We all carry a question around with us every day. It’s a persistent question that doesn’t have a singular answer. We may not verbalize this question, but it always presents itself anew each and every day. Am I making an impact?
Who do any of us know, including ourselves, that doesn’t want what we do to matter? We can’t suppress our desire to make a difference because it is embedded in our DNA.
It happens over half of the time. It may be happening right now. Sometimes we don’t even realize it is going on. Then we catch ourselves and wonder how our minds got sidetracked.
It is easy to get sidetracked and lose focus. We all lose focus. The question is not whether we are going to lose focus—we are! When we employ clarifying personal filters it enables us to focus on the people and outcomes that are most important to us.
It is easy to miss. We rub up against it from time to time but may never truly grasp the magnitude of the moment. Let alone embrace the depth of its impact. But in those brief “ah-ha” moments we can’t help but think, “I need to employ the power of compassion more often!”
I was speaking at a conference in Texas earlier this year. During the break before I was going to be introduced a gentleman urgently approached me. It was clear he had something he wanted me to hear.
Do you ever think about excellence? It may not command your daily thought but you most certainly have dreamt of what it would be like to be truly great at something. I think about achieving and producing mastery all the time.
No one (absolutely no one) works at anything thinking, “I sure hope I can achieve mediocrity!” But breaking through mediocrity and producing excellence presents a tough challenge. I hear people say all the time, “I love a challenge.” We’ve all said it, but our love for challenges has its limits.
Monday is a big day. It’s a day of significant personal importance—my 12,775th wedding anniversary. For those of you who count in years that would be 35 years. There is something of immense importance in measuring the marriage race in days?
Leading up to our wedding, we both had just turned 23 and were fresh out of college. I was living in Southern California and Kristi was still living in our home state of Washington. We would get married on June 26, drive to California and launch into this race of marriage.
It took me awhile to understand being a father is easy but becoming a great dad is difficult. You don’t need a degree or license to become a father. Fatherhood rarely begins as you expect it to or unfolds as you plan. It is indiscriminate in its ability to reveal and demonstrate how ill equipped you are to run this race.
Fatherhood is a strange paradox—testing your resolve and commitment like few things can and providing joy like nothing else can. It may be the essence of clinging to the obligation and responsibility of being a father long enough to understand how becoming a dad creates a lasting and rippling impact on our kids.
Sometimes I get distracted and discouraged. Maybe you do to—most of us do. Call it intellectual drifting where we lose sight of where and how we intend to create and sustain meaningful impact with the people we love and teams we lead.
Summer is the drifting season. The “lazy days of summer” invite us to take it easy. Planning for relaxation to reenergize is vital to sustained impact and is much different from intellectual drifting. Drifting is losing touch with our most important roles.
I was intrigued. How could anyone not be interested in understanding why even 24 people responded to the ad. The ad placement drew 2.7 million views, which is not a surprise. What was surprising was the fact that 24 people inquired about the toughest job in the world and participated in an interview.
The job title, Director of Operations, was certainly appealing. But after a quick review of the job requirements it is easy to see why even the most ambitious candidates quickly moved on.
Would you like to be better or get better? There is a subtle but powerful difference between the two.
Who doesn’t want to be better—right? No one would object to waking up tomorrow and being better in every role and responsibility in their life. So asking if you want to be better is an irrelevant question because the answer is obviously yes.
Do you make too much of stuff that doesn’t really matter? I know I have. How is it that what we embrace as vital, urgent and important at a given moment clouds our perspective on what is truly important?
This past weekend we may have witnessed one of (if not) the greatest Super Bowl game in history. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots engineered the ultimate comeback in Super Bowl history to send the game into overtime.