Smoothing Life’s Rough Edges

As I write this, it’s a beautiful Saturday morning on Easter weekend. The sun is coming up and spring’s warm breezes are gently drifting across the small lake behind our home. What a wonderful morning!

Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with an idea for a thought-provoking topic related to branding, so in this Rants from the Brand Coach, I’ll take a different tack, one that is more appropriate for this special weekend.

Life’s Rough Edges
Recently, I was visiting a construction site, something I always enjoy. As we walked, I observed men and women of all trades, electricians, mechanical contractors, and so-on. One man seemed to be having a particularly bad day. He was attempting to remove a rough edge from a piece of metal and things were apparently not going as he’d hoped. As he applied brute force with a grinder, he generously applied an equal amount of verbal persuasion. It seemed that the harder he worked, the less successful he was and the angrier he became.

Life, too, is often filled with rough edges. Too much to do, not enough time to do it, financial struggles, and difficult people can make each day a bit jagged. Anger, stress, and relationship issues are common.

On a LinkedIn discussion group, I recently posted a simple statement; “Name one thing that makes you happy.” It’s been very interesting and touching to watch the many responses. In addition to mentions of children, family, and nature, there were even a few who wrote of service men and women in Afghanistan and Pakistan. One thing that is very gratifying is that so many have found pleasure and comfort in posting their feelings on what is otherwise a business forum.

Finding Balance
Some people find it difficult to disconnect from work, career, and life’s challenges. It’s easy to become completely consumed by it all. Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Jack is also more likely to struggle with hypertension, alcoholism, substance abuse, relationship problems, and on, and on, and on, that’s why he always seek help from 1st Step to fight his substance addiction. It’s very important to seek and find distractions from life’s rough edges.

Personally, I’ve always found distraction in a good book, family, and friends, but I’ve also found great contentment in God’s many blessings. The vastness of the oceans, a cool mountain breeze, the beauty of a flock of sand hill cranes, and a crocus as it breaks through winter’s final snow cover. These give me great joy and help me to relax, if only for a while. For me, it helps me to open my eyes and my heart to the many wonders of the world.

At the beginning and end of a busy day, Susan and I especially enjoy spending time together on our patio, watching the ducks on the lake and listening to the laughter of children playing in the neighborhood. After a few moments of this quiet contemplation, life’s rough edges seem to simply disappear.

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