To accomplish anything of impact it takes surrounding yourself with community.
Don’t sprint past your family and friends towards your goal. You don’t want to accomplish anything and realize you are at the end all alone.
Don’t go for broke. Instead, start walking and figure out the next small step that will be a great foundation for the next step and the one after that.
Valentines Day… it’s just another corporate holiday that marketers have taken over so that men and woman can be forced into passionless nights of pressure filled “romance” and spend way to much money on crap you don’t need. Can I get an amen.
Oh, and by the way, I don’t believe anything I just wrote. If you don’t celebrate valentines day with your significant other, that is totally up to you, but as for me, I see this day as a brilliant reminder to love and pursue that special someone. I know what your thinking, “Paul, I pursue him / her every day,” And to that I call bull shit. Lets not kid ourselves, thats just not true. For most of the folks who would agree with the above paragraph, I am willing to bet that your significant other only feels pursued three to four days out of the year: Your anniversary, their birthday, Christmas, and maybe one other day thrown in there for good measure.
Valentines day is a gift, and it doesn’t have to cost you much, or any, money depending on what you actually do. This is a day that is forced into our society for sure, but it is one that I take as a blessing because it gives me an amazing excuse to direct my attention not only to my wife, but my kids as well.
I want my kids to know how to pursue their love. I want my son to know how to woo a woman and I want my daughter to know what it is like to be wooed. I want to build up in her this understanding that if a man doesn’t woo her, he is not worth her time. She is a beauty to be taken on an adventure, not just to be looked at and potentially admired. By the time my kids are really ready to date, I want to have given them an amazing example for them to follow.
So to all those haters out there… take a second look at this potentially under-marketed holiday full of sugar, delicious meals, and lots of trees sacrificing their lives so you can express your love via a card. Take a second look and realize the opportunity you have been given.
Happy Valentines Day
P.S. Let me know what exciting plans you have for your love.
It is extremely hard to just fall into positions of leadership and have influence over many people. When we strive for positions that have influence over many, it adds stress and pressure to our lives that isn’t needed. One of the things I learned in 2018 was to not focus on how many I am leading, but to focus on those that I get to work with.
If we want to start getting opportunities to lead more and help others, we need to fill the gap. We can fill the gap in two areas: in our companies culture, and with shorthanded projects.
Filling the gap in culture. There is almost always going to be a gap from where the company currently is, and where it want’s to be as it relates to culture and environment. If you want to be a help and influence others, start living out the culture that the company aspires to. If it is one of excitement, then set the temperature of the building, figuratively speaking, by being the person who comes in ready to crush the day. If it is a place of encouragement and help, be the one that is always looking for the good in others and comment on it when you see it. Basically, be one of the catalysts that gets your company closer to the culture it desires.
Filling the gap in projects. I don’t care where you work or where you go in life, there is always a need for a volunteer or a part-time position. This world is never lacking with areas that we can help and add value. If you want to grow in your leadership, start offering your skills and expertise to your company or to local not-for-profit organizations or charities. This not only allows you to hone your skills, but it allows you to build relationships, which is the most important, and it sets you up for future success.
If you really want to lead, fill the gap. In fact, where is one place you can fill the gap today and how will you do it?
There are handful of different ways we can give. We can give with our time, with our skills, and with our money. There are also different seasons when we are able to give in some of these ways or in all of them. For me and my family, right now we don’t have the ability to go above and beyond financially, but as we have been looking for ways to give of our time and skills, opportunities to do so have been popping up.
The strangest part about these recent opportunities is that I have not been actively seeking them out. Now that is not to say that I am not prepared for them, but rather that I am not pestering my network to do more. It is interesting… when I take a step back from what I feel I am “called to do,” the opportunities that seemed so illusive keep coming my way.
Recently I was asked to be one of a handful of folks to help with the welcome and close of the service at my church. This isn’t the gig that will set me up for a life of luxury, but I don’t care. It is a tangible way that I can serve and give back, even if it only takes up 3 minutes of my time. The other opportunity is that I have also been asked by my alma mater, Kennesaw State University, to speak at one of their Lunch-N-Learns.
I feel confident that I can step into these opportunities because they not only fit right into my gifting, but I have been taking small steps towards moments like these for awhile. It’s small steps and focusing on relationships that lead to these moments. The real lightbulb moment for me though was when I was listening to the Elevate Experiences Higher Level Podcast and one of the hosts mentioned an idea. That idea that he mentioned was to step out and take opportunities when they come your way, especially as they align with your skills.
What opportunities have come your way that you need to say yes to? Better yet, what do you need to be doing to prep yourself to fully use your skills to help others?