The juxtaposition of youth and maturity (growing old) had my full and undivided attention this past week. In a brief 24-hour period, I found myself standing in a hospital room and a college classroom.
At first glance, I didn’t consider for a moment there could be similarities. How could it be possible that the intersection of youthful anticipation and the pursuit of graceful aging could share something so powerful in common?
They’ve got it! It’s noticeable and drips of something you dream of spilling over to you. You can’t put your finger on precisely what it is. But they’ve got it! It’s compelling, captivating and amazingly genuine. Swagger comes to mind, but it’s different. It’s a cool quiet confidence.
Our first thought may be they possess something that is a secret to be discovered. As a result, we might believe it is untouchable and unattainable because it is a byproduct of elite talent or status. But elite talent does not guarantee it and status only borrows it.
Less then 20% of Americans receive the necessary level of encouragement necessary to raise their performance.
Why do so many leaders, teachers, coaches and parents fail to use a tool that is readily available to them every day? Equally important is wondering why so called “soft skills” like encouragement are so undervalued and appreciated.
What if what you are working on right now is the most important project or assignment of your career? What if you didn’t know it? The truth is what you are going to do today matters because you are building your legacy.
Peter had proven himself to be the best in the business over the course of his career. He had overseen every important project his company had built for as long as anyone could remember.
You wouldn’t choose to do it. You may even recognize from time to time you are doing it. But for the most part worry silently robs us and weighs us down.
Worry is a burden akin to putting on a vest in the morning and filling it with 50 pounds of sand. We finish our day wondering (maybe even aloud) why we are physically exhausted not realizing the weight of worry silently drained our vital intellectual and emotional energy.
Did you know, “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
Erma Bombeck called it and added, “Any man who watches three football games in a row should be declared legally dead.” Welcome to Thanksgiving—a day filled with food, football and a hopefully a side of gratitude.
Impact! I think about creating impact every day. If you have thought for a moment about how you will be remembered, you have too! It’s your legacy—the level of impact you created with your time, talent and resources.
A few years ago, I read 20,000 Days and Counting. On your 20,000th day birthday you are 76 days shy of your 55th birthday. If you are short of this milestone, be forewarned it will arrive much more quickly than you think. If your days have stretched beyond 20,000, no one needs to remind you of the brevity of life.
Take a close look at the post photo. What do you see? If you were asked to write a description of what you see, what would you write?
Every year a teacher took a white sheet of paper with a black circle on it and passed it out to his students. Then he would ask them to think about what they were looking at and write down their answer to a singular question— “What do you see?”
Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Bet you pick to hear the bad news first—most of us do, but why?
We are wired to sense danger. Our brains are equipped with an early warning detector—the amygdala. The amygdala is part of the limbic system within the brain, which is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory. The amygdala is always on high alert.
As I walked up, I could see she was fighting back tears. A well of emotion rising up after hearing a message of encouragement. “I can’t remember the last time I felt truly encouraged—thank you,” she said. She wasn’t alone—not today or any day.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want in life is to find someone who will make us do what we can.” Life is breathed into the “can” we can do by the right person, with the right word, at the right moment, delivering an essential truth in a loving and gracious way.