Friday, October 23, 2015
Lighthouse vs. Tugboat // Inspiration
Well you guys, this has been an emotionally strange week. I have felt so restless and discontented. Not really sure why, just in a funk. Things I've been pushing away are catching up to me... and all at once. Of course! ;)
Well, this morning I opened facebook, and my dad had shared this.
Now, I'm going to be real in saying... this is way more text than I will usually read on facebook. It just is...
But this is exactly what I needed to "hear" this morning.
Lighthouses vs. Tugboats
Lighthouses and Tugboats serve a similar purpose, they both guide boats to safety. But they do it in entirely different ways.
Tugboats go out into the ocean and they tug huge ships back to the port. They push and pull and they give their all to bring the boat back to safety. They work so hard to get the boat and themselves back to the port that they in turn wear themselves down.
Lighthouses shine their light to guide boats to safety. They are rooted and tall, they weather the storms, and the guide the boats to port. They are always a beacon, but whether or not the boat chooses to use the light as a guide, is up to the boat. It doesn't effect the lighthouse either way, it continues to shine it's light, it does not wear down in it's effort.
Like the guy who shared this, I am a relentless tug boat. I am always trying to help people, to save people, to make them better *fill in the blank*s. I give everything I have to make my friendships better, empty friendships, thinking that if I try harder, someday those friends might wake up and reciprocate. And it's exhausting.
I do the same thing at work.
I did the same thing when I tutored.
I did the same thing when I lived in student housing.
I did the same thing when I worked at my preschool.
And it's always hard for me to come back to: you can't make people care by pulling.
You can't tug them into being considerate, being a hard worker, seeing that you care about them, you'll just burn out your motor.
In the end you fail to help others and yourself. It's a lose lose situation.
They have to want it too, so don't burn out your motor, be the lighthouse instead.
Can you make people care by being the lighthouse? Sometimes, they still have to want it, but you do not exhaust yourself in the process of being a beacon.
This was exactly what I needed to read this morning. Thanks dad for sharing this, and thank you Sean Whalen for the original post.
I think I am going to make some type of free printable for anyone who would like to download and frame it, so check back, or let me know in the comments if you would like it emailed to you.
I personally could use a reminder of this by my desk and at home. :)
What are you guys thinking about this?
Any other burnt out tug boats out there?
How do you strive to be a lighthouse, do you have any strategies?