Monday, January 28, 2013

Time to Make a Difference

How many days are in the typical person’s life? How many hours? How many minutes?

Think about it. What is the average lifespan, and how far along are you? Is it 70? More than that? Perhaps less? In reality, we’re not even guaranteed tomorrow.

Take away time for sleep. Take away time for work. How much time do you really have left?

The math is important, but perhaps it's based on the wrong timeline. Do you to have children? How many days do you have left with them until they turn 18 and go off to college? How many days until the life and direct interactions you have with them now no longer exist? If you’re busy all week in business, count the weekends where you have more face time with them.

Count the number of days that you have with them to make a difference. You have them - are you using them?

Consider the chances you have to make a mark, to give them the tools, to give them the ability to make choices for themselves. The tools that enable them to handle the freedom of life.

You see, the freedom that our children will enjoy is not the absence of our rules and the limitations from the choices we make for them. Freedom is when they will make those choices themselves.

Will your children be prepared? Have you provided the right influence, the right guidance, so that when they leave you they are equipped to handle life?

Have you consistently invested the time with them before they leave to earn the chance to help guide them after they are gone? You see, the influence forced by dependence when they are children will no longer exist. The influence and involvement thereafter is by invitation only - and you’re not the one sending it.

How are you going to invest the very next hour that you have in your life? How many do you have left?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Conversation on Privileges

"Our privileges are not for our pleasure, but rather for our purpose."

A gentleman that I very much admire and respect often shares that very powerful quote.

What does it say to you? What does it mean to you, if anything?

I am first reminded that there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying our privileges. Absolutely nothing at all. But are they shared, or are they selfishly consumed? Are they used to enrich the lives of others, or are they used as a tool of self-promotion? Do they reach and improve lives at the extent of one’s circle of influence, perhaps even allow one to grow that circle and touch even more lives?

What do you consider your privileges? For many of us, we immediately think of money, of material riches - our “stuff” if you will. We are all blessed to a different degree. Some are certainly blessed with so much more than others. Many have worked countless hours, perhaps decades, for those riches. There is no doubt that they are hard earned and well deserved. The question remains, to the extent of your own privileges - why… for what purpose?

If we were to take a global perspective, even the poorest of us in this nation are living above the means and enjoying a standard of living far in excess of the rest of the world. I give thanks for such blessings every day, and I’m constantly reminded to consider the responsibilities that come with those blessings. If kept to myself, those privileges are certainly wasted.

I submit that our privileges reach far beyond material gains. What about the information we have in hand that could change lives. What about principles that we’ve learned, concepts that others have shared which have placed us on a better path in life? What about life lessons and experiences? How selfish to waste these only on ourselves.

What about those skills and talents unique to us? If we don’t use them to the fullest, for more than just our own gain, I wonder if we even deserve them.

What about positions of leadership - in our homes, in our community or in our government? If leveraged for personal glory and profit versus service and impact, better that the fall would come more quickly than the ascent.

Our privileges are not for our pleasure, but rather for our purpose. As you consider your life mission, your purpose, examine how your privileges have been provided to help you reach your fullest potential and greatest impact.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Meaningful Resolutions

Year after year, we make the same resolutions:

I'm going to lose weight.

I'm going to spend more time with my family.

I'm going to work out.

I'm going to quit smoking...

... fall in love, get organized, stop something, start something.

How about this - stop making the same old annual resolutions that don't ever amount to much?

How about one single resolution, "This year, I will transform my life."

In his book "Resolved, 13 Resolutions for LIFE," Orrin Woodward outlines 13 resolutions that can do just that - transform your life. Imagine if you would focus on just one of these every week for the next 13 weeks, and repeat that for three more 13-week cycles the remainder of the year. Where would you be this time next year?

If these resolutions sound like a meaningful challenge for you, and you are serious about pursuing them, let's talk!

Orrin Woodward’s Thirteen Resolutions from RESOLVED

1.) Purpose: I resolve to discover my God-given purpose.

I know that when my potential, passions and profits intersect, my purpose is revealed.

2.) Character: I resolve to choose character over reputation anytime they conflict.

I know that my character is who I am, and my reputation is only what others say that I am.

3.) Attitude: I resolve to have a positive attitude in all situations.

I know that my beliefs determine my attitudes, which lead to my results.

4.) Programming the Elephant: I resolve to align my conscious (ant) with my subconscious (elephant) mind towards my vision.

I know that ending the civil war between them is crucial for all achievement.

5.) Game Plan and Do: I resolve to develop and implement a game plan in each area of my life.

I know that planning and doing are essential parts of the success process.

6.) Keeping Score: I resolve to keep score in the game of life.

I know that the scoreboard forces me to check and confront the results, making the needed adjustments in order to win.

7.) Friendship: I resolve to develop the art and science of friendship.

I know that everyone needs a true friend to lighten the load when life gets heavy.

8.) Financial Management: I resolve to develop financial intelligence.

I know that my wealth is compounded when incomes are higher than expenses over time.

9.) Leadership Resolution: I resolve to develop the art and science of leadership.

I know that everything rises and falls based upon the leadership culture created within my community.

10.) Conflict Resolution: I resolve to develop the art of conflict resolution.

I know that relationship bombs and unresolved conflict destroy a community’s unity and growth.

11.) Systems Thinking: I resolve to develop systems thinking.

I know that by viewing life as interconnected patterns rather than isolated events, I improve my leverage.

12.) Adversity Quotient: I resolve to develop Adversity Quotient.

I know that AQ leads to perseverance in overcoming obstacles and setbacks.

13.) Legacy: I resolve to reverse the current of decline in my field of mastery.

I know that a true legacy leaves the world a better place than I found it.