The Meaning Of A Moment

Michael had just won the biggest race of his life, shattering his own world record by a third of a second and winning the gold medal in the Olympics. He thought about all of the training he had endured. He was thrilled that the discipline, hard work, and focus had paid off and given him a quiet confidence to achieve his goals. Most people would have thought Michael had just completed the perfect race. Yet, there was a brief moment during the race that he wished he could have replayed. A brief stumble the third step out of the block made him question how much faster he could have gone.

Michael Johnson

Moments have meaning. The word moment is derived from the Latin word momentum defined as “movement or moving power.” If you research the word moment, you will find that this powerful word has a diverse set of synonyms:

  • A split second
  • The blink of an eye
  • An instant
  • A minute
  • An hour
  • A day
  • A chapter in your life
  • A season of life
  • A phase
  • A decade
  • A generation
  • An age
  • A millennium
  • An era
  • An epoch

All of these words can be used to describe the word moment –  everything from a split second to an epoch. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there is a very wide gap between a split second and an epoch. How could one word represent so many meanings? As I reflected on this question and the meaning of a moment, I pondered how a split second moment could impact an epoch. Or closer to home, it made me aware of how an instant in my life could affect generations to come.

Every one of us has a deep longing for moments. Moments in the spotlight. Moments of expression. Moments of meaning and purpose. Moments of impact. Moments where we provide value to those we love the most. Moments filled with potential and promise. Some people have more of these moments than others.

Why do we crave, desire, and remember moments so much? I believe it is because moments comprise everything. Our time. Our choices. Our decisions. Our thoughts. Our relationships. Moments encapsulate all of these components. When we think of a moment, we rejoice over how we invested our time wisely, or we lament the fact that we let the moment slip away.

Moments are filled with issues to be resolved, opportunities to be realized, and challenges to be met. For Michael Johnson, the 1996 Olympics was a defining moment – a moment that determined his place in history. Defining moments can also be moments that help us clarify our calling and give us meaning and direction in our lives. Have you ever had a defining moment? Most people have several defining moments in their lives. The trouble with defining moments is that you cannot predict the exact second that a defining moment will happen. You can, however, prepare for defining moments in your life. Michael had endured countless hours of sprints and time in the weight room for a moment that lasted less than 20 seconds. He had spent 10 years of his life to reduce his time by 1.5 seconds – the difference between mediocrity and excellence. How are you preparing for defining moments in your life?

The 1996 Olympics also represented a lost moment – the stumble out of the starting block he wished he could have gotten back. Have you ever had a lost moment? A moment you didn’t make the most of? Most of us have had at least one lost moment in our lives. The challenge is not to dwell on the moment that was lost but make the most of the moment that you have now. Michael persevered through this lost moment and made the most of the bigger moment.

In his book, Slaying the Dragon, Michael Johnson compares our experiences in life to those of a sprinter:

Success is found in much smaller portions than most people realize, achieved through the tiniest gradations, not unlike the split-second progress of a sprinter….  Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter: long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best.”

May you always realize the meaning and power of moments in your life and fully engage in the life you have been given!

This blog post was adapted from my book Moments: Making Your Life Count For What Matters Most.

 

Enjoy The Moment – Podcast: S01E013

Sometimes, we don’t enjoy the moments in our lives. Now, I know not every moment was meant to be enjoyed, especially when it comes to trials in our lives. But, there are times when we are not fully present in moments that were meant to experienced and appreciated! When I wrote my book, Moments: Making Your Life Count For What Matters Most, one of the 6 principles that I highlighted was Enjoy The Moment. In today’s podcast, you will learn why enjoying the moments in your life is important and 3 concepts for how to do this effectively.

Episode Outline:

To enjoy the moment, I have found three key supporting concepts that can make this principle come alive in your life:

  1. The journey is as important as the goal
    • Consider the following questions when pondering the concept of the journey:
      • What did it take for you to reach your goal?
      • Who has helped you along the way?
      • Who has been impacted by your journey?
      • How did your journey affect your growth as a person?
  2. Love who you are
    • Do you love who you are and who you are becoming?
    • Do you let feelings affect your acceptance of core truths about your life?
    • If you let negative feelings affect your thoughts and ultimately your actions, you will never reach the mountaintops that are prepared just for you.
    • Consider the following equation: A = T2 + F
    • Unpacking the equation: Our attitude (A) equals thoughts based on truth (T2) plus or minus our feelings (F). We must maintain a foundation of truth in our lives, and our thoughts must reflect these truths. You have a choice in whether to believe what is true about your life, but your decision does not determine its truth. As Dr. Barry Landrum, my father-in-law and former pastor, says, “The truth is still the truth even if no one believes it. And a lie is still a lie no matter how many people believe it.”
    • What truth is God trying to communicate to you about Himself and about your life?
  3. Love what you do
    • Do I love my work?
    • What are my strengths and talents?
    • What do those who know me best say my strengths and talents are?
    • What am I really passionate about?
    • Do my strengths, talents, and passions line up with what I am currently doing?
    • Am I fully engaged in my work?
    • On Monday morning, do I have a yearning that I MUST be there?
    • Do I make a positive impact?

Preserve Your Marriage – Podcast: S01E008

In this week’s podcast, I share a message that I originally delivered at West University Baptist Church about the importance of preserving your marriage. The principles and verses shared in this message are essential for preserving the precious relationship of marriage. You will hear how we often keep score instead of unconditionally loving our spouse and showing mutual respect to each other.

Episode Outline

To preserve means “to keep alive or in existence, to maintain, and to keep safe from harm or injury.” Marriage is one of the most sacred covenants you can make; yet, we often don’t invest in properly nurturing this precious relationship. Over time, two people who vowed to become one can grow apart and wonder what happened. Specific concepts in this week’s podcast:

  • The importance of preserving
  • Our calling to complement, supplement, and complete the other person
  • How keeping score of all the wrongs the other person has done clouds the lens we view them through
  •  “Conflict often results from differences and pride.  Differences can create conflict, and pride keeps us from resolving it.”
  • Why we need to release and surrender unmet expectations

You can subscribe to this podcast through our web site or via iTunes directly. Also, we would love for you to leave your comments on iTunes and Google Play about what you like about this podcast. Finally, you can download Downcast, one of my favorite apps for automatically consuming podcasts.

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

6 Principles For Making Your Moments Count For What Matters Most – Podcast: S01E007

In today’s podcast, I share 6 principles for making your moments count for what matters most. I also share some practical strategies for how to apply these principles and make this happen on a daily and weekly basis. The principles are based on my book Moments: Making Your Life Count For What Matters Most as well as the work that we do developing leaders in sports, business, and life.

Episode Outline:

6 Principles for Making Your Moments Count:

  • Focus on the Moment
  • Enjoy the Moment
  • Engage in the Moment
  • Perform in the Moment
  • Pray in the Moment

Here Goes Nothing…Here Goes Everything

“Never got anywhere by running away.

Never learned anything without a mistake.

Never loved anyone by playing it safe.

It’s a long way down, but I’m here right now… so…”

“Here Goes,” Song by Bebo Norman

Something is waiting for you out there. In fact, it is waiting for all of us. The key question is not, “What is it?” The more relevant question for our lives is, “Will we embrace it and go for it?”

In Bebo Norman’s song “Here Goes,” he challenges us to reach and jump for the thing that so often eludes us – our purpose and daily calling in life. We become so sidetracked with things, activities, and accomplishments that we forget why we are here and what we were meant to do. We become comfortably numb. It is much easier to play it safe than to take a step into the unknown. It is much easier to try and control the script of our lives rather than to submit to the author and perfecter of our faith.

Imagine Signs

Each day you have a choice to embrace the unknown of your day. The reality is that no matter how well you plan for the events of your day, you don’t know what the moments will always bring. My encouragement and challenge to you is to connect to the calling of your life by doing the following:

  • Identify the roles you play – For me, I am a follower of Christ, husband, father, friend, son, entrepreneur, leadership and life coach, communicator, consultant, author, and board member. If I don’t realize the roles that I play, I will never gain insight into the priorities of my life and can never expect to fulfill my purpose.
  • Define your responsibilities for each role – There are specific responsibilities as well as opportunities that are associated with each of the roles that you and I play. A responsibility for my role as a husband and father is to provide for my family. An opportunity is to invest in their character and to help them develop into the people they were meant to be. Sadly, many people only focus on the duties of the role forsaking the personal imprint and legacy they could leave through opportunities.
  • Discern your strengths and passions – Develop a list of strengths and a list of things you are passionate about. Invest time in yourself to understand the events and moments of your life so far and what you have learned about yourself as it relates to where you should go next. Leverage your strengths, and let passion fuel the journey.
  • Create a Life Plan and Execute Daily – If you don’t know where you are going, you will be drawn to anything that beckons for your attention. A life plan keeps you on course and helps you make the best decisions even in the midst of uncertainty. Through workshops and coaching, I work with people to create a MAP for their future and to develop a compass as a filter for making effective daily and weekly decisions about how they invest their time. Michael Hyatt has also written a great blog entry on how to create a life plan. I also highly recommend his book Living Forward on this same topic.

Will you join in the anthem of this song to embrace your destiny? Will you sing, “Here goes nothing, here goes everything.” with the chorus of your life? Consider the consequences of not engaging in the moments of your life:

“I don’t want to turn around and wonder what happened.

Never lost and never found are one in the same.” (“Here Goes,” Bebo Norman)

Question: What do you need to pursue boldly this year? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Merry Christmas!

Living room with fireplace and decorated Christmas tree

I just wanted to take a moment and wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season! I pray that you take time during this season of life to discover the real meaning of Christmas and consider all of the things that you are grateful for. Take time to learn from this past year, rest and recharge for the next year, and renew your commitment to be a leader within your sphere of influence. We look forward to connecting with you in the new year. Let us know if we can do anything to help you maximize your potential and achieve your goals in the areas of sports, business, and life. You can connect with me at my email address. Also, check out some of our leadership development programs and coaching services on my web site.

The Importance of a Pre-Shot Routine

Three dribbles. Stop. One more dribble. Stop. Bend the knees and become one with the shot as I follow through the ball figuratively extending my elbow and wrist like Stretch Armstrong all the way through the center of the goal swishing the ball through the net. It’s the same routine for me every time I shoot a free throw. It’s been that way since Jr. High, although I shoot a lot less meaningful free throws these days.

Drew Shooting Free Throw

In the arena of peak sports performance, we call it a pre-shot routine, and it is the key to making a great shot. In sports, every successful athlete develops a routine before they perform. The idea of a pre-shot routine applies to all sports even though the specific sport may not involve an actual “shot.” Each athlete develops a systematic routine that involves both physical and mental activity that helps them prepare to perform at their best. While every athlete may have nuances within their specific approach, a pre-shot routine typically involves the following components:

  • Mental focus – Preparing your mind to focus on a positive outcome and simplifying your thoughts to replace extraneous thoughts and distractions
  • Physical Preparation – Preparing your body to perform the task at hand

Athletes realize they can’t just summon focus magically in the moment. Preparation is the key.

The concept a pre-shot routine applies not only to sports but also to other areas of our lives like our vocation, our community, and our relationships. In my book Moments: Making Your Life Count For What Matters Most, I call this principle “Focus on the Moment” and explain that in order to have focus IN the moment, you have to focus ON the moment which involves considering the following questions:

  • What’s at stake?
  • Who else is involved?
  • How can I make a difference?

A successful presenter doesn’t just step up to the microphone and magically demonstrate focus. He or she prepares in advance carefully considering the moment, the audience, and the message. An incredible client meeting doesn’t just happen. You have to consider the needs, challenges, and questions of the other person and be prepared to provide answers and solutions that will make a positive impact. Great families don’t just happen. You have to focus on the outcomes you want to see and the opportunities you have to impact the people in your family. Effective weeks don’t just appear out of thin air. You have to be proactive and develop a “pre-shot routine” for your weeks and days that will put you into a position to “score” (i.e. be effective).

Question: What is your pre-shot routine for your life? How do you prepare for your days and weeks? Do you think your days could be more productive and effective if you spent time preparing and focusing ON the moment? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

You Are Writing Your Story

Whether you realize it or not, every day you are writing the script to your story. With every choice and decision about your time, talent, and resources you are putting a stamp on your legacy. With every great story, there are central characters, role players, antagonists, successes, setbacks, a key challenge, and a pursuit of persevering through the key challenge.

Man Writing in a Journal

Does life seem to be passing you by? Are you writing the story that you want to create? If the answer is a resounding “No!” or you are unsure and you feel like you are going through the motions, here are 3 steps that may help you in this process:

  • Reflect – Take time to reflect by scheduling a personal retreat. You may not have time or the resources to schedule a 6-month sabbatical, but you can make a choice to take a day or a weekend retreat to assess where you are, where you have been, and where you are going. One thing that has helped me in times of reflection in my journey is the power or prayer and listening to God for direction, wisdom, and clarity. Another thing has been asking myself the question that Ralph Waldo Emerson used to ask Henry David Thoreau and his other friends, “What has become clear since we last met?”
  • Redirect – This may involve redirecting your energy, your priorities, and your pursuits. Based on an honest assessment of your strengths, passions, and purpose in life, you have an opportunity to redirect your efforts toward the right road in life. While we do not have ultimate control of the events in our lives and the world around us, we must be active and engaged if we want to affect the outcome of our story. Life was never intended to be a spectator sport no matter how good the seats or how tasty the halftime snacks are.
  • Run – As an endurance runner, I love to run! I even like to walk fast when I am going somewhere. Running allows me to be active in a journey and committed to a goal. In life, we must be active in our journey and committed to purposeful decisions that will achieve our goal. While you may only gain clarity about the next step, trust and faith allow you to take that step with a determination that you are on the right path. We were created to embrace our calling and run with a purpose toward the right pursuits.

The path is often determined by asking the right questions to gain clarity through the right answers. You get one shot at life – one story to craft and create something beautiful, memorable, significant, and impactful! Decide today to be actively engaged in creating the story you were intended to live!

Question: What do you think your purpose or calling in life is? How are you impacting the people in your story? You can leave a comment by clicking here.