You’re stressed. You’re tired. Deadlines are killing you. You feel like you’re pressed on all fronts of your life. Finances are tight. Family is busy.
Archives For Life
My wife Crystal and I walked out of the grocery store the other night. After looking at our car, I remarked: “It doesn’t really even look like a mini-van”.
Why do I deny it?
Why are we afraid to embrace the truth? Sometimes because the truth is simply embarrassing. Sometimes it could be shameful or painful… like owning a mini-van.
We want to be recognized for our accomplishments. It’s part of being human – it’s an elemental part of our relationships.
But it can be a devastating trap, to spend your day, your career, or even your entire adult life looking for recognition from your boss, your spouse, or the distant dad that was loath to say, “I love you.”
If you ever get the chance to be a fly on the wall, take advantage of it.
The phrase “fly on the wall” originated in the 1920s. The most we know about the first occurrence of the phrase is that it appeared in a 1921 article in the Oakland Tribune. The full sentence was: “I’d just love to be a fly on the wall when the Right Man comes along.”
Wouldn’t it be nice? When X happens, if only I could see it, without being seen.
In life, and in any organization, there are times of great importance.
I find in life that the worst days are the ones we spend thinking about ourselves the whole time. Woe is me. I don’t have what I want. I need this. I need that. Why did they do that to me? How come I don’t get ______? That’s mine!
We spend all day thinking about ourselves.
About what we want. What we don’t have. What we need. What we wish we had, that someone else already has.
It’s this selfish, narcissistic, inward thinking that leads to misery and despair.
…When what? Another sale? More money? The new hire? When the kids are out of diapers? After the reorganization? Any of those could be true.
But don’t neglect the present.
Don’t forget to enjoy the process.
Life is full of opportunity. Leadership is about taking those opportunities. Legacy is what you will leave behind when you do.
Why am I writing?
Traffic is bumper to bumper on the “good enough” highway.
Leaders, creatives, and difference-makers don’t take the same route as everyone else. They exit off the busy highway and seek an alternate route, it takes them through villages, over countryside, even off the pavement altogether, forging a path all their own.
What’s it take for you to get sick of the status quo? At what point is the “good enough” highway no longer good enough? Where are you letting the answer, “It can’t be done,” stifle your creativity? What innovative idea is too radical? Where is your leadership stagnant or paralyzed? What are you afraid of? We all have our excuses, I know I do.
But… instead let’s dream, create, fail, try again, lead.
You ever look over your shoulder at the next guy? Maybe you were at the parking garage, getting into your car just as someone else was setting their car alarm and walking away. The thoughts start rolling: “His car is worth more than mine. I wonder what he does for a living? I should be driving a better car.” What began as just a trivial glance quickly becomes an assessment of your success or failure as a person.
We all can be driven by envy.
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“One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” -Luke 12:15
The Rich Fool of Jesus’ parable in Luke 12 could be a poster boy for the American Dream. He worked his land, earned a good living, and planned to enjoy the fruits of his labor. But he could also pass for what is too often the American Reality. Ruled by selfishness and greed, he ignored the One who created the land, the One who made it produce a harvest, and the One who numbered his very days.