A well-known approach to arriving at a public function.
It used to mean a few minutes later than the start time, so as not to make it hard on the organizer of the event by getting there too early. And whether some want to admit it or not, so that people would be "seen" as they arrived by more people. It scratched the itch of being more visible.
But here is where it's starting to get interesting.
I think we are more interested in being seen one way at a distance, than actually engaging in any conversation of substance. Of really getting to know others, and let them know us.
Why do we like to arrive "fashionably late"?
Because it's more comfortable for us. Because if we get there first, we'll be on the spot. We'll have to talk more, share more, listen more, and let people in closer to our world.
It's easier to mingle in short spurts in a crowded room, than sit down and connect.
So we find ourselves coming a little late, and leaving a little early.
Really think about it.
When is the last time you were so engaged in a conversation that you forgot what time it was? Who were you sitting with? Where were you? Why were you there? What were the topic(s) you were talking about, laughing so hard you cried, and hanging on every word of the person you were with?
I'd bet those are the people that you know the best, and know you the deepest.
If we really want a more engaged world that values relationships...
"...it MAY BE that..."
We need to arrive a little earlier, and stay a little later.
Last night we talked about the difference between being closed-minded and having a structured vision. Tonight we're going to build on that thought.
There is a difference between a critic and a critique.
A critic likes to lie in wait and tear down a person, presentation, or organization.
A critique comes from a trusted source who knows the vision within the person, for the presentation, and of the organization.
Ignoring a critic leaves you with the time to hear out a critique.
Critics convince people who should never stop, to quit.
Critiques are sources of wisdom that allow us to become better versions of ourselves.
The next time you are bothered by the words you are hearing remember this...
"...it MAY BE that..."
You need to determine if they come from a critic or someone you trust.
Ignore the former and leverage the latter.
That's the difference between quitting and getting better.
The difference between a critic and a critique.
There is a difference between being closed-minded and having a structured vision.
Being closed-minded doesn't want to listen to anyone for any reason. It rejects all ideas and feels threatened by the suggestions of others.
Having a structured vision is more than happy to, and often is excited to hear ideas from other people.
Trouble kicks in when those sharing their idea find that the people listening don't act on their idea, or don't see it as a fit, because it doesn't align with the structured vision that is in place.
"...it MAY BE that..."
When we listen to the heart behind it, we can better understand the vision for it.
And once we do that, we'll resist thinking someone is being exclusionary and narrow-minded, and instead doing what they are doing based on an honorable conviction they have at a heart-level.
Vision creates a clear path.
Opinion alone puts obstacles on them.
When we run our opinions through the filter of a vision, we make progress because we keep the path to progress clear.
Understanding this is a huge key to staying ON course, and staying THE course.
Perfection isn't a destination, it's a distraction.
The freedom to fail creates an environment where success can take off.
It's a small shift in perspective that can yield powerful results.
"MAYBE it will work, "MAYBE" it won't.
There's only one way to know.
And if it doesn't?
Welcome to progress.
There is a difference between questioning why vs. asking a question to learn why.
When we open a conversation by questioning someone, we are bringing judgement. In short, whether we realize it or not we are questioning their judgement. That doesn't tend to open up healthy conversations as much as create the potential for unwanted confrontations.
It goes like this:
"I'm not sure why you did this."
"I'm not sure why you would make that decision."
"I'm not sure you thought of whatever I'm about to tell you, but once I do I'll feel better for having cleared this up for you."
The opposite approach sounds more like this:
"Can you tell me more so I can learn the heart behind the decision that was made?"
"Can you share with me the heart behind the decisions made so that I have a better understanding of the bigger picture?"
"Thank you for your heart to lead. Can you tell me more about the vision behind your decision, so that when others ask about the direction we've taken I have all of the information for a great conversation."
Often times those closest to the situation have the most relevant information.
We need to take a posture to learn more than a posture to prove a point.
In my experience, I get it right when I listen twice as much as I speak.
Decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.
"it MAY BE that..."
Less trying to prove a point, more of a willingness to learn.
It's about honoring relationships.
We'll pick that thought up tomorrow.
"...it MAY BE that..."
It turned out different. It took longer. It was a lot harder.
It was exactly what you expected. It happened faster. It was a lot easier.
It's tempting to place more value on exact, faster, and easier.
If we are willing to commit to a posture of learning, there is just as much value in different, longer, and harder.
We tend to bail on experiences that start to veer off the course of our desire for exact, faster, and easier. We quit before we ever have the chance to learn from different, longer, and harder.
If the work has meaning, stay the course no matter how it ends up, how long it takes, or how hard you have to work at it to get there.
Those that do will reap rewards that most will never know.
"...it MAY BE that..."
Consistency in the face of adversity is a competitive advantage most people leave on the table because they don't stay long enough for desert.
The sweet stuff is reserved for the committed.
If you'll see it through, there's something sweet waiting for you.
"Stay in your wheelhouse."
Imagine the following scenario for a moment.
You are the captain of a ship. Things are going swimmingly. (Pun intended). You are cruising on the waters, enjoying the views, and the fellowship of those on board with you. Then one day you decide to walk the deck a bit. Then the next day a little bit more. You stop to talk to a few folks here and there. And then before you know it, you are spending a lot of time on the deck and not at the wheel.
About that time you look up to see the ship headed for ground.
You realize no one is at the wheel.
You've left your wheelhouse and now the ship is in danger.
The very people you were there to serve aren't getting the best from you.
You race back to the ship's wheelhouse and get back to what you are the best at.
Within a short period of time things go from what looked like an impending ship wreck, to a re-focused and centered purpose.
Have you ever felt like that?
Like you looked up to realize that the calling on you was left behind you?
"...it MAY BE that..."
To bring the value you were meant to, you need to stay where you were called to.
Grab the wheel.
Stay true to your vision.
Stay in your wheelhouse.
And if you ever find yourself outside of it?
Run with all you have back to it.
It's a special edition of #TheMaybeClock.
I'm writing this one late on Mother's Day eve.
It seems appropriate that tonight, moms should be..."On The Clock".
In short, when I talked about being "On The Clock" I ran it through the filter of what the NFL Draft taught me about what that meant.
In a few words?
Preparation. Dedication. An affection beyond measure for what they do.
To be great at what you do, you sacrifice a ton. You do the hard work when no one is watching, or seems to care. You are up earlier than most. You study harder than the rest. You juggle multiple things all at once, and make it look like its natural for anyone to try to do that. You are in the top % of anyone who does what you do.
Wait...are we still talking about the NFL?
It sure sounds like we are talking about moms.
Because we are.
As I reflect on #TheMaybeClock, and what I am learning from my writing journey through it, it's not lost on me that "MAYBE", "...it MAY BE that..."
We need to be thankful that someone gave of themselves selflessly for us. They literally changed their entire world for nine months to protect us as we couldn't do that for ourselves. Then...for the next 18 years did the same in so many ways. And they've been there for us every day after, even when we thought we knew better as adults.
Before we could remember, where pictures can only remind us, they carried us. As we think back to us finding our way through childhood, they walked with us. And when we went out to discover the world as adults they covered us.
In their arms.
Next to us.
On their knees in prayer for us.
Tonight, I sit quietly by the love of my life as I'm writing this.
Two thank you's are in order for that moment.
Mom...thank you for carrying, walking, and praying for me.
Nancy...thank you for carrying, walking, and praying for Cara.
I'm sitting here looking at an amazing mother that I am blessed to call my wife, because both of you did everything in your being to give us the gift of each other.
You got us here.
Thank you doesn't quite cover that. But I'll say it so you know how indebted my heart feels for it. Thank you. We love you.
Cara...as you carry, walk, and cover our three blessings it's my greatest joy to be with you on this journey.
Somewhere there are three other moms doing the same thing.
Three other moms wondering where our three kids are, and if someone is holding them close, cheering them on, and praying over them daily.
Tonight...something tells me they know you are, Cara.
"...it MAY BE that..."
The greatest gift we can give the moms in our life this weekend is letting them know that the carrying, walking, and covering aren't just words to describe what they've done for us. Our moms created the heart, character, and integrity that is in us.
You are all constantly "On The Clock". You are, because of WHO you are, not that you should have to be. You are because your heart wouldn't let you have it any other way. You are because you have so much love to give, it needs a 24-7 release.
We love you, moms.
I love you, mom.
I love you, Nancy.
I love you, Cara.
And every day thereafter...
There is no "MAYBE" about that.
Happy Mother's Day.
If you can't find yourself, you don't need to look in a mirror.
Look in your heart.
Somewhere deep down on the inside of you sits untapped potential.
I talked about how we can find our calling yesterday.
Today I want to talk about how to take the first steps in the direction of it.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt like you didn't recognize yourself anymore? You've run so hard, so long, that life has become an obligation-driven song on repeat...instead of an every day road trip full of new adventures?
Adventures can cover miles. But...they can also cover relationships, family, friends, jobs, community, and so much more. We don't need to be behind the wheel of an actual vehicle to cover ground. We do need to be able to confidently sit behind the wheel of our heart and make choices that allow us to experience who we really are.
You deserve that.
You need that.
Your next steps can be that.
Pick one thing today that stirs your heart and make a decision to shift from one gear to the next to make it happen. You might see an immediate result, you might not. That's not the point. The point is you took action. Stop going through the motions that everyone else expects of you, and begin to take care of you. If you want to be the best for those closest to you, it starts with you taking care of you...so you have something to draw on, give from, and lead from.
All of the dreams on the inside of you weren't placed their to torment you. They were a gift that was given to you.
Then why is/has it been so hard to see them come to life?
Sometimes the best dreams for us require the most from us.
Sacrifice. Humility. Authenticity. Patience. Excellence.
Just like our physical bodies, what S.H.A.P.E. our mental and emotional self is in impacts our ability to move. They impact our ability to sustain our journey, find our calling, and reach our potential.
It won't always be easy...but the best things were never meant to be.
When we focus on the readiness, willingness, and posture of our heart...we will be more equipped to unwrap what is in it.
When it does get hard?
Think about this...
Can you think of a gift that was given to you that you literally had to wrestle to get it open? The ribbon was so tight, that it took an incredible amount of effort, a dash to the kitchen to get something to help pry it open, and patience from those watching to let you get to the heart of it...to open it...so we could all see the smile on your face as you realize what it actually was.
Your heart, and the dreams that have been laying dormant in it, were never meant to sit there unopened. They were placed there with you in mind. They were created for you, and you alone to open them, unveil them, and act on them.
Wherever you are today, I want you to give yourself permission to open your heart to the fact that there are gifts on the inside of you waiting to be opened.
Pull on the ribbon. Take one step. Tear at the wrapping paper. Make a phone call. Pull back the flaps of the box. Take the leap of faith to start. And...when you can actually put your hands on the gift...and slowly begin to pull it out of the box it came in...smile.
You'll know it when you see it, hold it, and experience it.
Your calling is no different.
Just because you don't know what's in the box, doesn't mean you should stare at it and wonder. It was meant to be sought after, torn into, and part of your life.
If you don't recognize yourself today, take heart.
The easiest way to find yourself?
"...it MAY BE that..."
It's time to give yourself permission to act on the dreams found within your heart.
When you open your heart, you'll revel your gift.
Go ahead...the world is watching, because we already know what's in that box.
We just want to see you smile when you realize what it is.
It's been there all along.
It's your turn.
It's your time.
It's your calling.
Wherever I have travelled and spoken, one of the most popular questions I get revolves around finding our calling.
"How do I find my calling?"
"How do I find my purpose?"
I can tell you this for sure...
It's not on Amazon.
It can't be ordered, shipped, and dropped off at our front door.
We have to get up every day and move in the direction of it, even if we don't ultimately know where we'll end up finding it, or how we'll realize it.
It's a series of "MAYBE" moments that lead us there.
A conversation, an internship, a service project, a new job, retreat, a vacation, or some other experience that touches our soul and stirs our heart.
Can I share some encouragement with you if you are feeling delayed, frustrated, or confused along the way?
Don't be in a hurry to get there.
That might sound funny, but I've realized how true that is.
You can't rush a clock.
A second is a second, is a minute, an hour, and a day.
Enjoy every moment in them.
Don't miss them because you are looking past them.
"MAYBE" you need to stop stressing about the outcome, and learn to fully embrace the joy that is the process. I say that now, after having not done it very well for a long time in my own life.
"...it MAY BE that..." enjoying the journey will open your eyes, some doors, and opportunities that you least expected.
It has for me.
Be content, my friend.
A calling that is understood comes from a consistency that is applied.
Second by second.
Minute by minute.
Hour by hour.
Day by day.
Each one is a blessing.
Each one another piece to the puzzle.
It will all come into focus exactly as it should be, when it should be, as long as we see the value in being who we are...consistently.
brett w. gould
Welcome to my blog. This is where you can read stories of motivation, inspiration, and encouragement.