Well, it's that time of year again. A little crisp air is a welcome relief to the heat of the summer months. The kids are back in school again, and who doesn't love a good football game. Before you know, you'll be able to see your own breath on an evening brought a little sooner by the ending of daylights saving, and the coming Winter Solstice.
I am from North Carolina, and one of the biggest announcements of the Fall season is the changing of the leaves. Many in our area find it to be the most visually beautiful time of the year. It is hard to deny that a drive through the mountains of North Carolina during the next few weeks, is as stunning a site as any you'll see anywhere in nature. It makes me wonder what it is, that causes those green leafed wonders, to become the subject of so many photographers and artists throughout the years. Those bright red, orange, and yellow leaves almost look as though they are on fire, announcing their presence before a long Winter's silence. The amazing thing, is that what is causing this beauty, is a slow death into dormancy. It makes me think of our own lives and the seasons we go through. How we can go through the most beautiful periods of time in our life, before we are submerged into what would appear to be a winter of insignificance? Always keeping in mind however, that just as this is a necessary cycle for nature and the growth of these lumber behemoths, we also must go through similar cycles in our life to be more productive.
One similarity that is most striking to me, is the need to have the things which are not pertinent to growth, fall off before new life can come. I know the analogy can be taken too far, and I am not taking any leap towards Pantheism in the least. I do however realize this; that to grow closer to the destiny for which we have been made for, we have to make hard decisions during seasons in our lives, about dropping things that do not bring us any closer to that destiny. It is an important time to evaluate and make calculated decisions, about the things that need to remain in our lives, to help us achieve the destiny we will be responsible for fulfilling. Here are just a couple of areas that we can really focus on to make some real soul searching, and decisive moves, that will bring us to the victory in that hard fought battle known as our destiny.
1. Relationships. Before we go any further, let me be very clear in saying that I am not referring to marriage in this section at all. I believe in the sanctity of marriage, and that it should never be abandoned, unless there is abuse involved. Aside from that, I believe that this is a time to evaluate the inhabitants of our daily lives, that consume our emotions, time, and energy. I am by no stretch, advocating selfish ambition, or ignoring those who don't have the capacity to better their lives at first glance. There are those relationships however, that do absolutely nothing to further the purpose for our vision. I am not saying that these people are not important, they are just not producing life in us, and likewise we are not forwarding their visions either.
As the son of a football coach and a lover of the sport, you understand some things about the game. You might have the potential to have one of the best quarterbacks in the league on your team, but if you have Tom Brady calling plays behind the center, you just don't need him on your team. Likewise, it would be best if that quarterback played elsewhere so that his talents could flourish and his abilities be utilized. I am going to go even deeper. If you have been involved in a spiritual quest to understand your purpose, and it is apparent at your local place of worship that there is no clearer understanding, then you need to seriously inspect your need to be involved at that particular place of worship. Your Creator, has designed a place not only where you can receive such valuable spiritual guidance, but a place where your purpose is being utilized to help others.
Friendships may have their roots in childhood bonds, and deep seated emotions, but they can also be dead weight to a vision that is trying to take flight. Are our friendships mutually bringing us closer to the reason we were made? Many a prized athlete, entertainer, business entrepreneur, medical pioneer, or any number of successful market place champions will tell of times when they had to be lonely to be successful, because of the sacrifices to not share their lives with those who would not dream, but only continue in mediocrity as a way of life. As has been said before, show me your friends and I will tell you your future.
2. Routines and Habits. This is the time to do an accounting of the time spent each and every day, which turns into months, which turns into years, which turn into a lifetime. Ask anybody who has been a champion in any athletic endeavor, and they will tell you that the championship was not won on the field. It was purchased in the weight room, on the practice field, studying tape, through training, training , and more training. It is so wonderful that we realize our destiny and see our vision. It just makes us that much more irresponsible to see it, but not make the sacrifices necessary to achieve them. So let me ask right now, is it really necessary to watch that much TV, or spend that much time Social Networking, or any other entertaining endeavor? Let me share something with you. I have been involved in the television industry for some time now on a national level. It is something I take great pleasure in and enjoy more than a few words can express. I have been in meetings with some of the highest levels of management in the TV industry. I have never heard one of them mention you or any one you know by name and speak of how desperately they would like to help fulfill your destiny. I am not suggesting you go all Amish and forsake the evils of modern existence, to have a more pure encounter with your Maker. I am however, challenging you to come up with a time budget. There is a misconception out there known in our world as a cliche called "free time". When you get to be my age you start understanding that you are on a clock, and it is best to redeem the time, as it is the most precious commodity you will have from here on out. Your destiny awaits, but it is not a cheap whore who is going to wait around while you spend all your time and passion on things that don't endear you to her. Are the things you spend your time on driving you in the direction of your purpose? Or are they just providing more anesthetic as you are sedated into a further slumber of purposelessness?
3. Past successes and failures. "I press on toward the mark of the high calling" . It couldn't have been said any better than this. No one likes to hear that relative every Thanksgiving that always recalls his past greatness, or how it used to be, "back in the day". Even more obnoxious, is the constant barrage of negativity that comes from Uncle Eeyore, who swears nothing is ever good, and failure is looming at every turn, and ambition is just an absence of sanity. We can all laugh when we think of these personalities, but we all have the potential within ourselves to be them. If we are striving for any significance in this life, we have had our fair share of mountain tops and absolute train wrecks. The important thing is to not let either one define who we are. Our destiny is not dictated by past failures or successes. The ability to stay on course is going to demand a sober judgement of where our location is presently, and in what direction our compass is headed. No captain in his right mind would break open the champagne and start celebrating, because his ship had successfully charted a small portion of it's journey. Nor would that same captain abandon ship because that vessel had gotten just a bit off course.
Now is the time to assess where we are in our destiny, towards our purpose, and not hold on to either the successes or the failures of our past or present. I love hearing winning coaches talk after an important game as they are almost always asked, "What does this victory mean to your team?" Almost without exception, the great ones will comment on how they are allowing the team to enjoy this one for the evening, but tomorrow, they must prepare for the next game. Repeat champions are so rare in athletics, because it is so hard to maintain the intensity required for success after success. Let us realize that their is no final success in our destiny until we are finished, period. Nothing is keeping you from your purpose, except your decision to not move forward. So let's forget what lies behind, learning from the success's and the failures, but not being defined by them.
This fall, as the colors announce the beginning of a season of purging for future growth, let us take some time to prepare to lose, but only in reality, to truly gain. The world needs you to fulfill your destiny.
Recent blog posts
Links to Cool Stuff
- Three Strategies for Making Employee Engagement Stick
- Was Steve Jobs a Role Model for Leaders?
- Job Satisfaction Against the Odds
- Why the "Expert From Afar" Principle Works
- Find Your Start-up Idea (You won't have to look far)
- Your Employees Don't "Get" Your Brand
- Executive ADD: Information Overload and Your Career
- The Making of a Corporate Athelete
- Secrets from the World's Happiest Workplace
- How One Young Trep Bucked the Odds During the Great Recession
- TEDxMacquarieUniversity - Glen Gerreyn - Purpose
- Why Do So Many Professional Athletes Go Broke?
- CEO Communications: 5 Phrases that Signal 'BS'
- Simon Sinek - Inspiring Leaders
- Nation of Whimps
- The Cult of Chick-fil-A
- What’s Wrong With Your Employees?
- Listen to Dave and Jason on C2A Today with Steve Noble
- Twelve Signs Arrogance Is Running Your Company
- Discover Your Passions to Find the Right Job
- Reset Graduate Jeremy Willis wins 5 gold medals at Track & Field Southeast Regional Championships
- Special Thanks to Graduate Todd Ackerman for the Resource
- Dave gives an interview with Steve Noble on Called2Action Today
- Dave gives an interview with Wallbuilders
- Dave gives an interview on the Empowerment Hour
- Reset graduate Jeremy Willis wins Silver in USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships
- Reset graduate Karen Strite's blog
- WSJ: Time To Reset Your Business?
- Five Industries Hit The Reset Button
- A new commercial for The Reset Agency, on your airwaves now!