I want to be a great husband. I want to be a great dad. I want to be a great son and a great brother. I want to be a great friend. I want to be a great business partner. I want to be a great boss. I want to be a great member of the web community.
Most of the time I feel that the roles I play are competing, that I can only ever truly succeed at one. Each morning begins with a choice—which role will I play today?
Every so often I see that the best version of each of these roles is actually the same person.
That person is gentle: one that can comfort a scraped knee and be trusted with a fragile idea.
That person is patient: allowing others to try/fail even when experience knows a better way.
That person is humble: ready to admit when they are wrong, ready to accept the blame and pass on the credit.
That person has vision: the ability to inspire greatness from others and to clarify which direction is the right one.
That person has endurance: they recognize that life is a marathon rather than a sprint—they work towards sustainability.
That person is brave: not afraid to headfirst attack the monsters under the bed or the dragons in the code.
That person is trustworthy: ready to listen to a deep secret or a potential product pivot.
That person is reliable: you’ve nothing to worry about once they’re committed.
Our lives are sometimes defined by meeting or missing the expectations others place on us. Recently, it’s been freeing for me to consider the characteristics of the individual that excels in all of the roles I hold. It’s helped me to make progress in all of my areas of responsibility—to become a better husband, a better business partner, a better father, and a better member of this community.
Most importantly, it’s reminded me that I am just a guy, one person. Remembering my weakness pushes me to become stronger, but also to rely on those around me. On my own, I will never meet all the expectations placed on me. With my family, with my friends, with my team? Anything is possible.