July 31, 2023

Becoming a Meaningful Specific Again

You'll never make it as a wandering generality.
You must become a meaningful specific.
— Source: Zig Ziglar in Best Morning Motivational Speech 2022 by Motiversity

When I first heard this phrase, "meaningful specific," I was a little perplexed by its wording. In my life, I've always heard of the word "specific" used in the context of an adjective and never as a noun. Yet, as time went on and I listened to this speech repeatedly, it has come to mean something quite profound to me.

A Wandering Generality

Until now, I've spent much of my life trying to figure out my path. And often, that required me to challenge many of the commonly accepted conventions that society has passed down (e.g., college, jobs, money, kids, etc.).

However, as I reflect back on my life thus far, somewhere along the line, I got caught up in the whirlwind and pacing of what was going on around me and became a wandering generality.

As I've reflected on it, this is what it means to me:

  • Existing in a way that has few set intentions
  • Allowing your environment to guide/override your purpose
  • Doing lots of different things, but in a way that doesn't aggregate to anything significant to yourself

Recently, I've had some significant life changes, and it's caused me to reflect on the current state of things. And though it pains me to admit this, while there certainly have been ebbs and flows with the things I've done, lately, I reached a point where I had become a wandering generality.

A Meaningful Specific

Since early on in my life, I've always wanted to live a life driven by a purpose I set forth. An example of this was when I left a stable government job in the middle of a recession to pursue what would be the start of my tech career. If I had let other people dictate what they thought was best for me, I'd unlikely be where I am today.

This brings us to the concept of being a meaningful specific.

Upon reflection, it has come to mean the following to me:

  • Existing with intention and purpose
  • Being thoughtful about what priorities take precedence
  • Turning those intentions into actionable items
  • Self-awareness around what things to make peace with and letting go to move in the direction you want

And while I have existed in this state in different parts of my life, it's clear that I've strayed from this path. The ins and outs of why are for another post, but the realization and awareness around this have undoubtedly been painful and necessary.

Next Steps

In the past, I would typically end a post like this with a grand overture of all the things I was setting out to do. However, I've learned from experience that that only goes so far for me.

This post is my first step towards becoming a meaningful specific again.