Be careful how you define success. You will spend a lifetime chasing it.
I heard Pastor Bruce Boria make reference to a profound concept this past Sunday. He was commenting on the stress associated with lifestyle expenses relative to income. The discussion around cost of living keeping pace with – and often exceeding – earned income is not a new one. But what struck me was his use of the word “margin” in this context.
My friend Bill O’Brien once told me that it was a dire sin to hear a sermon in church and allow your mind to drift and shape the message into something “non-churchly.” I must confess – I am guilty.
I am hard-pressed to make it through a Sunday message without jotting down a note or two that might sprout into a blog post or workshop slide.
Margin: the space between cost and gain. That critical space. That often thin and barely recognizable air between what you must give and what you have. The space where our wants relentlessly press up against our means. A space that we must guard and defend.
Life has a distinct pull. We can all feel it. Our roles, our jobs, our friends, kids, spouse, hobbies…they are all vying for the time, energy, and focus that we divide and deal out off the top of a new deck every day. These things cry out, some louder than others, like baby birds in our nest, hoping to get the meal dangling from our beaks.
Given this dynamic, balance is illusive, but a worthwhile pursuit. Harmony, however, is within arm’s reach at all times.
Why do you do what you do?
The honest answer will fall into one of four categories: Self, Service, Stuff, or Status.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pull of this life, remember: check your margin. This little space between cost and gain is where you’ll find Peace of Mind. The larger the area, the easier it is to find.