goals

Do you know how to get there? Who cares?

The most successful people are the ones that see the goal, and know that it’s reachable. That they can get there. Some work, sure, but it’s obtainable and if enough things go right, they’ve got it.

The worst are the ones that don’t even try. The shore is safe but we don’t write stories about the ones that stay there and hope the new land comes calling. It won’t – and if it does, it’s already too late.

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Get there. Get messy. Get your hands right in it and tell your people what you’re thinking the whole way along. It won’t be easy, but then it wasn’t supposed to be – if it was everyone would be doing it.

Learn to fish. Talk to a Volleyball like your old pal. Set out amongst the cruel sea. But don’t bring the weakness of “there’s just no way to do it” unless you’ve lost all reasonable options.

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Drain. The. Swamp.

They can be a little distracting...

They can be a little distracting…

This has been a reoccurring theme for me lately. Why are you there? What is your mission? The sum total purpose for your existence in this place, at this time, is to do… what exactly? Some helpful questions to ask yourself periodically to help avoid alligators: 

  1. What am I doing here? Why am I in this position? To accomplish what?
  2. What am I uniquely positioned to do here that no one else can do?
  3. What efforts can I undertake to make the most progress towards my stated goal?

Anything else is lateral drift, mission-creep. Don’t get bogged down in the reptile wrestling of minor things: Office gossip, admin squabbles, paper cuts, petty territorial disputes, the opinions of people that don’t know any better and don’t ultimately matter.

Remember what your purpose is. Drain the damn swamp. Alligators attack? Try to use one hand to fight them off and keep one hand on draining that swamp – it’s why you’re there in the first place.

Our verbs become our adjectives… Father’s day post.

Our choices become our identity. Our verbs become our adjectives.

When we continuously choose to care for others we become known as “kind.” When we choose to put ourselves first we become known as “selfish.” When we choose to shepherd those in our charge and put their success and growth first, we become known as “leaders.”

Everyday I have to remind myself at least twenty or so times who I want to be known as. What would the kind of person I want to be do in this situation? It’s just a flash and it’s almost become instinctual for me. 

What are my adjectives? More accurately, what are the adjectives I’d like to choose for myself? I desperately want to be known as “effective, funny, committed, passionate, and a great father/husband.” so I have to remind myself constantly to take care to make those sorts of choices. 

I choose to hold doors and say thank you to everyone on my team as much as possible. I’m quick with compliments when the opportunities arise. If I have to break news I choose to do it in a humorous way when appropriate. I’m wildly passionate about what I do and I want others to feel that passion – every interaction, every single day.

Just like nicknames, we don’t get to choose our own adjectives. They’re applied by others and they illustrate how others see us. They’re a reflection of what kinds of verbs we are choosing – which is really all we can choose. 

I became a father a few years ago and my two boys are amazing. I want to be seen as generous with my time and attention, fair in my treatment, and encouraging of their curiosity. Kids are the best for letting you know what they think of your choices – there’s no faking it.

Internal dad monologue: “Yeah, you’re dead tired from 11 hours of crazy at work, but playing chase before bed time is going to make you the kind of dad you want to be known as – stick it out buddy, it’s worth it. Also, your wife has had a rough day too, take a few minutes and then talk to her about her day. Clean the kitchen. You’d like nothing more than to sack out on the couch with a book, but you’re not done yet… it’s OK, this is exactly what you want!” 

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What verbs are you choosing? What adjectives do you aspire to? Are you making the choices that are going to yield the outcomes you desire?

P.S. Happy father’s day to my dad and a special thanks for all the times you made me mow the lawn to learn a work ethic and for driving me to baseball card shows and comic book stores when you’d have liked nothing more than to watch the game. Thanks for being a great example and helping give me the tools to be a great dad, leader, and friend.  You’re awesome and I’m sorry for not letting you know that more often growing up.