In my documentary work, I have had the privilege to interview thousands of successful leaders around the world. Through these conversations, I have learned that the most influential leaders are often strategic in what they say no to. They are consciously turning down power, applause, and or commitments that take them off mission. Much like Eric Liddell who said no to Sunday, George Washington who said no to being a King, or Martin Luther King who said no to violence, distinguished leaders are defined by what they are saying no to more than by what they are saying yes to. These are the leaders who stand the test of time.
An Uncommen Blog
A few years ago I was 245 pounds, didn’t sleep well, had high blood pressure, and couldn’t tie my shoes without getting out of breath. The lie that I told myself was that I was comfortable. I justified my body to myself as normal because I was getting older.
It was a trip to my eye doctor that opened my eyes. Pun totally intended. He took my blood pressure to test for blurriness. He almost gasped when he read the dial and demanded to get a second result. It read 195 over 120. For those of you that don’t know it, 120 over 80 is the norm. He mentioned to me that by law he was required to call an ambulance. WHAT!
“We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
You have a civic duty.
We don’t much like the word duty in our country right now. Our desire for individual liberties often goes off-roading into individual selfishness as a society. This greed is not unique to today’s America. Selfishness is something every nation state must address at all times.
Snapchat, LOL, FML, ROFL, TTYL. Kids are speaking a different language in the digital world. I mean, it might as well be an entirely different language. Well, this is a challenge many men I work with face on a daily basis. But you are not off the hook if you and your son both speak English.
Imagine this; you are living in a country far away from America. You’ve lived here with your family for generations. You may have even lived in a time of peace and prosperity: the good old days. But now your life is extremely hard. You are living with the possibility of death or imprisonment or even starvation. The dangers around you and your neighbors have made you vulnerable enough that you are left with no choice but to seek refuge elsewhere. So you end up in a makeshift city with thousands of other of other people. Now only one thing is sure: your life will never be the same for you and your future family.
I recently polled a few wives at the carpool line at pickup for my kid’s school and asked them what they really wanted for Valentine’s Day this year. Their answers may surprise you as they did for sure surprise me. One woman, in particular, said she really doesn’t want anything. She feels Valentine’s day is too over-commercialized and that celebrating your significant other should be something you do consistently and not just one day. She said she doesn’t need things to be bought for her and would prefer her husband to make something sentimental or plan a fun night out. I asked her for more details, and she said “I would rather have my husband do tasks without being asked to show his love and appreciation for her all year round. Tasks like folding laundry, putting away the dishes and taking the car in for repairs.”
What an incredible yet challenging year 2016 has been for our nation and our world. As the New Year’s Resolutions often wear off in late January to early February, I thought it would be a great time to share our mission at Uncommen because we want to help you achieve your goals as a man, husband, father, employee, employer, and friend. We are in this thing together!
In “Start with Why” well-known author and speaker Simon Sinek challenges us all before you start anything… Start with Why. “Do you know your Why? The purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do?”