What if you lived life like you were training for the Olympics? What would you do different?
That’s the question I asked myself that stopped me in my tracks.
I realized I wasn’t playing full out. Yes, there are days I’m giving everything I have – and I’m leaving it out on the field wherever I am present, but there are many days that I just don’t’ have it. There are days I just don’t give it my best and I fail to FOCUS.
It’s not because of a lack of intent. I want to play full out. My aspirations are there. The reason why I don’t FINISH is because I can get out of balance.
The balance revelation drew my attention to something called the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Maybe you have heard of them. Here's a hokie graphic that illustrates them. (thanks Adobe Stock)
Here are the 8 in no particular order. Each of them have an equal weight of importance and value.
I like to read (or listen) to a good book. Usually, after time has passed, these books become a footnote in my awareness. I remember them, but I don't reflect on them too much. However, I found one book that I keep coming back too. It's become more than a footnote. It's the one book I'm so glad I read, and yet oddly enough it's the one book I wish was never written.
"Why?," you wonder. Because it flipped over my apple cart. It made me rethink everything when it comes to business and leadership. You can say it's disrupted my world.
The good news is that it disrupted it for the better. The bad news, it's still disrupting. :-).
"What's the book?", you ask.
It's The Vision Driven Leader, by Michael Hyatt. A book that has quickly become one of my top 12 favorite books of all time. *
If I were to write a book on vision, I would have written this one too. :-) ...
According to my math, our country is only 8 generations old. We're still pretty young. As such, we should never forget the importance of the 4th. It was a significant moment, a bold step of our past that will continually shape our future. We are still the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
But July 4th isn't just a day of independence -- it is also a day of declared dependence too.
Let today be a day of declared dependence. Let's come together connected by our common values:
These values bring us together. They unite us and shape our vision.
It's often a misunderstood word today. But "diversity" is something that has always been us. It's why the USA is called...
The kick-off book for our summer reads is "Greenlights" by the illustrious Matthew McConaughey. Yes. You guessed right, the famous Action, Adventure, RomCom actor from the big screen. He shares the art of "catching greenlights".
What's a greenlight?
It's a metaphor that indicates "permission to go." There are greenlights all around us, but we're often blind to see them. When we don't see them -- we hold back, and fail to be who we are meant to be.
Reflecting from his own incredible journey, McConaughey offers us a fresh and fun perspective on seeing greenlights and creating them. It's suited for any entrepreneur, adventurer, or dreamer -- or just a person who just wants to be entertained. (I recommend the audible book for full entertainment value).
The second book we have queued up is "W1NNING: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness" by Tim Grover. This is a gem of a book....
Today is father’s day. But my kids never call me father. They call me Dad. I love that word. Being a dad is one of the greatest joys of my life. It’s also one of the toughest roles of leadership I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Becoming a Dad
I remember the birth of my first son. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I cried with joy, as my wife and I gazed at our child for the very first time. But let’s give credit where credit is due. I couldn’t be a dad without my wife (and God's blessings). What she endured for 9 months, and then 8+ hours of labor is unfathomable. I couldn’t do it. I remember her experiencing contractions, and me writing down the times and duration. Helping her breath. She was the bravest thing in the world… and still is!
When we knew it was time for the birth, we jumped in the car in the middle of the night in the pouring rain and headed to the hospital. I had packed a video camera to...
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
– Romans 8:28
Here’s what I’ve learned. The disappointments, the failures, the struggles, the challenges. They are all God needs to make an impact. The irony is that God works best with broken things. The best stories in life come through trials and tribulations. Perseverance is intended for the underdog. Don’t give up!
In life, the challenge is often the opportunity. When it seems that things are messed up, or have not gone right, don’t dismiss what God can do. Like lemon turned to lemonade. He turns messes into messages. All that He asks is for you to be open to the potential and for Him to use your story.
Here's are three questions to get you back on your feet:
What's My Story?
Take time to think of how God has redeemed a situation in your life. What are the trials and tribulations that He can...
Greatest of All Time
That's an accolade that doesn't suffer from humility, does it? How can one be humble and a GOAT? Is it even possible?
If you look back at the GOATs of life, there are a few who you could lay claim as both GOAT and humble: Think Mother Theresa, Jesus ,Chadwick Boseman, and Fred Rogers to name a few. The question is, how did they pull it off?
It seems it can only pulled off if we are willing to go through the full progression -- all the phases - of leadership.
As I started thinking about those phases, and an interesting analogy came to life:
Mountain Top Experiences
If you hadn't noticed, mountain top experiences never start on top of the mountain. It starts from a state of humility. There is a whole progression of phases that happen that makes those experiences the Great of All Time. If those phases are what create GOAT experiences, then maybe there are some parallel aspects to what makes GOAT leaders. Let...
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”
— T. S. Eliot
We just launched a new three part series on Resilience on the Breaking Average Podcast. Have you seen it? The first episode aired recently centers on the concept of Acknowledging the Threats. The next episodes take it even further. This is such a powerful principle. Resilience is a secret untapped strength each of us have, we often just don't know it.
There's an old line from the legendary Japanese Military Strategist that sets the table.
Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.
What he's saying is spot on. You can't be yourself and face your challenges until you know yourself. That's where it starts. But that's not enough. He's also saying you can't face the enemy and defeat the enemy without knowing the enemy. Both are vital.
There are some battles...
“If you were going to do it again, rebuild from scratch, what would you do different?”
That question was asked of me a few years ago -- and then resurfaced again in the midst of COVID-19. The original questions was centered on the business that I had a part in launching over a decade earlier. The follow on question asked recently was centered on how to recover after dumpster fire year. Often, when someone asks a business building question, my mind races back to the beginning. But COVID adds a whole knew wrinkle.
The first few years we passionately set up shop with great expectations, only to be frequently disappointed. The big contracts that we were fishing for, just weren’t biting. Still, we ventured out, explored, tried to turn over each stone of opportunity we could, but – on the big ones – we failed again and again. For three years it seemed we were perpetually rebuilding ourselves.
Rather than giving up, which...