living is a tension to be managed. Without rest and reflection, we may end up leaning our ladders against the wrong buildings. But too much rest feels like slothful living.

    I think the key is to identify the best questions to be reflecting on during the time of rest. “What is my calling in life?” And “are the projects that I invest in aligned with my calling?” And “What are the most important relationships that I steward? Am I stewarding them well? What adjustments do I need to make to my portfolio of relationships and projects?”

    I am going to be doing what you’re doing next week – this will help me get my head in the game.