We all want to be successful
Especially those of us taking risks
And dreaming for what could someday be.
There is typically one reason most of us do not see success.
Here it is:
We are unwilling to become uncomfortable.
Uncomfortable in taking risks.
Uncomfortable to change.
Uncomfortable in admitting we don’t have all the answers.
Uncomfortable in asking for advice.
Uncomfortable to act in faith alone.
Uncomfortable in doing all the things you don’t want to do today.
So that you can do the things tomorrow that you want to do.
The things you have dreamed of.
The things you were created for.
To be who you were created to be.
So most of us settle for average.
We settle for being comfortable.
The question for you today is…
Are you willing to become uncomfortable?
How bad do you want to be who you were truly created to be?
We all want to be successful
So I’m taking a few weeks vacation time. I knew 2012 would be The Year I Get Over Myself. In the church world they call it a sabbatical. It is actually pretty common throughout history for church leaders to unplug for extended periods of time. In today’s world, not so much.
In the real world you could call it learning how to live life outside of work. For a driven fella like myself, unplugging can be tough. We male types can get caught up in work, especially when we love it. Our identity is tied up in it. Like a pretzel. Pretzels get stale fast though, right? When we work too much, after awhile we can’t distinguish us, “worker” and just us, “us”. We too get stale!
Just working is life not life.
We human beings becomes human doing. Quickly we become a rat in a rat race. Chasing for that cheese.
So what am I doing about it and what are you going to do about it?
For me, I’m taking some time off (at the time this post was written) from my awesome role at LifeChurch.tv in Edmond, Oklahoma to rest up!
I’ve had a few questions from friends like, “what are you doing with that type of time off?” Not much really. And a lot. I’m having a blast!
Besides basket weaving, knitting sweaters, thumb twiddling tournaments and tandem bike riding into the sunset each night with Macy in our newly knitted sweaters…
What I’m doing right now.
Kissing three girls a lot.
Teaching one to ride a bike and read (Meg).
Teaching the other one to swim (Molly).
Being there for my amazing wife (Macy).
Teaching all three that family is really important.
Teaching myself to be myself again.
Prepping for a killer trip to Colorado in a few days.
Planting a garden and eating very healthy, except for some Braum’s (God’s gift to the earth, originated from Oklahoma).
Running some more. Quite a bit on YouVersion.com actually. Check it.
Praying daily with my gift of a wife.
Thinking about buying some chickens. I’m serious. I’m send you an omelette when I get ‘em.
Reading the paper. When I feel like it.
Watching Karate Kid, running movies and 8 Seconds on my new 30 day trial Netflix membership.
Trying to run the thing on our TV without buying an Xbox. Any tips?
Taking my family to church like a normal Bible belt dwelling person.
Getting to know our neighbors.
Science Museum, neighborhood pool, water parks, tennis camp, basketball camp, etc. (with Meg and Molly).
At the Movies.
Other things that you may recommend for us to do!!
What I’m not doing…
Much social media stuff.
Thinking too much about anything.
Answering a bunch of phone calls.
Doing email or many coffees or lunches.
Heck, I even visited Bass Pro Shop today in Oklahoma City, stared at the plethora of fish and was thankful for lungs and legs. If you are in the market for a real camo recliner with built-in cup holder, they got ya covered bud.
Still on the list?
More kisses, reading, resting and hanging.
Planting some more veggies from this seed package off of Amazon. Ha!
Dominating myself playing tennis again the practice wall in our neighborhood. I win every time!
Mountain biking through Summit County, Colorado.
Succeeding at what rally matters most in life.
Surfing. Anyone want to teach and have a beach?
Ok, that is what I am going to do. What about you?
Balance. It’s the new crazy.
Get you some of it and you’ll never go back. At least until your next vacation.
What can you do to get some balance in your life?
What are you doing? What will you do? Please share in the comments! Also, love to hear of what you think abut my vacation so far. Any tips? What else should I do?
I write all the time.
Sermons. Poems. Blog posts.
And because I wrote so much, I am constantly editing. I’m always looking for things that I need to delete or add in to make whatever I’m working on better.
It’s not the funnest part of writing, but it’s probably the most important.
The last thing I want to do is put something out there that is flawed. (Plus it’s really embarrassing when someone messages you to say that you messed up.)
I’ll spend a few extra minutes to look over things before I publish them.
Which makes me wonder…
Why don’t we do the same right now?
A New Year is upon us.
And with that we have the opportunity to start fresh. We have the opportunity to edit our lives.
We can delete the things that are unimportant.
We can add in things that enhance them.
Regardless of what we need to do; now is the perfect time to edit.
So will you be doing some editing?
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Often things that are extraordinary become normal. Repetition numbs our awareness of the abnormal, the uniqueness that can find its way into our lives.
It’s like the waitress at the world’s finest restaurant that won’t eat the food that people flock to experience from around the world. The extraordinary becomes normal. The extraordinary becomes ordinary.
The result can be tragic if you are a spouse, a parent, a leader, an entrepreneur, a pastor or anything else! Parents miss entire relationships with their kids over this. Leaders miss opportunities. We all miss the opportunity to live in awe of what we’ve so graciously been given. We all forget to celebrate wins and embrace the good!
To overcome this reality, to keep the extraordinary from becoming ordinary, we MUST stop and reflect on what is around us. We must take notice of our surroundings and circumstances and ask the questions,
“What is amazing around me?”
“What may I be missing out on here?” and,
“What is so unexplainable in my life that it simply cannot come from human origin?”
It is an improper attitude that causes the extraordinary to become ordinary.
It is a limited perspective that turns the amazing to into the mundane.
It is even the simple reality of repetition that can turn our red beating hearts into gray, motionless stone.
Here is another way to look at the issue.
Extraordinary thing x frequency = perceived ordinary thing
We have to jumble up the equation if we want to keep the extraordinary from becoming old and rusty like a forgotten antique toy in the attic.
It could look something like:
Extraordinary thing x frequency x REFLECT = Extraordinary thing
Extraordinary thing x frequency x PERSPECTIVE = Extraordinary thing
I’m afraid if we don’t learn to embrace the extraordinary of today there will be no extraordinary in our lives tomorrow.
Either it will be there and we’ll miss it or it won’t be there because we never learned to embrace it the first time.
Keep the extraordinary.
Ask for more of it.
Whatever you do.
Don’t miss it.
Why is it so easy for the extraordinary to become ordinary? Why is it so difficult to keep what is precious from losing its luster? Love to hear your thoughts!!
I met with a financial planner today. He gave me some news I hadn’t thought about in awhile.
I think you’ll find it interesting.
Something that doesn’t exactly cross my mind a lot and I’m guessing you would fit in the same category. What news did he give me, you ask?
I am dying.
Maybe not today.
Perhaps not tomorrow.
Or maybe so.
At some point though…
Maybe in 2058.
Or maybe in 2013.
Some day… I am dying (I’m not sick by the way).
We talked about exit strategy. Things like…
What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Not money, legacy. In other words, what will outlast your life?
Who may be a better question. Who will outlast you?
Today we talked about what my life goals were.
Sure we talked about money, wills, insurance and things like that. But mostly we dealt with the following: what I wanted to do with those that mean the most to me.
So here is something for you to think about…
Some day you will die too.
Here on earth, your time will be up.
There will be no second chance to make your time here count.
You won’t have time to go back.
You won’t be able to make your 30 year old son a little boy again.
You won’t be able to build a healthy foundation for your family.
You won’t always be able to do tomorrow what you can do today.
Today will be the past.
Life will have passed by.
Will you have made the most of it?
Will you be able to say, “I wasn’t perfect, but I did the best with what I was given?
What will you pass on?
What legacy will you leave behind?
You too are dying.
I am dying.
It is time to truly live.
Comments: Do you think much about when your time will be up here on earth? What goes through your mind? Love to hear!
How do you deal with change? Do you embrace it or do you push it away?
Do you adapt, stretch, grow, challenge, evolve, think outside the box?
Or do you stay…. the same.
Today you can change.
You can be different.
You can do something new.
Instead of repeating the same things over and over again and getting the same results…
You can try something new today. You can change and get different results.
Think about it.
Today is your day.
Your day to change.
Why is it so difficult to embrace change and so easy to want to stay the same? Love to hear your thoughts!
I must _______. <<< What goes here?
What word or phrase?
What must you do?
What burns deep inside?
What is your burden that you must do something about?
I must _______. <<< What goes here?
What have you been well positioned to do?
Who are you called to be?
Where have you been uniquely placed for impacting someone or something?
What must you do?
Because _________. <<< What goes here?
Why must you do whatever it is you must do?
Why is it important?
Why will it make a difference?
Who will it impact?
What will be different one year later as a result?
10 years later?
So my next step is to __________. <<< What goes here?
What is your next step?
What should it be?
What will move the ball down the court?
What will get you from HERE to THERE?
and _________ can help me. <<< Who goes here?
Who can hold you accountable?
Who can help you accomplish your dream?
Who can serve as support?
Who will you tell about what you must do today?
I must __________ (ex. write) because _________ (ex. I have a story to tell that will help others). My next step is __________ (ex. Write a book proposal) and ________ can help me (ex. Michael Hyatt at his blog Michaelhyatt.com).
Ok, your turn. Complete this sentence. Share it below if you can!
I must ______ because __________. My next step is to ________ and __________ can help me.
Do you worry ALL the time? Here is a question you can ask yourself that will release yourself from the black hole of worrying endlessly:
A year from now, will what I am worrying about make much of a difference? In five years, will I even remember what it is that I am spending so much mental and emotional energy focusing on?
Chances are, the answer to both will be no!
What keeps you from worrying? Your faith, prayer? Please share!
Re-post: I’ve been a husband for eight short years & a father for three. In this short span of time, I’ve figured out some great ways to “blow it” as a husband & father! A lot of the items on the below list I’ve done on my own, so my intent isn’t to discourage husbands or dads. Instead, the goal is to list behaviors & attitudes that are sure to send any guy down the wrong path. To join me & imperfect men around the world, be sure to work your way through this list of 50 Ways to Blow It As a Husband and/or Father:
1. Achieve success at work this week and drop the ball at home.
2. Don’t ever think intentionally about what you could do to be a better husband or dad.
3. Buy things that your family doesn’t really need, then work a lot more to make up for it.
4. Go into debt. If you are already in debt, go into more debt.
5. Stay in debt and don’t try to get out or believe you can get out.
6. Don’t ever figure out your personal values in life and how these may affect how you lead your family.
7. Hold on to your past forever and let it negatively affect your relationships with your family.
8. Don’t develop healthy relationships with other men who can encourage you and support you.
9. Be a loner.
10. Blame society for your shortcomings and don’t take personal responsibility.
11. Lead your family into the same patterns of blaming society.
12. Justify everything you are doing that you know is holding you back in life.
13. Don’t take your family to church. Choose instead to not focus on spiritual priorities.
14. Talk badly about people in front of your family and teach them to do the same.
15. Say certain things to your family often, then don’t ever back them up with your actions.
16. Raise your voice all the time. This will get you a ton of respect!
17. Don’t listen.
18. Don’t engage.
19. Don’t ask questions.
20. Don’t go on dates with your wife.
21. Don’t take care of your body.
22. Don’t save any money. Live way beyond your means instead.
23. Don’t create any memories with your family, just space out when you get home.
24. Don’t seek out help when you know you need it.
25. Check out women other than your wife. Try to do this everyday.
26. Put your kids’ needs before the needs of your spouse, this will ensure that your marriage eventually suffers.
27. Try not to contribute to your community in any way. Make life all about you instead.
28. Don’t take care of your finances.
29. Don’t pray with your kids.
30. Leave spiritual leadership up to your spouse.
31. Leave spiritual leadership up to your church.
32. Blame your church for everything and don’t take responsibility as a husband or father.
33. Care more about 20 yr olds playing with a ball (sports) than about your 2 yr old at home.
34. Don’t ever encourage. Complain instead about everything.
35. Don’t talk to your spouse about the health of your marriage.
36. Drink a ton of alcohol, and drink it often. This will make your problems and stress go away.
37. Disrespect your wife in public, this will really help her grow in confidence.
38. Have an affair with Facebook or Twitter. Here are 29 Signs this is you.
39. Have an emotional affair with another woman at work.
40. Have a physical affair with another woman or a man.
41. Look at porn or anything that arouses you.
42. Work all the time and come home and give nothing to your family.
43. Don’t read to your little kids.
44. Don’t talk to your older kids.
45. Love business more than anything in life.
46. Don’t read or do anything to grow personally or spiritually.
47. Don’t ever help your wife around the house.
48. Don’t ever pick up after yourself, treat your spouse instead like your mother or maid.
49. Don’t dream with your spouse.
50. Don’t forgive yourself for not being perfect. Carry this weight with you always. Don’t let God heal you and change you.
Like me, chances are you’ve already blown it. You read this list and realize you are pretty good at many of the things on it. Listen….Don’t give up! We all have fallen short of who we are supposed to be! Here are a few practical steps you can take this week to make a change:
1. Ask for forgiveness- from God, from your spouse, your kids if you have them. Pray for a change in your heart and in your life. Then forgive yourself!
2. Go through this list and find 3 ways you can improve this week as a husband and/or father.
3. Take the 3 items from above and write down the opposite (Don’t ever help around the house becomes, help out around the house every day).
4. For each item, write out 1-2 actions steps you can take to make a change (“I will start making the bed every day, helping with the dishes every night”).
5. Then, tell someone what you are doing and ask them to hold you accountable (“Billy Bob, here is my list of 3 things I’m doing this week to grow as a husband/father, will you ask me in a week if I followed through?”).
6. Set a time to check back with them in a week to see how things are going. (“Can week visit for 10 minutes Thursday night at 8pm,” or “Will you text me Friday to ask me how I’m doing?”)
Rewind: Shortcuts have consequences in nearly every single life situation. People will pop pills and try the latest fad diet to do anything to lose weight only to hurt themselves. Weight loss shortcuts have consequences. Governments often lay a heavy hand in response to situations to try to fix them quickly, only to make situations worse. Government shortcuts have consequences. Corporations skip steps to get products to market as quickly as possible and people die daily because of it. Corporate shortcuts have consequences. Leadership is the same way. Shortcuts result in serious consequences.
Leadership is not a title; it is about gaining influence where you are now. I know a lot of young leaders looking for the next step in life, the next position, the next title. They want to take a shortcut. Leadership shortcuts have consequences too! You may also enjoy: The Player Piano & Leadership: Writing Your Own Song in Life, Forget the Joneses, Be Different, Spend Some Time Alone, 4 Ways to Remember & What’s Your Addiction? Leadership Ain’t a Title: How to Gain Influence Where You Are Now. Here are some questions for you, young leader:
Where have you been placed in life today?
Where do you find yourself sitting today? Are you looking for the next title? Are you looking for the next promotion, the Manager role or Pastor title? Let me break it to you: I don’t think God gives a rip about your title. I truly don’t think it means much to him. You mean much to him, but I don’t think your title does. Where have you been placed in life? What opportunities do you have? Lead there for now. Don’t miss your opportunity to seize this day and make the most of it!
What can you focus on instead of title?
Lots of things. I’ll give you one for now: your character. Who are you really? Who are you becoming inside? Not what can you do, but who are who. Do you do what you say you’ll do and do it with the utmost respect and responsibility? If the answer is no, why should you be entrusted with more? Do you care more about your title than about those closest to you? If the answer is no, your ambition will get you! A friend of mine used to say, “If your ambition ends with you, your ambition will eventually end you!”
Do I need to get it all right every time?
Heck no! You will mess up frequently (Hang out with me and you’ll see). Still, you learn from these mess ups and do things differently the next time. Humility leads to learning something about yourself and doing better the next time. It’s not about being right. It’s more about learning. Forgive yourself for not being perfect!
What is more important than your title?
I would argue: your understanding and view of God, the world and yourself. If your identity is wrapped up in your title or your job, you are setting yourself up for a major wake up call someday. Get a more realistic view of yourself by: asking for feedback, discovering and focusing on your strengths and managing your weaknesses. Get to know your Creator. He knows more about you than anyone. Get to know what is going on in the world. Red the news, ask questions, look around. The earth doesn’t spin around you, and the sooner you realize this, the sooner you can focus less on your title and more on other things.
Is your zeal a bad thing?
No! Be passionate. Dream big. Get focused and make a difference! But do so out of a realistic view of who you are. Don’t try to earn approval or impress. We’re not impressed. Take that passion and learn to focus it. Understand yourself first so you will be able to understand others.
Are you really listening in life right now?
Chances are, you are surrounded with opportunities to invest in the lives of others. If you are married, do you really know your spouse? You need to lead them or help them lead! Do you know your neighbors? Where you live is a good place to start. It’s no accident you are where you are. What about your friends? Who is in your life that you are missing? What opportunities have been presented to you lately? Not everyone with eyes truly sees. Not everyone with ears truly hears.
So work on your self and pour out to those around you. You will gain influence. Don’t skip the process of growth. You will stay in the leadership game much longer! Don’t worry about the title. Don’t worry about always being right. Think instead about who you really are, not what you can produce. Focus your passions and get clarity. Open your ears and listen. Leadership is no a title. Soon, you will begin to gain influence. Don’t shortcut the process. Instead, savor the moment!
How else can young leaders gain influence where they are? What can be done to grow? What else should be avoided? Please share!