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The Paradox Of Awesome

Looking back at March, I spent several days in New York City, a couple days in Pittsburgh for TEDxCMU, almost a week in Austin for SXSW, almost two weeks in Tucson with my family, two more nights in Austin with Betty Jean, and a  night each in New Orleans and Knoxville. Along the way I connected with literally hundreds of amazing people, creating solid friendships with dozens of them. Needless to say, it was pretty awesome.

Lots and Lots of Driving

I was looking at Facebook today and I realized that I added exactly 100 Facebook friends in March. At least half of these people are of such high quality that we connected immediately and starting engaging in some of the deepest conversations I’ve ever had. I will be friends with several of these people for the rest of my life. Hell, I even say “I love you” when I get off the phone with some of them (I love you Andy Drish).

The one thing I’m starting to struggle with though with is fitting everyone in. My life is filled with so many awesome people that it’s getting hard to give everyone their due time. In addition, I have hundreds of friends from past lives that I regularly keep in touch with as well. At this rate, setting aside quality time for my friends is turning into a full time job.

I was talking to one of my closest friends Nick Reese about this and we came up with the term “The Paradox of Awesome.” A lot has been written about the Paradox of Choice and it’s a similar idea. How do you deal with so many amazing opportunities and people in your life?

Just in the past month alone I’ve had offers of attending Thai massage school in Thailand, going to Machu Picchu, hiking the Appalachian trail, and exploring the hidden gems of Iowa.

I’m also getting countless emails to work on projects with friends, do challenges together, start mastermind groups, and meet for networking meetings.

Granted, it’s a good problem to have, but it’s only going to keep getting more complicated as I continue living my life on purpose and attracting similar minded individuals. I’m so grateful for the tribe of superheroes that I’ve started to share my life with. But I want to make sure I’m able to give everyone the time they deserve.

So what should I do? How do you deal with the Paradox of Awesome in your life?

  • Sally Hope

    I think “giving everyone the time they deserve” starts with you giving yourself the time you deserve. There’s a balance between having an awesome life filled with awesome people and experiences, and spreading yourself too thin. Imagine what it looks like to have your life EXACTLY the way you want it. Check in with your heart. And then lead from that place. Makes your decisions from there. A burnt out homie ain’t a fun homie. You can quote me.

    One of your new awesome peeps.

  • Angela

    Sounds like a good place to be! Agree with Sally though. Btw…we’re almost a kilometer into our soberthon! 😉

  • Adam

    Dealing with the paradox of awesome for me is remembering to be a creator as well as a consumer. It’s easy to want to ‘consume’ as much relationship interaction and have amazing experiences…after all, that’s what life is all about. But, for me, spending time with awesome people makes me want to be a better person next time I see them – for that to happen I have to step away from simply ‘hanging out’ and actually start creating something of value – if I go too long without creating I feel a bit hollow.

    It makes it more interesting for the times when I get to see my awesome friends again.

    Blessed to be one of your new awesome friends -sending a virtual hug from over the Atlantic.

    • Mike Hrostoski

      Ah yes, I think we talked about the creator vs. consumer idea at SXSW. Good frame to look at the world though. Thanks.

  • Nathan Agin

    I think the relationships you/I/any of us are “meant” to have will become clear.

    I definitely wrestle with this often: again, meeting tons of super-cool people can become overwhelming because we want to stay connected to ALL of them! Sure you could build spreadsheets or mind maps or other items to help you manage everyone, but how much TIME can you actually spend with everyone?

    For me, I have to keep coming back to the question:

    Who are the people who naturally reciprocate the energy we’re putting out there to connect?

    Are there people in my life where I’m “trying” to stay in touch vs. staying in touch effortlessly?

    The people who return my calls, or send me messages out of the blue – those are the ones I want to hang onto! 🙂

    (and it’s not going to be everyone — guaranteed!)

    Over time, we’ll see who was just a 5-hour friend (as described in “A Map for Saturday), and who are the ones who’ll stick around for the long haul.

    There’s also nothing wrong with people shifting categories in terms of how engaged you are with them; projects/life stuff comes up and we all get busy – it’s nothing personal, it’s just what happens.

    It’s also important to remember that we never know where our paths shall lead: maybe we meet someone tomorrow that we totally connect with, and then drift apart, and then 10 years later, we become best buds. Ya never know…