Staring at a Mark Rothko Painting Made Me Realize Being a Father of Two is Simpler Than Before I Had Kids

On a long layover in Washington, DC last year, I stopped by the Phillips Collection, one of the finest art museums in a city full of fine museums.

While the star of the collection is Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party”, they also have 4 large Mark Rothko paintings all in one cold and dimly-lit room. The vibrant colors and lines evoke powerful feelings and shit. It’s long been my favorite exhibition.

But on this trip, it didn’t really speak to me.

Maybe going back to anything years later just isn’t the same. Initially, I thought that perhaps it’s because my isn’t as simple as it once was. But upon further reflection, it turned out the inverse was true.

While I did not have children, or a mortgage, or even a dog during my time in DC, there were other things I lacked.

I lacked purpose. I lacked maturity. I lacked a sense of urgency.

I lacked the fire and the hunger. These days, I have the clarity of purpose, the honest self-assessment of maturity, and the sense of urgency to spur me to action.

Because of my kids. Because of my desire to better myself and the people around me. Because of my desire for legacy and leaving this world a better place than I found it.

These are actually the simpler times.

Because those things have given me the purpose I needed to draw forth the best of my abilities and discipline.

For a long time, I added and added to my daily list, hoping to find the one thing that would bring everything together. It’s funny that ultimately what made the difference was hacking away at the nonessential.

The first step to getting what you want out of life is both the hardest and the simplest.

Decide what you want.

Then watch your energy and desire grow like never before

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