Let me ask you a question, and I really want you to be honest with yourself about the answer. Do you love what you do? That is, do you love your job or career? If your answer is yes, then stop reading. For the other 98% of us, let’s talk. Some where along the way we’ve been sold a bill of goods. We’ve been told that we just need to work to provide, and if we like/love what we do, it’s a bonus. How many of us have bought into that lie? How many of us have firmly grabbed a hold of the worm ladened lure and swam with it?
Honestly, I’m in the midst of this myself, so I’m not sure that I have a lot of answers. But, what I do have is some hope in the midst of the haze and despair. Not loving what you’re doing is ok. Wanting more is ok. Desiring to make a difference is well, awesome. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple said it this way.
[shareable]The only way to do great work is to love what you do. -Steve Jobs-[/shareable]
Do you want to do great work? Do you desire to give something back? What would it look like for you to find something to do that you truly loved. Michael Phelps did.
[shareable]I found something I love…and never gave up. -Michael Phelps-[/shareable]
What’s amazing about doing what you love is that it can give you a voice or platform to share with others who are struggling. It can give you such drive that you’ll never give up on it
So, what do you love? Like my previous post. What if money was no object? WHAT. WOULD. YOU. DO?
Step out of your comfort zone and ask for help. Ask those around you what you’re good at. I mean, really good at. Ask your family. Your friends. Co-workers. Ask people who see you when you don’t even know they’re watching.
Then, I want you to dream. I want you to grab some paper and a pen. Grab some alone time. Pray. Meditate. Dream. Seek a new vision for you life. Do you even have a vision?
It’s time for something new. It’s time for a change. It’s time for a life that has a purpose beyond simply existing.
“What if money was no object?” has been a common question posed to me lately. Whether by my wife, friends or my coach. What would I do if money didn’t stand in the way? Honestly, I balk at the question all the time. I get uncomfortable. I get irritable too. Why? Why do I react negatively? What’s wrong with dreaming a little bit?
Absolutely nothing! It’s my wiring. I’ve struggled most of my life with setting goals and dreaming about them. Mostly, because I firmly believe that I will fail at them. That I will never see them fulfilled. Does any of this strike a chord? It’s a pretty silly way to think and to live. I mean, I had always wanted to get married and have a family. Guess what? I’m married to an amazing woman and have four incredible kids. Those were dreams and money wasn’t a factor.
So let me ask you. “What if money was no object, what would you do?” “What would you dream?” Kristen and I were flying home to Denver from Vancouver a few weeks ago and she started a written conversation with on the plane. We both were reading (I was trying hard to finish a book and was annoyed with her questions), but she wanted to chat too. It was all around this topic. At first I was annoyed. Ok, for the first 5 or 6 questions I was annoyed. But then I was able to be present as the question came. For almost 3 hours we did this. Read our books and answered questions by hand. The last question was all around my dreams. Here are some of them:
- Buy a Land Rover D90 and drive from the Cape of South Africa all the way to Cairo, Egypt.
- Hike to Everest Base Camp
- Live in London, England and Berlin, Germany
- Get a Doctorate
- Write a book
- Record a live Worship Album
- Buy a 40+ acre ranch in the mtns
Pretty big and lofty dreams right? That’s kind of the point. There was a video I watched this week with the narration by the famous philospher/poet Alan Watts. It was so good. Challenging. If you do anything today or this week besides reading this blog, I would encourage you watch. Especially because I’m embedding it!!
One of the things I wrestle with the most is having fun. I tend to take things pretty seriously. I’m not sure if it’s because we didn’t play a lot as a family when I was growing up, or if it’s because I worry about the future too much. My wife says that I used to be fun! I still laugh from time to time. I still get goofy with my kids (as our family pic reveals), but I know that I can get distracted by other things that take me away from what’s really important. My family. Author Steven Covey made the profound statement in his book First Things, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
What’s the main thing in your life right now? Take a moment. Think about it. Is it work. Is it stress and worry about the future. Is it school. Does family or friends or truly enjoying life even rank in the top 5?
[shareable]The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. ~ Steven Covey[/shareable]
Here’s what I know. When you figure out what the “main” thing is and truly start living out of that main thing, your life will be much more clear and much more worthwhile. With that said, I’m also going to say that if your main thing isn’t including faith, family, friends and being outside, you’re off the mark.
I came home yesterday afternoon after picking up one kid from school to the announcement that the other 2 kids’ science fair project needed to assembled and ready to go for the next day. My day had already been crazy doing several things that hadn’t been on the calendar and I was hoping to go for a run and write a blog post. But you know what happened in stead? Yup. I helped our 2 youngest put together, test and assemble their science fair project. It was fun. It was goofy. It made their night and, in reality, it made my night. Was it what I had planned? Nope. Was it the main thing? 127%!!
Let me ask again, what is your main thing? Is it something or someone(s) that you love doing or being around? If not, what’s keeping you from changing and finding your “main” thing? If it’s fear, you should probably just move past it because it’s robbing you of your life.
Question: What would it look like for you to find your main thing? What would it look like to find your passion? Would your life look different than it is now? How? Take some time today to process and write some thoughts down. Maybe share them with someone close to you.
Ok, let me make this little disclaimer. I hate working out. I haven’t always been the healthiest eater in the world. I like food. Good food. With that said, I want to share some thoughts about taking care of your greatest asset. I just finished a great book by Greg McKeown called Essentialism and one of the things that jumped out at me was his section about our assets. Let me be clear, this isn’t a book review.
[shareable]The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. If we underinvest in ourselves…we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution. ~Greg McKeown[/shareable]
2015 was a challenging season for me and for our family. I ended something that I loved but couldn’t keep going, which sent me into a spiral. There were times that I wasn’t sure that I would make it through the season, but with my faith and amazing wife (and kids) I took some steps to gain a different perspective.
I decided to to run a half marathon with my wife (actually she asked and I readily accepted) at the end of the summer. I needed something different to occupy my head and my heart, and quite literally my body. But you know what? It wasn’t enough. I needed something more. I needed something more competitive. So, in the middle of July, with only 4 weeks to go, I decided to do a Sprint distance Triathlon (1/2 mile swim, 17 mile ride, 3 mile run)!
Here’s what I know. I hate setting goals, because I always feel like they’re a recipe for failure! But I had to set some. I had to commit (I paid $120). I had to train. And I did. I trained and I finished. Then I did another one. And then Kristen and I ran the half marathon. We had a great time. Best race of them all.
So what’s the point? Simple. I needed to change the way I was taking care of myself. Specifically, taking care of my body. The result? I lost 15lbs. Had better clarity. More excitement in my perspectives. For 2016 the goals are bigger. Yes, I’m setting bigger goals. And, I want to suggest that maybe for you 2016 could be a different year for you too.
[shareable]Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will. ~Greg McKeown[/shareable]
Let me give you some suggestions of how to take care of your greatest asset this year.
Decide to make a change.
Find something to do physically
- Choose something active
- a race (running, biking swimming etc.)
- Find a trail to hike
- Set some goals of how to get there
- Search online for a training schedule ( I found a 30 day Couch to Tri Training Scehdule online)
- Change your eating patterns (We are giving up drinking alcohol for 2016)
- Include others in your goals and changes
- Doing things with others is amazing for growing friendships
- You’re not in this alone!
Since changing some unhealthy patterns in my life, I feel better. I feel healthier and clearer. I’m still processing other things, but I have goals ahead of me that I want to complete. And that’s a good starting point.
Question: What needs to change in your life today? Sit down with a journal and write out some thoughts then include your spouse or close friend in your conversation.
Superbowl 50 is over. The excitement and stress of the season and of last night is over. I’m not a rabid sports guy. Never have been. I like going to games, but have never really got into blocking my time to watch games on tv or following the stats of any of my home town teams. With that being said, I did watch the Superbowl last night (after spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to one device after another to get a good wifi signal). It was good match of two teams who deserved to be there. There was enough excitement and nail biting to go around. There were also some things to be learned about what leadership looks like. Most of the thoughts are coming from watching Peyton Manning lead the Broncos. So here they are.
1. Recognize your team’s strengths
When it comes to the Denver Broncos, the common theme of the 2015 season has been their defense. Everyone has been talking about it. From Facebook fans to sports commentators, they’ve all been saying that if Denver wins Superbowl 50, it will on the backs of the defense. Well guess what? They were all right! No matter what Cam Newton and the Panthers did, they couldn’t get past the Broncos defense. They were fast, furious and everywhere. It was crazy to watch.
So what? Well, the what is that during Peyton’s 6-7 weeks of recovery time, he saw the strength and power of his defensive line. He saw it, recognized it and went with it. He knew that he needed them. He knew that the Broncos organization needed them. So he kept putting them in the position of being the strength of the team. Not the offense. The defense. Good leadership recognizes the strength(s) of their team, even when it seems counter intuitive.
2. Develop your character
Every time I watch Peyton Manning get interviewed, I’m struck by how kind he is. He takes each question in stride (no matter how stupid the question). When I hear people talk about him it’s with words like character, leadership, respect or integrity.
Here’s the deal. That doesn’t happen over night or in a vacuum. Character is grown and fostered over time. Over years. It takes work. It takes being able to look at yourself and your weaknesses and then asking for help. Developing your character requires that you surround yourself with people who will love you enough to tell when you’re blowing it. Peyton has those people in his life. It’s obvious. Many of them are his family members. When you don’t have a strong or healthy family what do you do? Find surrogates. Find good friends who don’t care about your title or popularity and will tell you what’s what.
3. Be humble and honest
Watching Peyton get interviewed after the game, I was struck again at how kind he was to the interviewer and at how he talked up his team mates. He knew that the win wasn’t just about him. He knew that it was a team effort. It was a pleasure to watch. Then came the Cam Newton interview. It wasn’t a pleasure to watch. Cam faced obvious questions and sometimes silly questions. It was painful. I felt bad for him.
Can I just say something here? Yes, he is the quarterback of an NFL team. Yes, he is in a position of leadership. Yes, he should be able to handle the media better. But you know what? He’s 26!!! Give him a break. He was sad. Disappointed. How many of you would be able to handle yourself in his situation? I would have loved it if he would have just said, “You know what? I’m super disappointed. I don’t have much to say right now. That Broncos D was crazy good.” But he didn’t do that and now he’s got to live with what what the world is saying about him.
Anyway. That’s some of what’s rattling around in my head after last night. We’ve all been called to lead, so let’s lead well.
Question. What does your leadership style look like? Is it all about you or are you all about your team? What would it look to change your leadership style to be more inclusive and less exclusive? Side note: This is in the office or in the home.