The following is a guest post by my friend Zach Pearson. I got to know Zach through a Build a Better Us marriage group several years ago, and I recently had the privilege of collaborating with him on the launch of the website for the new Sycamore School coming to Memphis this fall.
Zach is a deep thinker and avid entrepreneur. His endeavors and connections give him access to a variety of thought leaders in Memphis to bring onto his show. I have had the privilege of previewing the first several episodes, and I highly recommend the podcast. The following words are his vision for the series, and check out the pilot episode via the button at the end. Enjoy! —C.B.
Life is a vapor. No one knows when their life will end, but everyone knows that their day is coming. At times, the days feel long and the years short. It’s easy to get lost in the noise of life and to shape our life around what society and people expect of us, to feel lost with no real identity, to be chasing after so many things that don’t actually satisfy when you thought they would.
A typical reaction to the actual struggles of life is to apply a “fake it until you make it” strategy; our human attempt to show people around us, or in some cases to prove to ourselves, that we have life, or a circumstance of life, figured out. It’s essentially wearing a mask.
I believe there is more to life than going to school, getting a job, making money, having a family, being promoted, establishing retirement, increasingly buying nicer/bigger things, and working tirelessly only to wake up at 55–65 years old missing what matters in life. There are people all around the world who are struggling with the same things that I do in life, people who are seeking to discover their identity and what it means to live a meaningful life. It’s easy to put on a mask that believes we can fake it, but it’s hard to keep it on because we know that behind the mask, it’s not our real self.
What would it look like to admit that we don’t have life under control or figured out? Can we admit that? And, if we admit it, how can we live and act in a way that better serves our relationships to other humans and society?
There are elements of our existence we can’t control, and some people call this luck, coincidence or providence. But, there are also elements of our life that we can control and impact. Every day that we wake up, we are faced with decisions that can affect our circumstances, environment, and relationships. We decide how we spend each moment of the day. Necessity can dictate decisions, but we often struggle more in our minds than we do in our realities. For the parts of life that we can control, resolve to do what matters. How can we live more authentic lives and more meaningful lives? How can we optimize our time? What are things we can do today that matter beyond the moment, and beyond our life?
We may be able to go faster alone, but together we can go further.
In a series of podcasts, I interview leaders and peers who are committed to doing work that challenges today’s status quo and shapes our world’s tomorrow. It doesn’t take an esteemed platform to do what matters, it takes a commitment and a resolve to act selflessly and intentionally. My hope is to inspire listeners to think about or rethink, how they are spending their time, talents, and treasures here on this earth to discover how to live a whole life doing things that matter. Not the preferential or subjective things that may matter to us, but the elements of life that last, that hold-up, that are bigger than ourselves that are universal.
The most satisfying things in life have also been the least selfish.
How do you define what matters?
This is a Matter of Life.