Are you planting good seed in good soil through your words, your actions and your deeds, in order to reap a bountiful harvest?
Last Friday I led a discussion on this topic with members of our Wingmen Element Group on a Zoom call. For most of us, this year has been difficult, if not overwhelming at times. However, I think we can gain some valuable insight from this experience by looking to the Scriptures for answers.
In essence, we reap what we sow. This may seem overly harsh with what we have had to endure this year. However, as you read through this article, I hope you’ll find some things that connect with you in a positive way to build upon for the future.
“The seed never looks like the harvest it contains.” – Levi Lusko
Mark 4: 13-20 … The Parable of the Sower. After teaching to a crowd by the lake, Jesus later speaks to His disciples and admonishes them by saying, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?” Jesus goes on to explain His message to them.
It is now less than two months and counting until the Presidential Election 2020.
Hopefully, the turnout at the polls will be much better than the 2016 election. Only about 138 million Americans voted in the last election. Roughly 58% of the eligible voters.
What were the rest of you doing on Election Day 2016?
My dad was ‘old school’ and pretty vocal on his position when it came to exercising the right to vote. If there was any kind of political debate within earshot at his local watering hole, my dad would respond by asking, “Did you vote? If no, then you don’t get to express your opinion.” For dad and others like him, no vote equals no voice.
For many of my dad’s generation, voting was not just a right granted to them as a U.S. citizen, but a privilege and an obligation to help build a better America.
Just the title of this article can make some conspiracy theorists go crazy. In the COVID-19 era, ask yourself this, “is any of this real, or are we living in a Twilight Zone episode?”
Conspiracy theorists … Who doesn’t love a great mystery, right?
We all have a unique worldview. It’s formed by our expectations, assumptions and ideas about the way the world works. By the time we are five years old, we have already acquired 50% of the knowledge we will learn in our lifetime. This includes language, thinking, problem-solving skills, and yes, biases too.
Conspiracy theory or fact?
Dr. Ben Carson is someone I believe to be a high-integrity leader, with a strong moral compass. Even he has made reference to the “Puppet Masters” and people behind the curtain trying to control us. What I’d like to know is who these people are, and what is their end-game?
Oilman Eddie Chiles had a campaign in the early 1980s with the slogan “I’m Mad, Too, Eddie!” His classic trademark sign-on, “I’m Eddie Chiles, and I’m mad as hell,” created an incredible demand for bumper stickers that read “I’m mad too, Eddie!”
Well guess what? It may be time to bring those bumper stickers back. Because there are a lot of folks around these days who can relate. We are not lost. We are just on the wrong path. And we are mad as hell about it.
Mad at our government and politicians, mad at the news media, mad at the police, mad at the COVID-19 pandemic, mad at the economy, mad at the bar closings, etc. Oh, and let’s not forget the special interests group attempting to rewrite history. We are mad as hell at them too! The list goes on and on.
“A season of darkness will not change until you choose to become the light.” – Jim Gardner
Do your best … that’s all you can do! This is my youngest son’s mantra and it has served him well in his early adult life. However, what if it isn’t enough?
What happens when your best just isn’t good enough?
Throughout our lives we’re encouraged to do our best, try harder, keep pushing, don’t give up, etc. However, most of us already have or will encounter obstacles or challenges seemingly too difficult to overcome, despite our best efforts. So what’s the right course of action when your best is not enough?
If we assume failure is not an acceptable outcome, then we have created an irresistible force paradox. The classic paradox formulated as “What happens when an unstoppable force (you) meets an immovable object (obstacle or challenge)?” This paradox arises because it rests on two premises—there exists such things as irresistible forces and immovable objects—which cannot both be true at once.
“If you lean in the direction of success, you will make progress even when you fall.” – Grant M. Bright
The hardest thing for most of us to accept is failure. We have been conditioned to believe that failure is a catastrophic, ‘end of days’ type event, rather than a life lesson. However, in this world we are a part of, there are no such things as irresistible forces or immovable objects. Something must be changed. How can we strive to do our best against all odds knowing the end result in some situations will not be favorable?
One of the harsh realities we all must face at some point is dealing with adversity or a major setback. Many of you may be experiencing this in real-time today as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adversity or setbacks represent a “reversal of progress”. This reversal of progress can take many forms – i.e. a job loss, divorce, financial hardship, major illness or injury, the death of a loved one, etc. How we respond to adversity or a reversal of fortune reveals a lot about our character and ultimately how successful we’ll be in dealing with life’s future challenges.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis
How will you deal with a major setback when it comes? Will you be a better person as a result of the experience? Here are some suggested ways to overcome a major setback when it occurs and move forward in a positive way.
No, this is not another fan rant about the Dallas Cowboys lackluster performance on the football field this year. Although there are some similarities we’ll draw upon here. Rather, the article is about you. If you’re a business leader who seems to be stuck in neutral and unable to find the ‘winning formula’ to move to the next level.
None of us grew up with the notion of being average, just being good enough.
Whether it’s in sports, music, grades, business, etc. We have all been ingrained with the notion of being the best in our chosen pursuits. Does this seem realistic? There is nothing wrong with the quest for excellence. However, not everyone can ascend to the top of the pyramid and stay there. Real life just doesn’t work that way. And that’s OK!
Are your expectations aligned with reality?
Let’s talk for a moment about the ‘BIG LIE’. The big lie is what we tell ourselves when we have a bad day, or when things are not going our way. “Things will get better”. They won’t. Things are not going to get better until what? Until we do. In order to consistently achieve success at any level we must take risks, make changes and sacrifice to get there.
Several years ago a good friend gave me a copy of the 20th Anniversary Edition of Bob Buford’s book, Half Time®: Moving from Success to Significance. I enjoyed the book so much that it was added to the required reading list for my Business Leaders Forum℠ mastermind program.
Buford believes the second half of your life can be better than the first. But first we need to figure out what we want to do with the rest of our lives. In Half Time®, this transition is described as moving from ‘success to significance’.
While attempting to come up with a strategic plan for himself, Buford was asked a simple question: “What’s in the box?”
The answer to this simple, yet penetrating question will help to determine how successful we are at fulfilling our future life plans. Whether we’re still young adults, have reached the midlife point, or are already into our second half. Let me explain.
Six years ago ‘The Boys’, my son Daniel and I, decided to take on the task of doing most of the Christmas holiday cooking. It was our way of giving ‘The Girls’, my wife Laura and daughter Melanie, a break to relax and enjoy the holidays. My wild, crazy idea!
NOTE: The photo above includes some of the sweets and “treats” made as part of the holiday cooking marathon.
We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we started. But after eleven recipes and 12+ hours of meal preparation, cooking and the clean up, let’s just say we had learned a lot from the experience.
The holidays are a perfect time for both reflection and renewal. And it’s an excellent time to formulate the list of things you want to accomplish in the New Year. While enjoying quality time with family and friends, of course. So, let’s get started on our lists.
“The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.” – Elbert Hubbard
Here are my suggested Top 5 “Do” and Top 5 “Don’t” lists to help us formulate our New Year’s resolutions and goals for 2020.