What I learned from the Eclipse

Yeah, that’s me…NOT

No, I did not get an amazing photo of the eclipse. It was fun, and the glasses we got at Lowes were awesome. We went to the parking lot here in town, since we were getting about 96.1% of the view. I figured, “Heck, I’ll take a 96% any day, especially when the alternative is driving an undefined number of hours down to Oregon. Everyone was saying it was going to be an apocalyptic amount of traffic.”

I mean, it was cool, really cool when we started getting cold as the sun went away. In the cloudy Pacific Northwest, we’re glad to see the sun any day,  and I feared we’d miss the whole thing when a low fog came in that morning.

Yet, it wasn’t that amazing. The crazy photos, like the one above, plus many other personal friends of ours said that it became truly dark during the eclipse.  For us, it got a little dark, like a dense storm cloud. Hat’s off to the sun, who knew that with 96% of the orb obscured we’d still be nearly full daylight?  And yet, there are some that made the trip down there and regretted it, reporting over ten hours of commute time for a fifteen-second experience. 

4% of the sun remained. Our efforts were 4% off, and it made all the difference. We missed out on totality, and it mattered. 

I wonder how many things are like this in our world these days? You get close, you work hard, and you become VERY good. That book you’re writing is great. That painting, that code you’re writing, that sale you’re working on – all excellent.  But are they 96 percent, or 100%?

I’m not talking about outcomes here, e.g. if you get famous, if you get rich, etc. That stuff we cannot control. Instead, imagine the eclipse as effort. If we really put in that last 4%, could it make all the difference in the world?  Or would we be wasting our time, chasing things that we cannot have or cost too much, making any victory pyrrhic?

It seems to me that the trick here isn’t to treat everything with 100% or you’ll go crazy, nor is it settling for the 96% all of the time. No, it’s about finding that balance, taking big bets on what would pay off for you emotionally and go for it, and letting the other stuff be simply okay, being happy with dark glasses in a mall parking lot, sipping coffee with loved ones, gazing towards the sky in wonder while trying not to go blind.

-Joe

 

 

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