You've been asked to do something incredibly important,
but fear it won't work out in the end?
You've been incredibly inconvenienced,
because this moment wasn't something you had planned for?
You've been confronted with an easy way out,
knowing full well it won't end well?
There will come a time in your life when you will come face to face with something of great importance. But that won't be the challenge. That is found in the fact that it will be inconvenient, unknown, and have a built in escape hatch if you want out.
You'll come face to face with a life altering decision.
And here is the rub…
It will likely not have as much to do with you as you think.
It will very likely have to do with your ability to effect positive change in the lives of others.
Are you ready for that?
Have you decided ahead of time how you will respond to that moment?
We will all face a "WHAT HAPPENS WHEN?" moment in our lives.
Maybe more than one.
So the next time you are feeling the weight of great importance and inconvenience,
think twice before you take the easy way out.
It's very likely a legacy moment for you.
It's very likely a game changer for those around you.
Don't say no to the challenge, because you don't know what will happen.
Perhaps it's time to double down,
and beat "logic"…
I remember the day well. It was in May of 2000. I drove her to a beautiful creek where I would "pop the question". I didn't want to give away where we were going. I wanted to surprise her. I blindfolded her for the ride, which almost turned out to be a disaster. Turns out that can evoke motion sickness. Luckily the drive wasn't too long.
When we arrived I asked her to take my arm and I began to lead her through a wooded and windy path to our destination. As we got closer you could hear music (I had planted it there ahead of time). It was Jim Brickman. That tends to get the romantic mood all taken care of.
At this point I proceeded to get on my knee in the middle of a creek rushing past our feet on a warm spring evening. I shared that from this moment forward I couldn't go forward without her. But I knew that the only way to guarantee that was to intentionally ask her to join me permanently on this journey we call life.
Thankfully she said yes, and a little over 14 years later life is good. Actually, better than I ever could have imagined. Three great kids, one incredible wife, and a life together as a family that I wouldn't trade for the world.
So why am I sharing this story with you?
Something hit me today.
The only way my story worked was because I was intentional
about asking one simple question.
Will you marry me?
It's a commitment thing. It's a once you do this, there is no going back. It's a you better be serious, because this is for keeps. It's all good…but it's also all-in!
Even though I wanted to be engaged to Cara, it wasn't going to happen accidentally.
I had to ask.
And the more I thought about that concept I see it applying
to many people in many other areas of life.
We want to be in better shape, but we can't do it accidentally.
We want to be better informed about an idea, but we can't do it accidentally.
We want to be in a healthy relationship, but we can't do it accidentally.
We want a better job, but we can't do it accidentally.
We want to pursue something that will change our life, but we can't do it accidentally.
And because we can't do any of these things accidentally,
we need to be real about them.
The only way we can deal with them is to
make the decision to intentionally act on them.
We have to "pop the question" to ourselves.
We have to move from just liking being married to the idea,
to being engaged to the process first.
When Cara said "yes", it started a process.
We began to make plans for our wedding.
We were moving forward, together, on a whole other level.
And it's the same for whatever it is in your life that you want to move forward with.
You'll need to make the commitment to be "engaged" today.
You'll need to understand engagement is a process.
And at the end of the day,
every decision you make will honor this commitment you've made.
And over time, at some point, you'll cement your commitment with an "I do".
We have a little saying, Cara and I, that comes out when I am overwhelmed at how blessed I am to be married to my best friend. Something will happen. It can be as simple as walking by her and seeing her face. It can be the result of something funny our kids do. Whatever triggers it, here is what happens…
I look at Cara and say this…
"Thanks for saying YES!"
At which point she will look at me with a smile and say…
"Thanks for asking".
You have to ask.
You can't get accidentally engaged.
Not to your spouse.
And not to your calling.
And one last thing. I talked a lot about great things that you may want to pursue. This works the same for things you may need to separate yourself from. If you are struggling with something, you can't accidentally give it weight in your life. You either choose to become engaged to it and the negative influence it has in your life, or you separate from it.
Just like you can't get accidentally engaged to great things in your life,
it works the same for negative things.
I hope this encourages you today.
Find the wrong things, and separate yourself from them.
Find the right things…
and get engaged.
Put The Hay Away!
You've heard the phrase "It's like looking for a needle in a haystack" many times.
The phrase itself is basically admitting defeat. It's too hard. You'll never find it.
But what if it's as simple as reversing our train of thought?
Stop looking for the needle, and put away the hay.
Seriously…you aren't going to find the needle by tossing the hay around randomly until it appears. But if you commit to systematically "putting away the hay" a little bit at a time?
The only thing left will be the very thing you wanted all along.
I don't know what your "needle" is.
And I don't know what the "hay" is that is keeping you from finding it.
I do know that if you
do what you can, with what you have, where you are…
You'll find the needle faster than you think.
That is how you get "IT" done.
Have you ever felt stuck?
I mean the good-ole' fashioned "paralysis by analysis" kind of stuck. If you have, then you are in some pretty good company. We've all been there.
"Paralysis by analysis" is the enemy of progress.
Don't give into it.
Plow through it…
with these 5 tips on how to choose well.
1. Leverage your past experiences: Turn around and stare the options you have in front of you. Ask yourself which ones will enable you to teach from your past experiences so that you multiply your future growth. Teach from what you know.
2. Leverage your current platform: Stop wishing you were someone else, with more contacts, followers or admirers. Start doing what you can, with what you have, where you are. Turn the door knob on the opportunity that allows you to be you, and walk away from the ones where you are trying to be someone else.
3. Double down on commitment: Walk towards the option that allows you to invest your efforts into what you believe in. No matter how attractive, resist the choice that has the potential to make you easily distracted.
4. Leverage your propensity to act: Something makes you want to get up everyday. What is it? Chase it. Do everything you can to make time for it. Any other door you choose is a combination of distraction from your calling and depletion of the energy you have to offer anything you put your effort into.
5. Go all in: Finally, choose the door that you will give 100% of who you are to. That doesn't mean you need to know all the answers now, just that you will give all you have ahead of time, to make it happen all the time.
These 5 things should make turning the right knob a little easier, so that the hard work of doing something meaningful is empowering…not exhausting.
Enjoy the journey, my friend!
Until next time,
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.