Do you know your WHY? I hope you do. Because if you don't, it will be difficult to find your way.
And I know what it is to feel like you've lost your way.
It was a sunny winter morning in Southern California, and I was packing up my office after a whirlwind 120 days had left me unemployed and uncertain of my future.
Just three years earlier, my family and I had packed up our lives and moved some 2,100 miles from ATL to SoCal to lead a church. We knew it would be an adventure. But we had no idea how much this three-year leg of our journey would shape our lives and our future.
Just five months before that winter morning, I had publicly celebrated the fact that our pace of growth qualified us as one of the 100 fastest growing churches in America (with over 1,000 in attendance). We were excited that our church was growing and affecting positive change in individuals and our community. Now, shorter than you can say the words "church politics," I was out as the lead pastor of the church.
Many of the leadership lessons I share today crystallized in that season. Unfortunately, those lessons were pretty costly to my family, some outstanding people, and the momentum of a pretty good church.
Someday soon, I'll write more about my failures in that season. They weren't moral or financial failures. They were leadership failures. Failures that have led me to where I am today. Failures for which I am grateful and willing to share. But that's another post.
The purpose of today's post is to help you discover your WHY. You see, almost five years ago, on that sunny, winter morning, I didn't know what I would do next or how I would do it. You could say I had lost my way.
But there was one thing I did know. I knew WHY I would do it.
I knew that whatever I did, it would be something that Inspired Leaders to Pursue their Personal Highest and Best. Now I didn't say it this way back then. I used to verbalize my why like this, "Empowering others to live authentic lives of deep impact."
I expressed it differently back then, but it was essentially the same WHY. Knowing my WHY is what allowed me to find my way.
If you know your WHY, you'll find your WAY.
Since that day five years ago, my WHY has inspired me to challenge thousands with my speaking. It has allowed me to help other leaders in their journey. And most recently, to lead an Inc. 5,000 tech company to and through a strategic exit. Today, my WHY causes me to encourage you in yours.
I want you to be as excited about your future as I am about mine. For that to be true, you need to be confident of your WHY.
If you are unsure of your WHY or are in a season where you want to refine it, here are two questions that have helped me with my WHY.
I’m a dance dad. For those of you outside the “dance community”, let me clarify, I don’t dance, I finance. Being a dance dad teaches valuable lessons, like how to be poor, and how to integrate activities for your entire family with the countless competitions you attend each spring dance season.
I know, you’re already learning a lot from this post. You’re learning there are such things as dance communities and dance seasons. I know, mind blowing. Listen, this dance thing is serious, and it’s serious business. Parents easily invest four to five figures a year in professional training and we do it from age three to eighteen. Why, because the benefits to children who participate in dance rivals anything offered by more traditional kid’s sports.
Several weekends ago, my family and I attended the Monsters of Hip Hop dance convention in Santa Clara, CA. I enjoyed watching the freestyle battles, tried my hand at krumping, and tried not to notice the booty popping (yes, that’s a thing). But what impressed me the most was how aware the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara was regarding the needs of their supporting customers. Notice I said supporting customers, not primary customers, and definitely not secondary customers.Continue reading
For most of my life, I wore my busyness with pride. Believing that “out of this world” results would justify an “out of control” pace. In my early twenties, I juggled a start-up business, my education, and a thriving ministry.
Throughout that decade, my work hard – play hard lifestyle produced some great results. But it came at great expense. Before my thirtieth birthday, stress at work and home landed me in the ER with chest pains. It was a wake-up call I’ll never forget. A lesson I don’t want to repeat.
My pursuit of everything almost left me with nothing.
I love the concept behind the Slow-Brand of single-hand, twenty-four hour watches. Designed to measure the progress of a single day; the slow watch has only one hand that rotates once every 24 hours. It actually moves at half the speed of a normal watch but allows you to see the progress of your entire day at a glance.
In our busy lifestyles, it’s easy to forget that we have a choice in how we live. I often need to be reminded that “Fast and Furious” is a movie franchise, not a lifestyle choice.
You alone determine what your time is worth and what is worth your time.
I think the message behind the slow brand of watches is brilliant. A unique watch can serve as a subtle reminder to enjoy every moment and stop chasing every minute. But in case you can’t afford to buy a new watch. Here are a few tips I’ve learned about maximizing my time.
I don’t get treadmills. No matter how hard you run, you don’t get anywhere. For some reason, a lot of people love them, spending hours a day working up a sweat and looking good. I’m not dogging you if you like treadmills. I’m just admitting that I can’t relate.
Below is a video of a guy falling off a treadmill. I watched this video ten times in a row. I didn’t watch it for his fall. I watched it for his recovery; it’s quite possibly the greatest recovery of all time.