Live with Heart

Heart gets up when others can't.

STRICTLY

“Do you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Cor 9:24

God flipped a switch inside me, the first time I heard that verse. There was something powerful awakened within me. I was a young man at the time, but I began to see how the Bible applied to my everyday life, and verses like this made my heart free!  Heart wasn’t something just found in athletics, work or love. Heart was a way to live! So here are a few ways to live with heart.

Live with a Heart to Win.

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a  boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” – 1 Cor 9:25-27

A competitive nature is approved of by God, He accepts it. He wants us to compete, to be the best version of us we can be! He wants us to bring everything we have to the table–our courage, creativity, our grit and our resilience–and then race to win. We sometimes confuse these characteristics. We think our gifts are weapons to defeat others, but actually they are tools to empower us to our best. If that puts us in first, awesome. It takes heart to win. It takes heart to show up. Every. Single. Day. Use your heart to be the best version of you.

Where are you withholding your best you? How can you break your heart free to unlock your full potential? What would it take, right now, for you to make your step toward a heart to win? It’s within you right now. Go for it.

Live with a Heart of Purpose.

Purposelessness is the enemy. Purposelessness is a haunting resistance that keeps you starting again. And again. And again. Listen, vacillation and uncertainly are enemies of your destiny. You may not know every nook and cranny of your purpose, but you know the ingredients.

People. Jesus. Church. Mission. Hope.  There may be others, but that’s a great start.

What other ingredients are a part of your purpose right now? Write them out.

Put them where you can see them. Why? Because you are going to make the stupidest of statements someday when you’re feeling blue. You will say, “I don’t know my purpose.” or “I’m not sure of my purpose.” “Or, I am not where I want to be.” Some version of those destructive phrases will come out of your mouth, and in that moment you better look at that list. As long as that list you’ve created exists to be read, those stupid lies, will have no effect. Every one gets off course now and then. Believe what you wrote when you were free, and you will overcome the invaders.

Live with a Heart of Dignity

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the Word of Life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” – Phil 2:14-16

It’s okay to be proud of yourself and your work. Paul is saying you should take satisfaction in what you do, as long as you do it right and as long as you do it well.  This is not an evil kind of pride that flows from haughtiness, or an unrealistic opinion of yourself. This is the good kind of pride. Like the way you feel at the end of a long day when you look back and see the results of a hard days work.

God wants us to feel this kind of pride. He wants us to have a sense of accomplishment and purpose.  that our lives count. We aren’t worthless. We aren’t useless. No way! We have value–and each of us has an important contribution to make to Him and to others.

Live with a Heart to Finish.

Everyone can tell you the risks of running your race; racers can tell you the rewards. Finishing has rewards. If you’ve completed your course, you’ll be rewarded. If you’ve exceeded expectations, you’ll be rewarded. If you’ve overcome great obstacles to place higher on the leaderboard than others thought you could, you’ll be rewarded. The race will end, the points will tallied and the results will be made official.

“I press on to reach the end of the race,” Paul wrote, “and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us.” – Phil 3:14.

How well do you finish? Be honest about it. What can you do to gain more motivation to finish what you start?

Live with a Heart of Tenacious Faith.

First, life won’t always be smooth sailing. Second, as long as you stay in the race, you have a chance to win. If you quit you are guaranteed failure. Most of the time when you are near the end of your effort–physically, emotionally, financially, socially and mentally–faith is what makes the difference.  It’s been said by so many athletes, survivalists and even the military elite, “It’s all in the mind. If you can conquer the mind?” Faith has the ability to influence our mind. Faith is the belief in something that hasn’t materialized yet, as though it has.

Let faith see what the eye cannot see.

You may have a belief in a business you are starting, a church you are building, a relationship you are developing. You’re not where you want to be, but you can see it. Visualize it. Let it be faith. Your belief in the tomorrow you cannot know, but you definitely see.  Let your belief outmatch the material.

Where do you get a daily intake of faith to believe for what is not seen? How can you develop more confidence in the faith you have?

I am here to help.

Finally, I’d love to help you find your heart. One of the best ways for me to help you right now is to get a copy of my book The Revved Life. You can do it right here, or on amazon.

If you want drop me an email jeff@jeffknight.com or leave a comment. I’ve got proven strategies that have helped me and others have the heart needed for this life. Until next time.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

SUMMER SHOWDOWN REFLECTIONS

"I've seen the top of the mountain. One day I will stand there."

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A quick shout out after last night’s huge Summer Showdown…

Big Congrats to Bubba Pollard.

Racing cannot be done alone.

First off, let me say how hugely grateful I am to race…it is truly one of the greatest joys of my life. I think about going faster in a Super Late Model every single day. And in the words of Eric Liddell, “When I run I feel God’s pleasure.” I truly am humbled to even have this incredible opportunity to race. It’s awesome.

It is quite a team effort, not only to put a race car together, but to run an event. First, to my team. Every one of you deserve more than we got last night. Second, to my sponsors. Sellingsnohomish.com, Popeye Energy, Tuco Industrial Products, BethNeibert.com, Greiert Insurance; You all put my car back together with your money after the needless carnage at the Galloway. It is you who I feel the greatest sense of loss for. To Evergreen Speedway​ WOW, what a showdown! I loved every minute of it, minus one lap. Thank You. AND to all the fans, we wouldn’t have racing if it weren’t for you. Stay passionate.

My Showdown and Mindset after the race...

There are two laps I’d like to highlight, and three laps I will address.

Lap ONE.

The 2nd qualifying lap that secured me into the race at 10th quick. I thought about my team, every sponsor, every industry partner, all the joy and satisfaction of that moment in 22.6 seconds! 10th quick in a field of 44, that’s scratching at the high-mark in this field of talent.

My team put this destroyed car back together in one-month, overcame some big hurdles, and proved we can be contenders at a high level. Super proud of Tony, Jason, Matty, Eric, Tom, Eddie, Dawn, Shannon, Mark, Jeff…what an effort. Couldn’t have done it without PFC, Beyea, Heintz and RCS industry support. Shoot, Randy from PFC was at the show making sure we were awesome on the brake package. Guys like Chuck Carruthers and Tracy Deyoung, Thank you.

THAT ONE LAP. I LOVED EVERY TENTH.

Lap TWO. Yes, actually lap 2.

Let me illustrate…it’s lap two of the main event.
Running 9th.
A little tight in turn one entry. Car slides up a tick.
It’s cool. We’re good. Tire pressures aren’t up all the way.
Call came, “inside.”
High-side going down the backstretch.
A turn of brake to the rear.
It’s Harding inside. He’s clean.
I’m gonna sail this thing in deep.
Lift late.
Brake.
Cars up ahead sliding.
I’m around backward.
NOOOOO!
The fence.
The fence again.
Wait, I’m 10th. There’s 26 more coming.
Where’s the field?
Cars everywhere out the right window.
Carnage ensuing.
Parts falling from sky.
Silence.
What was 1,000’s of horsepower is but a whisper.
Another driver yelling breaks the silence.
I yell, “It was oil. Oil all around.”
Fraser, Longton, Riddle, Tanner, Wanat. Others I’m sure.
Start the car.
Can’t move.
We’re done.
I’m out of words. And energy. Car destroyed.

Sometimes racing is cruel and wicked. It takes a ton just to field a car, ten times that to run up front, and just when you think you deserve something from her, racing will steal right out of your hands, in broad daylight. Eyes wide open.

Finally, Lap THREE.

But there’s another lap.
A faster one than before.
Or lately.
Or it’s the last lap of a green-white-checkered, leading.
That one great next lap makes everything in the past meaningless.

To all my friends, fans, sponsors and competitors. The pursuit of the next lap, all it’s possibility. It is the next lap I choose to look towards. Dwell on. Trust in. I don’t have my “how” just yet, but I know my “why.”

I’ve seen the top of the mountain. Even reached for it. One day I hope to stand there. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me today. Means a ton.

#TheRevvedLife

A HIGH POWERED PERFORMANCE THOUGHT

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Racing has taught me one hardcore truth, one life-changing thing that a lot of people never get from real life. Maybe you’ve heard it yourself:

There is a goal to everything worth doing.

For the NASCAR driver, that goal is the finish line, where the checkered flag is waved and the victor is named. But life has a finish line, too. And when the race of life finally ends, you’ll be rewarded accordingly. If you’ve completed your course, you’ll be rewarded. If you’ve exceeded expectations, you’ll be rewarded. If you’ve overcome great obstacles to place higher on the leaderboard than others thought you could, you’ll be rewarded. And if you’ve handled yourself with dignity throughout the race, you’ll be rewarded. But the race will eventually end, the points will eventually be tallied, and the results will eventually be made official. So run your race with this in mind.

The Apostle Paul understood this principle better than anyone, and he used the analogy of racing to help the Christians at Philippi understand it, too. “I press on to reach the end of the race,” Paul wrote, “and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:14, NLT).

Never take your eyes off the trophy.

Now I’ll be honest—anytime Paul’s talking about racing, I’m a guy who takes his words seriously. What Paul’s saying is this: The race will end when it ends. And when it ends, the results will be forever etched in stone. So make the most of your race while you’re still running. And never stop pressing toward the prize that is waiting for you at the finish line.

Never take your eyes off the trophy, which is the approval of the Lord, and the crown of righteousness that is laid up for you in heaven.

What I’ve Learned About Prayer That’s Made the Difference

Pray Letterpress

 

I kicked off a prayer series this last weekend at The Rock Church and, given the amount of time I spend in prayer and how it proportionately relates to my level of peace, focus, and ease; I thought I’d give some clues on my personal modus operandi when it comes to this vital component of my personal life.

First, my motivation to pray is what captured me to follow Christ and become a believer in the first place. It’s the same reason I choose to pray.

I want to understand the dimension of Christ’s love!

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:14-19 (MSG)

But, here are some of the easy to do practices of having a prayer life that motivates one to actually pray.

Start Small

If you’ve lacked good prayer disciplines in the past, focus on just a few minutes at a time.

Pray for a few situations at a time. Pray for a few people at a time. Pray a few words at a time. Go ahead and allow yourself to start right where you are at with no condemnation whatsoever.

Get Specific

I’ve learned that when I pray in generalities, I usually don’t pray very often.

Instead, make lists. Detail circumstances. Write down names. Ask questions of those you are praying for. Get clarity as to what is really needed.

Be Consistent

Pray daily. If you tell someone you will pray for him or her, then do it.

I often am driving in the car listening to the stereo when I am reminded that I told a person I would pray for them. In that moment, I do it.

Remember the Big Picture

Sometimes a lot of struggles require prayer, both personal and others.

Remember, struggles are not a sign of doing poorly; they are an opportunity to build your faith. Seeing difficult circumstances overcome is how God builds your faith and that of other’s. Give Him that opportunity! Embrace the struggles and pray big prayers!

Finally, I will be covering some huge content over the next two Sunday’s at The Rock Church, so don’t forget to tune into therockchurch.info at 9:30am and 11:30amPacific Time. Given the content in my coming Sunday messages, I think you may gain a deeper sense of what I’ve written in this short blog post.

Also, I’d like to invite you to join me as I host a live prayer meeting every Wednesday night at 10pm Pacific Time also at therockchurch.info. Hope to see ya there and we can pray together.

These simple steps are what I’ve learned about prayer that has made a difference in my life. I hope you found them helpful, and, as always, I invite you to leave your comments below …

How Did We Get So Lost?

You Are Here

HOW DID I GET HERE?

I’ve asked this question a time or two in my life. How did I get here? Why am I so lost?

One time, we were on a country drive when Melinda and I were in college; we had very little spending money, but a lot of time. We filled up the 79 Chevy Blazer and headed into the mountains. A day’s worth of adventuring was to be had, and as the sun was setting so was the gas gauge.

Problem was, I was lost. Not the kind of lost where we just turn around and get back to the paved road, but the kind of lost where there are no paved roads in sight. It was before the GPS and Smartphone days, so I was pretty sure we were going to run out of petro.

It happens, this getting lost conundrum, and not just on fun adventures either. It happens in life. No one plans it. But here are some thoughts on why it happens, and how we can get back on course.

Drifting

We just drift. We get really busy doing what we do. We don’t mean to have things get away, but they do. Sometimes the drifting isn’t our doing, someone led us astray, but awry we are.

A Bad Experience

What you thought about a situation wasn’t what it actually was. It didn’t go well on a career path or a school situation. Circumstances have made you mad. And you’re also mad at God. I am certain, distasteful experiences are leveraged by the enemy to take your freedom … and leave you lost.

Bad Choices

I admit I made a bad choice that day in the woods. I didn’t take a map and I didn’t know the way home. We do that now and then. Bad choices. Recklessness, wasting valuable resources like time and energy. Choices make us miserable or satisfied.

LOST PEOPLE ARE NEVER ALONE.

I find courage knowing that others are lost, also. It’s not just me. I am usually surrounded by others who are taking the trip with me, like that day with my wife Melinda. It’s often friends, maybe family, but the truth is we seldom go alone into the wandering wilderness.  In many ways, this is what happened to God’s people in the Bible, and they ended up in Egypt, enslaved. You’ve probably seen The Ten Commandments movie or read the story in Exodus. Truth be told though, they drifted far from their center. They betrayed their love of the Lord. These bad choices enslaved them first in their unseen world—thoughts, words, deeds—and then in the seen world—physical slavery. I bet they never thought it would turn out the way it did. But they were never alone.

God promised them he would “bring them out.” He’s was there to bring them out.  He is there to bring us out.

HOW DO WE GET OUT?

God promises to bring us out of this lost state. It’s His first promise to us. He promises Exodus 6, “I will bring you out of slavery!” What steps do we take, and how do we do it?

Make the Move

The key word here is change. Another way to say it is repent. You’ve got to make a decision that because you are tired of where you are it’s time to make a move. You’ve known it for along time, but now is the time to make the decision.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul motivates us by saying, “Come out from them and be separate.” He speaks of God being a Father to you, you being His son or daughter. But the hinge for you is making the move to come out!

You can’t be in two places at the same time. That day in the Blazer, we could not be lost and found at the same time. We needed to make the move to head for the pavement. To stop going into the woods deeper was the first choice. It’s the same for you and I. It’s time to change direction. Make the move.

Let It Go

Getting out of where you’ve been first requires the decision to make a move, but it’s immediately followed by letting it go! Jesus said, “Anyone who wants to follow me has to let me lead! Get out of the driver’s seat. Follow me and I will show you how.” For you and I, letting it go is surrendering; finally putting down the things that endanger us.

Commit Your Life

It’s not enough to just come out and let go. Yes, in decisions you will experience a turning point, but you’ve got to commit at a high level to never go back. You are no longer slave to whatever becomes of being lost. Instead, turn and start living for the One who sets you free from this slavery.

Paul motivates us, “Just as you used to be slaves to impurity and an ever-increasing wickedness now offer yourselves as slaves of righteousness, leading to holiness.” What’s he saying? He’s saying to commit your life as passionately to freedom in Christ as you did to being enslaved to the world.

RELATIONSHIP

That day in the mountains, when Melinda and I made the move from heading deeper into the forest and started heading to what I thought was the paved road, we came upon a forest service truck. Man, were we glad to see him! He told me we were 60 miles from any exit that didn’t have a locked gate. I was like, “WHAT!” He said, “Follow me, I will unlock the gate for you, and we will get you right to the road.” We were thankful that day, because, when we finally made it to the gas station, we were rolling in on fumes. Had we not built that relationship, we may have stayed a few nights lost in the outback!

In the same way a relationship with Christ offers the same solution.  Jesus says, “Follow me.”

I’d like to know about a difficult situation where you had to make a course correction. Maybe you’re going through one right now … please share your comments below and let’s continue to grow together …

Pay the Tuition

jounrey starts here

Cost of Following Jesus

Following Christ will cost. Something. Everything. Listen, it’s worth it. There will be times where life is seemingly easy. Like somehow the winds of change have ended and the wind is at your back. In those moments you’ll thank Jesus, speak as if it’s always been this way, and basically love the Lord with ease. But following Christ will cost, also.

Like when the winds at your back seemingly move to the front. They are pressing against you. Hitting your forehead like a freight train. It could be financial headwinds, job related, … family related. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance is, the headwinds of life can be brutal. Fatiguing. Eroding. In those moment’s you’ll struggle. You’ll ask, “Where’s God?” You’ll wonder. Wander.

Make a Decision to Follow Christ Your Whole Life

As a society we’ve lost the beauty of a life-long commitment. So often and so drastically important things like relationships and career changes often leaves us with doubt to trust something lasting forever. I think a lot of folks approach their life with Christ in the same way they do a natural relationship. They’re like, “If it’s good, great; if it’s not, then I’m out.”

It’s pretty soft really, to live with the back door wide open.

Over the past year of my own life I’ve encountered enough adverse currents and winds of change to shake even my most solid foundations. But one cornerstone remains through it all. I made a decision to follow Jesus Christ for my whole life. Do the same.

Pay the Tuition

Years, ago I was struggling with commitment. I sat with my father who encouraged me to not be afraid of the commitment. I’ve shared this story before, but there was another part to the story. He said, “Son, don’t be afraid of the commitment. Everything requires tuition.” At the time I was in college so I was crystal clear on what it meant to pay tuition. But now I realize everything in this life, that will put us where we want to be, will have a tuition payment to be made. You’ve got to invest. You’ve GOT to pay the price.

There’s too many people who don’t want to “pay” the coaching fees. They follow Christ for a while, but then for whatever reason they drop out. People fool themselves when they think that everything credible in the life of those they read about in scripture got there without incident, payment, or toll. And I am not talking about the cheddar. Or money. Or anything natural. There’s nothing about your salvation in Christ you’ve got to pay for or earn. In fact, Jesus paid it all. But pay the tuition to be who Christ saved you to be!

Go to the church. Do the worship. Learn the language. Pray the prayer. Study the bible. Be the person. That’s the price we pay!

Believe Much, Know Little

We live in the information age where knowledge is power. There are so many archeology things being discovered today confirming the claims and facts of the Bible. There’s never been more access to technology for faith, blogs to read, teachers who instruct, coaches who teach, and churches to go to. My struggle is often I think I don’t know enough. How about you?

You ever feel like you don’t know enough about all this information to matter? Here’s my take on it.

Believe more! Yes, take in more by faith than fact. I’m not suggesting avoid paying the tuition of study and research, but I am saying let your belief be released. If you are waiting to “know it all” before believing it all you’ll never follow Jesus wholeheartedly. There’s just too much to know!!! For the Holy Spirit’s task is to bring to remembrance all things. In that case, believe more, know less, and trust the Holy Spirit to teach you all things and bring to your mind what’s needed when it’s needed.

It’s Worth It

Following Christ is worth the cost of every battle fought. Challenge overcome. Struggle contested. Make a life-long decision. Pay the price. Believe more. In the adventure of life these few things can add an immense amount of pursuit to your love of Jesus. It’s worth it to pay the tuition.

As always, please share your thoughts below …

 

24 Marriage Tidbits Sure to Improve Any Relationship

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Melinda and I recently spoke at a marriage conference, and during one of our segments, we shared this list of 24 Marriage Tidbits. A nugget for each year we’ve been married.

  1. Love is not a feeling. Love is a commitment. Look at your ring and remember to take action, love is the result of action.
  2. Always answer the phone when it’s your spouse.
  3. Make laughter the music score of your marriage. Your marriage is a picture film and laughter is the soundtrack.
  4. Model the kind of marriage that makes sons want to be a husband, and daughters want to be a wife.
  5. Don’t go to bed angry. When you think about saying nothing or something mean, choose nothing.
  6. Learn from other couples. Resist the temptation to compare with those you learn from.
  7. Marriage is not 50/50; marriage is 100/100. Divorce is 50/50.
  8. Remove the word divorce from your vocabulary.
  9. You get what you give. When you give awesome, you get awesome.
  10. There is no “right way” to parent. We find the longer people parent, the less expertise they think they have.
  11. No secrets. No lies. Lies break trust. Secrets disrupt intimacy.
  12. Prioritize your intimacy. It takes more than sex to have great sex.
  13. You can’t change your spouse … only God can change people. Instead be the greatest encourager. Make certain you are wiping tears and not creating them.
  14. Keep the Trolls away by always wearing your wedding ring.
  15. Be in it for the long run. Forget what society says about marriage.
  16. Be the first to apologize. When you are wrong be quick as you can to ask for forgiveness, make it right and carry on.
  17. Set your conscience to live without offense toward your spouse. And if trust is broken offer forgiveness.
  18. Strong couples are usually comprised of one strong spouse and one not so strong spouse, at the exact same time.
  19. No dark humor. Sarcastic competitiveness will hurt feelings, always. And outing you’re spouse to friends or online is foolish.
  20. If it’s God today it will be God tomorrow. Not everything needs to be discussed tonight.
  21. Speak to the King in your man, and the Queen in your woman. The world treats them like fools everyday.
  22. Don’t feed the emotional leftovers to the one who loves you most. Give the TV dinners to the dogs in your life.
  23. Surround yourself with people who strengthen your marriage. Cut ties with those who don’t. Get connected in a faith community. No community is more pro-marriage than the local church!
  24. Use a lot of SALT: Solve. Advise. Listen. Talk. In communication tell our spouse exactly what you need. If you need a solution ask for it. If you need them to listen ask that confidently. That way, you don’t get advise you don’t want, or a just listening when you really need a solution.

A reporter asked a couple married 65 years, “How have you managed to stay married that long?” Her reply, “We were born in a time when, if something is broken you fix it, not throw it away.”

We’ve found this list to be great life lessons; ones that we use to keep our relationship strong. We hope you’ve found it be helpful, too.

Perhaps you have a marriage nugget or question? Please comment below.

FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE

Sailing crew on sailboat on regatta

First Day of Practice

I remember it like it was yesterday, my first day of practice. I played baseball, football, soccer, and basketball growing up. Every season began with that first day of practice. There are some valuable nuggets within every first day. I think these translate to every area of our lives like the marketplace, socially, and even spiritually.

Team chemistry begins the first day of practice.

Coaches and players must have introductions on the first day. Yes, some players will stand out more than others, but every player needs to know and trust their coach. I always met my coach on the first day.

Years ago I was subjected to training where people were put in a room from all over the country. We were together 60 hours and then the training was done. From the moment the weekend started we were intensely dependent on others. We went from complete strangers to very close friends.

If you are on a team you can’t hold back the “real you” for long. When you are not “you,” those near you won’t know how to take care of you. Great teams and projects are accomplished when the worth of the person next to you is greater than your own. This is why you must know your team on the first day.

If you are the project lead or the head volunteer, make sure every person on your team gets connected in some way. The longer we wait to know each other, the slower the progress is towards teamwork.

Run through some lite-drills.

The first day of practice was never too much. It was just enough to get the blood flowing and start working together. My coach never expected too much of us that first day, but he did expect us to try on every repetition.

Every project, volunteer team, or otherwise has repetitive tasks and systems to be displayed. Make sure the team knows these the first day. It’s not so much about perfecting them as trying to perfect them with every rep.

Assess Conditioning.

No matter how much I prepared for the first day of practice, it seemed there were some who did a little more or a little less than me to get ready. I know this because we were assessed.

If you are the coach, make sure to try the conditioning of your team on the first day. It is imperative to reveal the basics right out of the gate. Don’t compromise on the metaphorical wind-sprints when leading a team. What I am saying is, ‘get the team members a bit “gassed” on day one.’ It’s okay to deliver an excessive amount of action items toward the finish project on the first day, just to see where people are.

Beforehand, the coach must establish the expectations for the team. These are communicated on day one and then everyday there after, again and again, until they produce results. A good example of this are the slogans that are hidden at the end of locker rooms, just before teams run on the field. In Notre Dame Football, for example there’s a sign that reads, “Play like a Champion today.” Or over my Seattle Seahawks threshold, they take the field passing below a sign that reads “I’m In.” These are values.

Values are not suggestions and they are certainly not “cutesy sayings.” Values become the essence of every meeting, decision, and hour spent going toward the goal. A volunteer, business, or youth football team needs to know the values on day one.

Okay. It must be stated and restated to every team member and coach, “If we can do all these things above, and not lose focus we will be _______________.” I think of words like Champions, or the best. Bottom line is when you are leading a team it is the dream that keeps you alive.

Adversity will come. Setbacks are a part of the process. However the dream takes us past the obstacles, and over the hurdles. Keep the dream before your team!

I bet there are other applications for the first day that are out there. Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Nine More Thoughts About Vision for 2015

future

A vision should be visual and capture imagination

Real vision transforms people’s lives. It’s a picture of what life will look like after the encounter. What will this compelling vision mean to people the moment they encounter it? What will it mean in five years?

Use words when writing the vision that show this transformation. Unlock the essence of the vision by showing people how it will transform their life instead of telling them.

Vision should be focused on change

The purpose of vision is to take you from one place to where you dream of being. The key question for every entrepreneur, leader or pastor is where do you want to go? There are a lot of problems in the world to solve and vision can change those circumstances. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Vision should demand sacrifice

John Maxwell said, “If your vision does not cost you something, it’s only a daydream.”

You must be willing to pay the price for the vision. A great way to measure your willingness to see the vision come to pass is to account for what you’ve left behind in order to achieve the vision.

A vision should be communicated with contagious optimism

Visions are pictures of coming celebrations. They are pre-planned victory dances, parades, and celebrations. When thinking of your vision in its embryonic stage, remind yourself of the birthday parties ahead. Doing so will fill you with contagious optimism.

A vision should be personal

Vision is always personal. It will be for you. That’s a good thing. It’s always personal, every accolade and every unfair judgment is about the vision and the carrier.

A vision should be relentlessly stated and restated

Never tire of restating your vision. Celebrate it, underscore it; and then put lights up for everybody to see. The moment you think everybody knows your vision is the same moment to turn up the volume.

Vision should be personified by the vision holder

When people walk by you they should be reminded of the vision you possess. It will be tempting to remove yourself from the vision, especially as it gains momentum. Momentum often equals haters, so the temptation is to shield oneself. Resist this.

A vision should be a broad vista, not a detailed plan

Plans are to be the detail; visions are to be large strokes. Plans can confine and lack flexibility. They have a place for sure because every vision needs a plan. Make sure you know which document is leading.

A vision should be difficult—even impossible to achieve

If it is easily within your grasp, it is not a vision, it is a goal. A true vision should be so big and so grand that it is only possible if you pull everything and everyone together to achieve it. If you can do it yourself, it’s a goal. If it takes a community, or a team, it’s vision! Cast it big. And when you think it’s big, make it bigger.

There you have it, my nine more thoughts about vision for 2015. Did I miss anything or have a comment? Please share below …

It’s Time for 2015 Vision Preparation

time is now

 

A Vision Should Be Clear and Simple

I am continually reminded of a passage of scripture my mom would tell me throughout my high school and college years. It’s found in Habakkuk 2:2 and it reads,

write the vision, make it plain on tablets, so that the runner who reads it can carry the correct message.

Clear and simple doesn’t have to mean simpleton. Instead, clear and simple means easy to remember and evokes action. When I read the Bible verse above, I see a scene where a runner is running by and when he sees what is written; he can digest and remember the content to pass it on to those who must know of this vision.

Vision must be simple enough to be memorable and simple enough to be understood. It must, I repeat must, be able to be captured in one sentence. Obviously there’s much more to the vision than one sentence, but if the sentence is accurate, the vision will gain traction.

Here are some great examples of clear vision in one statement:

Non-Profit Example
A hunger-free America. – Feeding America
A World Free of MS. -National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Our vision is that people everywhere will share the power of a wish. – Make-A-Wish
We can end the water crisis in our lifetime by ensuring that every person on the planet has access to life’s most basic need—clean drinking water. – Charity Water

For-Profit Example
To make people happy. – Disney
To create a better everyday life for the many people. – Ikea
A computer on every desk and in every home; all running Microsoft software. –Microsoft

Personal Vision
I approach my vision every year a bit different. I pick a word, sometimes adding a slogan. I usually have decals made so I can put it up everywhere. The best resource to come up with a personal vision for the calendar year is this book titled, One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon.

As I am gearing up for 2015, my personal vision is built around Vitality. Look for a post in the coming weeks about why, but I can sum it up with this statement: I have realized the most important thing in the next stretch of my life is to remain vital.

How important to your business, church, non-profit, race team, and personal life is vision? Share your vision statements in the comments below. I’d love to support your effort and get behind what you’re doing in 2015.