March 2015

tumbleweedYou started and it felt great.
You believed it was possible and overcame initial adversity.
You created the right opportunity instead of waiting on it.
You realized there was no gain in holding back from reaching your full potential, then you hit a wall.

Momentum? What Momentum?

In spite of all of the monumental changes, incremental progress, and unlimited faith there will come a time when you find yourself in the middle of a drought. It is inevitable and cannot be avoided. You will get lost and not know where to go. You will get stuck and not know what to do. You will be discouraged with your results and not want to go on.

You see the start of the trip is exciting. The thought of what is to come is inspiring. The momentum of going after what you want is empowering. The realization of living a full and fulfilled life is exhilarating. Starting is like leaving the slums and heading to the suburbs. Hope is like leaving the suburbs and arriving at the country side. Action (creation) is like leaving the country side and reaching the coast.

But, before you hit the beach or start relaxing on your yacht, you find yourself in the desert. This desert, dry, baron, and enslaving, is the opposite of everything you recently experienced. It is a place where all of your efforts seem to not yield any of the results you expected. The joy of starting has passed like a tumble weed scattered by the direction of the wind. Although you believe it is possible to reach your destination, the distance seems too far to travel because all you can see around you is sand. The creation of the right opportunity has been harder to navigate than you ever anticipated because going full throttle has you feeling drained and dehydrated.

How did you get here and which way is the exit?

The truth is this place is on the map used to get to your dream. Many people fail to see it because they are too busy looking at the glamour of the target and not the caution signs warning them that the next rest stop is 800 miles ahead. In order to reach the promise land, you have to go through a few deserts. You have to do a little wandering to find your way. You have to make a few mistakes to get on the right path. You have to push yourself harder because there is a lack of water or that jolt of inspiration that comes at the start of the journey.

Everything seems more difficult and if you are not careful your dream can die here. The sand offers the perfect resting place for the skeletons of what remains of others who couldn’t handle the heat. The good news is I won’t let you die here. In fact, I won’t let you slowly drag your body through the scorching, cactus filled, brutal, and dry debilitating scorpion habitat. Instead, we will work through the drought pressing towards the oasis quickly using three simple tips.

What to do when the momentum stops?

Reflect & Adapt – Take some time to closely review what has worked and what has not worked since you have started. Keep what works and scrap what doesn’t.
Ask for Feedback – Reach out to a trusted mentor or peer who can provide you some context on your progress and help you navigate from where you are.
Be Consistent – Make sure that you not only start but that you keep moving even when the momentum seems stagnate. Even when you don’t have a clear idea of what to do, action is better than inaction. Dig in and keep pushing and challenging yourself. Just tell yourself when it gets difficult that it is a part of the process.

 Make Momentum

When you first get to the desert everything in you will want to go back. You will want to do what is easy. You will want to make excuses for reasons why you couldn’t get where you want to go. It’s natural and everyone has those feelings. However, when the momentum feels to be moving against you, if you really want what you are after, this where you have to find strength that you didn’t know you had. This is a time where you don’t focus on results but more on your activity. Keep grinding until you can make it through the desert and shift the momentum back in your favor.

Keep moving!

How to Start a Fire Underwater

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Each person on this planet has a unique allotment of strengths. These strengths, also referred to as gifts or talents, if used to their best potential, has the power to change an individual, family, community, and maybe even the world. Determining what that strength is may sometimes be a challenge. These strengths may also widely vary from person to person. I like to think my strength is writing. My wife is an excellent singer. Ian, my oldest son is a natural at making people laugh. Ethan, my youngest son, is good at, well, learning. He is a two year old sponge who works part time as a wrecking ball.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN STRENGTHS GO UNUSED

“The giftedness is usually greater than the person.” – Author Fred Smith

It is our responsibility to use these God given strengths to the best of our ability.  When we don’t reach our maximum potential, we rob ourselves and the world of the amazing gift that we have been bestowed. Imagine the world if Picasso never picked up a paint brush. Imagine the world if Shakespeare never picked up a quill pen. Imagine the world if George Washington Carver never created peanut butter. (I love peanut butter.) These people are just a random select few who I believed attempted to reach their full potential in their craft. Who knows what masterpiece lies within you dormant waiting to be activated by your resolve.

We can’t selfishly bury our talents because they are bigger than us. When our strengths go unused, great things aren’t able to happen through us. Continue reading “Stop Holding Back: There’s Too Much at Stake” »

waitingCan someone please do me a favor and define “waiting” in the following sentence for me?

“I am waiting for the right opportunity to arrive.”

THE MISSING KEY TO SUCCESS?

I have heard this statement so many times recently that I am now completely convinced that if I sit around and do nothing the right opportunity will fall in my lap. That’s what I have been doing wrong. It all makes sense, kind of, in a ridiculous alternate universe kind of way. Alright, I am not that naïve, but it hurts my heart to know that there are many people who really think life works this way. I have heard this terrible phrase repeated so frequently recently that I am starting to believe there is someone handing out a life doctrine book with all the worst clichés imaginable, and you will never guess what statement is on page one. This one goes deep people. It is ingrained into the minds of the masses and causes them to live in the land of hope where action has been exiled and preparation is outlawed.

“Hey that guy over there is doing something. Call the sheriff!” Continue reading “Are You Still Waiting on the Right Opportunity?” »