I have to confess, I’m an itchy dude. As my kids will attest, dad is always looking for a good back scratch. But my itchiness doesn’t stop with back scratches. It seems like I’ve always got an itch that I am trying to scratch. Sometimes that itch is a feeling that I’m running out of time. Chalk it up to attending way too many funerals before I turned 10. Other times the itch is just a desire to do more of something that I seemed to only get just a taste. And then sometimes the itch is more difficult to isolate. I can feel it but I can’t quite tell where it is and how to get at it.
Years ago I had knee surgery to repair a torn ligament I suffered playing basketball (an example of what happens when a non-athlete thinks he’s a champ). After the surgery, I had a bulky brace that I was instructed to wear for several weeks without removal (showers were a blast, let me tell you). As anyone who’s ever had a cast or a semi-permanent brace can attest, when you’ve got an itch underneath the thing, there is nothing worse (other than perhaps the smell when you finally do take it off. Whew.). All you want to do is scratch the itch but you are neither sure quite where it is nor how to reach it. Your anxiety spikes. You become fidgety. You shake. You wiggle. You yell out in frustration. You’ll do anything to get that feeling of discomfort to simply go away.
Sometimes we have those kinds of itches in life. The kind of itch that sits just under the surface that slowly and persistently needles us until we do something about it.
The itch prods, nudges and irritates. The problem is that we usually don’t know quite where it is or how to scratch it. All we know is that where we are in life is not where we want to be. The itch tells us that something is out of place, that this is not how it is supposed to be. This is not how we are supposed to be. Maybe it’s the relationships we are in or the career we’ve chose? Maybe it is where we live? And sometimes it is what we are not doing that we should be that is the cause of the itch. Regardless of the reason, we know deep down that the itch is trying to tell us that we are meant for more. “But what?” is the question.
I got the itch last year.
On the surface, you would never have been able to tell. Things were rockin’ and rollin’. I was as busy as I had ever been and work was just coming. But something just didn’t feel right. Something was missing. While I enjoyed the work I was doing, it didn’t feel like I was making the progress I wanted to make on my mission and purpose to cure workplace dysfunction. I had an itch that I needed and wanted to scratch, but I didn’t know exactly where the itch was or how to scratch it. So what did I do?
Over the next month, I’m going to share with you my journey of scratching the “meant for more” itch. To get the itch to go away, I am doing some crazy things. Namely, the following:
- Taking some big chances and walking away from guaranteed work
- Depleting my savings to build something better for my mission
- Learning how to ask for help
- Working on myself and who I want and need to be
Will it be inspiring? I don’t know.
Entertaining? Probably. Watching others do potentially embarrassing things usually is.
A cautionary tale? Only time will tell.