You’ve been given a gift.
A moment in time.
It may not seem like it when your alarm goes off at 5am. When it seems like you are the only one lacing up your shoes to go train. When it’s the middle of the night, you are up studying, and you glance over to see your roommate peacefully sleeping.
You arrive at a place where you get to do what you love, and somehow wish you weren’t there. You wish for the simple. To sleep in. Eat whatever, whenever. Yet…if you were granted that wish, you’d be miserable. Because the passion in your heart to compete is more powerful than the pleasure of temporary satisfaction.
So how do you deal with the mental ping-pong of those thoughts?
Embrace your platform.
You’ve been given athletic talents. You have an opportunity to use them to help others. You are living out your calling, & inspiring countless others to do the same in the process.
Progress doesn’t come without struggle. Success doesn’t happen without sacrifice.
So the next time you feel like giving in, give more. When it feels like you’ve reached a breaking point, think back to where you started, and use it as the motivation you need to make this an all-in launching point.
You were made for this.
For such a time as this.
The air smells different the higher you climb. Not everyone is made to thrive in that climate. But you are. You are hard-wired for it. You thrive on it.
That is your gift.
You know the difference between thriving and surviving. The stark contrast between creating and caving. The clarity as to what it takes to achieve greatness, and the easy path to laziness.
You’ve got this…even when it hurts. You’ve got this…even when others don’t understand. You’ve got this…even when doubt tries to push you down.
And lest you think the only result that matters is…
The lowest time.
The best score.
The gold medal.
The top platform.
Those will never determine the end result. That is for you, and you alone to say.
Don't get me wrong...I'm a competitor through and through. I don't like to lose.
I'm not minimizing the effort that goes into winning, or the pain you experience as a result of losing. I've been on both sides of that coin, many times.
What I feel like you need to hear...deserve to hear...is that as time passes, the lesson of competing as a student-athlete has roots that run far deeper than one moment in time.
You'll begin to ask yourself these questions. And if you can say yes, you'll have gained far more than momentary recognition.
Did you give your all? Did you honor every person on the journey? Did you show humility? Did you act gracious to your competitors? Did you sacrifice your personal preference for the betterment of the team? Did you come a little early, and stay a little late?
Would you do it all over again?
If for no other reason than the relationships you made along the way.
Just to spend those long hours training with them. Just to ride the bus with them again. Just to laugh together, cry together…experience all of it together…again.
Because at the end of the day…
That is the truest definition of winning that I know.
Make the decision to be intentional about building relationships, so that you create a team of influence.
When that is seared into your soul,
you can do far more than win a sporting contest.
You will be ready to change the world.
So please don't throw in the towel when it gets hard. We need you to learn every lesson you can along the way. For the calling that is on your life will be accomplished because of what you learned from them. Without them, life on the other side of sports gets harder. With them you are equipped to take on every challenge thrown your way, in a way that only you can.
Because of that...
You ARE ready to change the world.
No time like the present. Lord knows our world so desperately needs it. And you?
We...those you know, and so many you may never meet...
WE. BELIEVE. IN. YOU.
For it's in the lessons of competition you will begin to understand your calling's destination. And when that happens, run in that direction with every ounce of passion your heart can muster.
You’ve been given a gift.
A moment in time.
Now, and in the future.
You, student-athlete, were made...
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.
Settling is stopping short.
To settle in is being content.
In either case, where you are may not be where you thought you'd be by now. It may not be where you want to be right now. And it may not be where you know you could be by now.
All of that can either paralyze you, or propel you. It can hold you back, or launch you forward. It can frustrate you or remind you.
Wait...remind you? Of what?
Your past may have played a part in your present, but it doesn't have to determine your future.
There isn't one of us, myself included, that doesn't need to hear this from time to time.
There is value in a little self-reflection, to provide new direction.
It's at those moments that we have to decide if we are going to feel sorry for ourselves, and start settling for less than our full potential. Or...take a deep breath, settle in, and see things from a fresh perspective.
Be fully present where you are, who you are with, with what you have.
And when you start moving forward, bring contentment along for the ride.
Stop settling today for what your past is lying to you about. Stop settling today for who others say you are. Stop settling because the obstacles in front of you seem like they are too big to take on.
To believe your past is your launching pad, because it was your learning ground. To believe who you are isn't determined by the the insecurities of others. To believe your future is what you make of the opportunities you leverage today.
And when you do...
Enjoy the contentment you find when you settle in, because you've committed to stop settling.
Someone is always hurting worse than us.
Someone is always in a place of pain we can't imagine.
We demand the world owes us something.
We share our opinion because somehow we feel the world needs to "hear it".
We'd reach out beyond our religious, political, fill-the-blank-with-whatever-it-is-you-think-needs-to-be-said, so that someone else can be cared for with our actions instead. We'd hit pause on our opinion, so that the facts of someone else's dire situation can be shared and heard. We'd stop, take a breath, and hit the delete button on the post we are about to make, so that the world will see less of our selfish desires.
The accountability we have to one another in this thing called life is like a braking system. Without it, and without one, we are going to continue to unnecessarily hurt one another...as we spiral out of control down a path we are sure to regret. Making sure our brakes are in solid working order, assures safety. It works the same way with a guarantee of accountability.
As we go about our day today, this one question will help all of us determine if what we are about to say is something that needs to be said...or better yet, never uttered.
Will it bring a positive & tangible life change, or is it destructively life-altering?
One builds relationships based on honor. The other is an opinion being shared that very well overshadows the greatest opportunity all of us have.
To love one another...daily.
Have you ever felt held up, held back, stuck...aka...DELAYED?
I think we've all been there at some point.
I was looking at this word today, and realized something.
It wasn't immediate.
It took a minute to see what was there.
But then it hit me...
This is what I saw at first:
And then I saw this:
The answer we are looking for (why we are delayed) is in the word itself.
Let me explain...
The deed to a house shows WHO owns it.
It's the same thing when we are delayed.
Someone owns it.
Sometimes it's truly out of our hands.
But other times, and far too often than we'd care to admit?
It's on us.
And until we #OwnTheDelay, we won't be able to move past it.
Maybe today is the day we...
To be grounded, is to stay connected.
To a source, not a whim.
To a vision, not a version.
If we are ever going to be able to start saying "no" to the things that we need to, it'll start by committing to a well articulated vision.
Here is what I mean...
Have a filter.
Making decisions without one is emotionally, financially, and culturally dangerous.
It's hoping to get lucky.
When you know WHO you are, you will know WHAT to do.
You'll base decisions on who you are and why you exist.
You'll build relationships with people who are willing to sacrifice their personal preference, so that something bigger than themselves can be created.
So how do you know if you are making solid decisions?
If you are alone, you are much more likely to make a call you'll regret later.
If you have a team of people to walk with you, you've got what we all need.
You'll stop running in 101 directions when you have a relational connection.
You'll replace chaos with focus.
If you leave enough change behind...
eventually you'll hand your future to someone else.
Small change becomes a sizable deposit at some point.
Change is here. It's all around us.
It's either going to be in your future, or someone else's.
What change will you make, based on the challenge(s) you face?
Don't leave your opportunity on the table for someone else to take.
Invest in yourself...your team...your future.
Start your week with a purpose...on purpose.
Embrace the change that is in your hand,
instead of leaving it behind in fear.
Your future will thank you for it later.
Want to be more productive?
Here's a little trick to make sure we are ready to go, not on the sidelines...exhausted.
It all depends on what we choose to engage, activate, and launch every day.
Which way we flip the switch matters.
The direction that keeps us on point with who we are and why we exist is what we are looking for. That's a lights-on situation.
The one that tries to impress others, will exhaust us...because very simply put...it's tiring trying to be someone we are not. That's a lights-out, bad choice.
So think of a light switch today.
Every decision we make is like flipping a switch.
It'll brighten the room every time we choose ourselves.
It'll darken the room every time we try to be someone other than us.
Choose the activities and make the decisions that engage, activate, and launch the very best part of who you are today! The world needs it, and you deserve it!
Plus...it's no fun wandering around in the dark, bumping into stuff.
Have a GREAT day...and an AMAZING weekend!
So you have an idea.
How do you turn your idea into into something that actually changes your situation?
Know the difference between an idea and a decision.
Ideas, left to themselves, are based on feelings.
Decisions, inherently, are based on your vision.
One flows from a whim, the other from who you are and why you exist.
It's great to have ideas.
The way you turn them into an actual innovation in your industry?
Make the decision to implement the idea if it aligns with your vision.
Equally important is to make the decision not to, if it doesn't.
But this whole thing gets a lot harder if you haven't taken the time to articulate your vision. Spend a few moments today to start that process if you haven't already.
Fill in this sentence...
We exist to _________________________, so that _____________________________.
We all exist to do something, so that something else happens.
A legacy left.
Once you have a sense what that looks like,
you'll know how to turn your idea into an innovation.
If it fits, act on it. Be intentional. Don't be afraid to fail. It isn't failure if it doesn't work...it's only failure if you fail to learn from it.
if this big idea doesn't fit who you are and why you exist...
walk away from it.
You'll leave yourself the time you need,
to turn the ideas that do fit into the innovation you want.
And above all else...
ENJOY THE JOURNEY TODAY!
Passion: If you aren't bleeding the vision of your organization, how can you expect anyone on your team to? Actually…I once heard it said that "the leader has to hemorrhage in order for the people that follow to bleed". Sounds kinda gross…but makes a great point. You can't sit back and send your team to the front lines to fight for you all day as you sit in your silk robe in a castle far away. Roll your sleeves up…teach them, speak into them, go with them…show them the way.
Patience: There will be days when it feels like you are on a treadmill instead of an actual run where you can see progress. Everything seems stationary at best. If you lose your noodle in frustration in this moment, you'll lose your people in indifference soon. Instead, realize that the "treadmill days" are still doing something very important. They are creating a culture of endurance. Even though you can't see progress today, you are preparing people who are willing to keep running anyway. That is a culture that will be ready for a marathon on a moments notice.
Persistence: This is beyond treadmill time. This is when the treadmill is broken, coffee pot breaks, half your team is late and the other half is playing candy crush on their phones. If you get to this point, it's time to hit mental rewind as the leader. Go back to day one and ask yourself "WHY did I start this?" Not in a pity party kind of way, but in an honest, heart-level look at your purpose. Once you've dialed into that, go back to leading with passion and preparing to be persistent to do whatever you need to do to get your team back on track.
These 3 leadership reminders aren't magic fairy tale dust. Leading always requires hard work, consistency, transparency, authenticity, and a willingness above all else to be teachable.
Grab on to these 3 things as a quick mental exercise to see if where you are, is where you should be. If it is, way to go! Keep at it! If not, now you've got a little nudge to take care of what needs to be fixed. Get at it!
As always…thanks for stopping by! It's always humbling to know you chose to be here. I appreciate your time, and wish you all the best as you lead your team…wherever you may be!
"Just give me fair warning".
Many times, what that really means is this:
"If I had only known sooner,
I could have done something about it".
The fact is, many times we did.
We knew much sooner.
We just chose to ignore it.
Don't get me wrong…
Are there times when things hit us without warning that we couldn't do anything about with even the best preparation? Yes. There are always exceptions to the rule.
But I've never met someone, (myself included), who should be truly shocked at the outcome of a situation when we had the ability to alter it.
So as you start your week, look around.
Are you doing what you can, with what you have, where you are?
Are you begging people to help you be lazy (asking for "fair warning"),
or preparing like you'll never need one, (embracing "without warning)?
"Fair warnings" are for those who enjoy sitting down until they have to stand up.
"Without warnings" are for the rest who are prepared because they're already moving.
It's the difference between doubting things will turn out well,
and knowing you've done all that you can.
We want a life that gives us "fair warning",
We need to be better prepared
so we are ready for "without warning".
JFK nailed it with this quote...
"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining".
SO...Do the hard work early so you can watch the rain in your living room through your window, not feel it on your head.
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.