Preparing For Defining Moments – Podcast: S02E003

In today’s episode of Monday Morning Moments, I talk about the power of  a defining moment. You can’t always predict when a defining moment will happen in your life, but you can be prepared for it. The sad reality is that many people never realize the opportunities that they have to unleash their strengths, talents, and gifts in the midst of an opportunity to positively impact others. Defining moments provide that opportunity for us, and they also present an opportunity for us to get very clear about our calling  and purpose in life.

Episode Outline:

  • Defining moments allow you to unleash your strengths, talents, and gifts in the midst of an opportunity to positively impact others.
  • Defining moments provide clarity of your identity and calling.
  • You can’t always predict when a defining moment will happen, but you can be prepared for it.
  • Preparing for defining moments involves learning from the past.
  • The key to preparing for a defining moment in your life involves the following principle: “Focus on the Moment.”
  • To have focus in the moment, you have to “focus on the moment.”
  • Focusing on the Moment involves asking the following questions:
    • What’s at stake?
    • Who else is involved?
    • How can I make a difference?
  • Other questions to consider:
    • Why do you have the platform (i.e. title, role, sphere of influence) that you have?
    • What are you doing with that sphere of influence?
    • Who is being impacted by your platform?
    • How are they being impacted?
    • How are you preparing for the defining moments in your life?
    • When you think about your entire life as a “moment” in time, how have you prepared yourself to focus on the “moment?”

 

What Are You Afraid Of?

Is it death that makes us so afraid or the thought that we may not have lived a life of meaning and purpose? Or worse, the life that we lived did not fulfill the life that was imagined when God created us?

Through my work with athletes, I have seen many stories of celebration and conquest as well as disgust and defeat. Most athletes do not fear a clock that reads 0:00 – especially if they know they have given their all and played their best. What frightens them the most is reaching the end of a contest knowing they did not play to the best of their ability or potential.

Man on top of a mountain

We must play to win instead of playing not to lose. In other words, we need to appreciate the opportunities we have been given and use them to make an impact in the lives of other people. When the last second ticks off the clock of your life, what thought will you have? Will you triumphantly raise your hands in victory celebrating a fulfilling life? Or, will you hang your head haunted by the feeling that you could have been more and could have done more?

Begin today by asking these relevant and pertinent questions:

  • What roles do I play in life (e.g. student, athlete, friend, husband, wife, father, mother, business leader)?
  • What am I doing with the responsibility and opportunity of these roles?
  • Am I realizing my potential in all areas of my life?
  • Am I motivated by the joy of living or haunted by the fear of dying?
  • Do I see opportunities to make a positive impact and seize them?
  • At the end of this year, this decade, this life, will I cherish the memories that I made or fear the regrets that I have?

As Ken Blanchard so prophetically proclaims, “The legacy you live is the legacy you leave.” What are you afraid of? Every day, you can make a choice to positively impact the people within your sphere of influence by:

  • Encouraging them
  • Listening to them
  • Mentoring them
  • Learning from them
  • Leading them
  • Serving them

Also, true leaders in any walk of life are:

  • Purposeful with their time
  • Confident in their calling
  • Generous with their resources
  • Compassionate with their heart

Choose today to invest your time purposefully and wisely, and make your life count for what matters most! A life well lived leads to rejoicing, not regret!

A Prayer For Houston

My mom, an incredible woman of prayer and an excellent English teacher, sent me this poem by Robert Browning to share with you. I think it is appropriate for anyone who is dealing with some kind of trial in their life including everyone who has been affected by the damage and destruction of Hurricane Harvey. While there are many emotions that people are dealing with during this trying time in the greater Houston area, peace, strength, and perseverance can be found in God and the power of Jesus Christ! We are praying that you find peace in this moment and comfort in this prayer:

If I forget,
Yet God remembers! If these hands of mine
Cease from their clinging, yet the hands divine
Hold me so firmly that I cannot fall;
And if sometimes I am too tired to call
For Him to help me, then He reads the prayer
Unspoken in my heart, and lifts my care.

 

I dare not fear, since certainly I know
That I am in God’s keeping, shielded so
From all that else would harm, and in the hour
Of stern temptation strengthened by His power;

 

I tread no path in life to Him unknown;
I lift no burden, bear no pain, alone:
My soul a calm, sure hiding-place has found:
The everlasting arms my life surround. 

 

God, Thou art love! I build my faith on that.
I know Thee who has kept my path, and made
Light for me in the darkness, tempering sorrow
So that it reached me like a solemn joy;
It were too strange that I should doubt Thy love.

 

– “God, Thou Art Love” by Robert Browning

Houston Strong Photo

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.