NINE years ago someone told me ‘just trust your gift’.
It took me a long time to figure out what that really meant… and how to actually do that. But he was right. And after taking lots and lots and LOTS of baby steps, facing fear in small ways, and learning to listen to the right voices… it turns out he was right.
Remember this: People aroundyou need what is inside you.
Read that again.
You’ve been given a gift. A talent. A perspective. A skill. An insight. A way of doing things that has been put into you by the Creator to do something no one else can do like you can do. It’s been put there in this time– not in the past, not in the future– but in the now. Why? Because we need it now.
That’s how this works. It’s there for such a time as this.
I’d just wrapped up the first in a string of back-to-back meetings when I realized all my coolant was sitting in a puddle in the parking lot. Grrrrr. Full transparency: I hate car trouble.
But rather than being angry and frustrated, I made two calls: one to my mechanic and one to a business friend. We shuffled some things around and made the rest of the day work beautifully. We moved my next meeting to a coffee shop where I was stranded and continued the next meeting at another local place on the same block while I waited for my mechanic.
Why is this important?
Because it was in the white space of waiting on my mechanic that helped me figure out some next steps for our business. In the random moment of having to slow down and wait, I had the opportunity to listen to my gut and spirit. I had the opportunity to think more clearly and define some of my vision a little better. And rather than spending the afternoon frustrated and feeling behind, I’ve gained a renewed sense of purpose.
Of clarity. Of vision.
It wasn’t the space I wanted, but it was the space I needed.
The more I talk with people, the more I realize how similar we are with each other. A lot of us merely accept the hand we’re dealt in life and spend our days trying to navigate what we’ve been given. But a few of us actively and intentionally keep pushing towards specific finish lines.
The past few times I’ve spoken to groups of business owners, I’ve shared my Not To Do list.
A To-Do list is a dangerous thing. If you’re not careful, it can become an out-of-control, never-ending, junk drawer monster that can overwhelm and paralyze you. Every time a boss or supervisor says, ‘put this on your to-do list’, things not only grow, but priorities become watered down and less powerful.
So, at the top of my To Do list, I’ve created a Not To Do list.
I don’t just want to do things right. I want to do the right things. I want to spend my energy and time doing what matters.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m sure it will continue to evolve this year…
Knowing where you want to go is easy. The hard part is knowing what to leave behind. Your NOT TO DO list might be more important than your resolutions and to-do lists.
Do you have a clear list of things to stop doing this year?
I’m a firm believer that winning the day begins with winning the first hour of the morning. We’ve all heard the science and the studies and the anecdotes of famous and successful people who get up before the sun rises.
The struggle (MY struggle) is in living life everyday with a family of 5. To be honest, I love getting up early and taking control of the day, but living in 3D has it’s inconsistencies. You know, having kids and a business and being deeply involved in a community of people and their lives… it doesn’t always work according to my random, arbitrary schedule. 🙂
Nevertheless, here’s what the (ideal) first hour of my day looks like. My goal is to do it EVERY day. A lot of days I’m pretty successful at it, but sometimes I suck at it. It’s all about progress, not perfection.
I’d LOVE to know what yours looks like. What are you doing that’s working? How are you managing your day during these crazy times? Any tips?
However, don’t give up on your resolutions and aspirations to become your BRAVEST self. As our word gets noisier and more uncertain, double down on these 5 things (V.I.B.E.S.).
The very story of human greatness is one of so-called ordinary people who—in a one moment of inspiration and self-belief—made a right angle turn into what had previously seemed impossible. And went down a road that shifted their lives forever.
Every day I’ve carried this Daily Stoic coin in my pocket for nearly 4 years now.
Not out of some macabre death wish, though. On the contrary. Because every time I put my hand in my pocket, I am reminded that my time here is limited. I’m reminded that I am spending my one-and-only life like a coin. I can spent it any way I want. But I can only spend it ONCE.
Don’t waste your life today, friends. Do things that matter.
TAG someone who needs to hear this! Let them know that they MATTER to you! And be sure to subscribe to The Impactivist Show wherever you get your podcasts. It’s where ideas and inspiration COLLIDE.
I’m reminded today that responsibility is really just response-ability.
Problems will rise up. Inconveniences will happen. You and I can’t control much around us, but we can control our response to those things. So here’s a trick.
When something goes wrong, ask yourself ‘how much of this am I willing to take responsibility for?’ 50% of it? 80%? ?
Because when you take responsibility, you have response ability. It may not be your FAULT, but it can be within your ABILITY to change it. But ONLY if you have response-ability.
For example, say I lose my job this year. It’s a tough time and things are terrible. So, how much response-ability am I going to take to change the outcome. Again, I’m not taking fault or blame… I’m only deciding not to see myself as a victim and take 100% response-ability in the outcome. I can simply decide that I have the ability to respond in the best possible way. I have the response-ability going forward to learn and grow and change the outcome of an otherwise terrible situation.
If I can do that, I am no longer a victim.
Here’s the downside: If I don’t take response-ability, I don’t have any power to change my situation or solve the problem. I’m at the mercy of another person, another company, another entity that doesn’t have my best interests in mind. And why would I do that?? Why would I give control of my one-and-only life to someone or something that doesn’t have my best future at the top of their priority list?
My encouragement to you is this: when life comes at you, when problems come (because they will), hold on to faith and hope. And take 100% response-ability to adapt and overcome. To learn. To grow. To serve. Make it your mantra to respond to struggle with the words, “I have 100% response ability in this situation.”
The #1 lesson I learned in 2020 is this: Life is a game of inches.
For me, that meant doubling-down on the number of books I read this year and being SUPER intentional about what I put into my mind. Out of the 24 books I read (or re-read), here are my Top 12 in no particular order. As always, I’d love to know YOUR favorites.