Selected Life Lesson
If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
-Peggy S’ Life Lesson from the Des Moines, Iowa
Peggy is definitely sharing a true life lesson this week, and it can be true for work and life. I wish I had some profound addition to the lesson, but all I can say it this: Be an asset.
Have you ever sat in a meeting with no direction or end in sight? Waste of time, right?
Or feel like you or your company was not doing enough to be amazing? Waste of energy and resources, right?
That ends now for your life. It’s time to be willing to go after your goals and dreams and be a part of your own solution. What do you want? Tell me.
There are tough jobs out there and jobs and goals we sometimes – maybe oftentimes – think impossible. But then you say yes to a challenge, and you find that your capacity to meet that challenge was always there.
Fictional president Jed Bartlet said it best in The West Wing, “[...] but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we’re reminded that that capacity may well be limitless.”
Any challenge is not without the mini-challenges. It can become frustration, discouragement and failures. But then you do it, and it goes well. My friend wrote and said, “I was willing, did it, and received much support and realized I was supposed to take on this.”
Isn’t it amazing how our life challenges always seem to happen and appear at the right moment? The key question is: are you listening?
Selected Life Lesson
It’s not that you’re incapable … just unwilling.
-Courtney H’s Life Lesson from the Olathe, Kansas
While Courtney’s lesson is a harsh one, it is true from start to finish. I went to upstate New York last weekend with some friends for some much needed rest-and-relaxation and on the way back, we got into a conversation about generational differences.
One of the things I said was that the last two generations have the appearance of expecting results. Where that comes from, I’m not quite sure. I actually pitched a business idea about a year ago and was rejected saying, “This reeks of millennialism.” But what the idea really did in my opinion was push the company forward. In the end, both parties parted happy.
I took my idea elsewhere and they continued down the same path.
That’s my point. I’m currently pushing myself to be capable of going after my dreams, rather than waiting for the results to come into existence. It is time to be willing to pay the price, bear the burden and take the fall for what you want. Be willing.
Where is that place where you most come alive? What are the senses that make you feel at peace? Who are you with when you laugh so hard it hurts?
My friend Emily recently posted a photo of her answer and it got me thinking about my perfect place.
I talk a lot to my friends and family about where I am the happiest. I make no secret that I love my adoptive state of Iowa. I also make no secret that anytime I go to Colorado, I feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders each and every time. But that happens any time I go to the mountains or the beach. In fact, as I write this, I am headed for a weekend up in the Adirondack mountains for some much needed rest and relaxation.
But Emily’s perfect day, her perfect moment, is dinner with a group of her best friends.
And it struck me how simple that is. I absolutely adore my friends and what they bring to my life. They push me. They challenge me. They tell me the truth when no one else will. And when needed, they give me the ass-kicking I need (see my friend Kade for an ass-kicking if you’re in need).
I can find happiness and peace in a lot of places. No matter if it is Iowa, or Colorado, or the beach or a quaint coffee-house, so long as I am with someone I love and care about, happiness follows.
What about you? Where do you find happiness?
Selected Life Lesson
Always learn from your mistakes.
-Jamilah W’s Life Lesson from the Olathe, Kansas
Today is my half-birthday! There are now only 530 days until I reach 30. Last weekend was my 10-year high school reunion and I hated not being able to be there with my old classmates. But as I celebrate 28 1/2, this lesson is a great reminder of something I take to heart: I am never to stop learning.
So much has happened in the ten years since I graduated from high school (and subsequently ran for office). But what never ends is my learning. I’ve made countless mistakes and it would take years of FOCUS emails to list them all, but I am happy to say I am always trying to learn from them. The great tragedy and blessing of life is that while we don’t get to undo anything we did, we can and must learn from each life experience.
So, as I begin the last half of 28, join me on this journey of reflection and learning. You’ll be amazed how much better of a person, friend, partner you can become if you just sit, and listen. Oh, and forward this to a friend because we can all learn from each other. I know I have.
Engaging & Retaining The Nonprofit Workforce
October 7-9, 2012
FOCUS: The Other F-Word (Oct. 8th)