Lisa, my lovely, creative, and musically adventurous wife, recently shared the song “A little of bit of everything” by Dawes with me and I have not been able to shake it since I first heard it…something about it would just not leave me alone. There are 3 distinct stories in the song that provide 3 very different perspectives on what “a little bit of everything” means to different people at different points in their lives and I think that rorschach test quality is what fascinates me.
In my work, I am blessed to build close relationships with folks who are in vastly different seasons of their lives and they can each see things from wildly different perspectives. This provides me with an expanded perspective as well as I listen to them share their goals and challenges in both their businesses and their lives. While they are all distinctly different and unique, there is also a sameness in their struggles.
I believe this struggle we all share is embracing that it’s always “a little bit of everything” and that means there is often no one “right” answer or one singular issue to address. In the first verse of the song a young man is contemplating suicide and when a police sergeant asks him why, his response is:
“Oh, it’s a little bit of everything
It’s the mountains, it’s the fog
It’s the news at six o’clock
It’s the death of my first dog
It’s the angels up above me
It’s the song that they don’t sing
It’s a little bit of everything”
We are all part of various ecosystems in our lives and it is nearly impossible to identify the exact time or action that caused something to happen…be it good or bad. Our struggle is our need for control in all aspects of our lives. We all share this fallacy that we can make things happen and if we just focus and work harder, it will happen. For the record, I believe strongly in planning and preparing as well as being a huge proponent of working hard and dedicating oneself to something you believe in. What I do not believe in is the mindset that we (any of us) actually control the outcome of anything…unless it is something we are the only person involved in…and that is rare. Perhaps if we were less focused on the results and more focused on the people, things would work out much better for all of us?
There is only one thing I can attest to and that is I do not have any answers…only questions and I am just fine with that. I have seen people experience moments of great clarity with the simplest of questions and have been blessed (the fact that I have been blessed 2x in this post does not escape me) to be involved in those conversations.
I will leave you with the lyrics to another song from my youth that has also served as my own personal mission statement…
“Once I thought the truth was gonna set me free
But now I feel the chains of its responsibility
I will not be a puppet I cannot play it safe
I’ll give myself away with a blind and simple faith
I’m just the same as you I just do the best I can
That’s the only answer…for an ordinary man”