The Intersection of Passion and Vision

Last month, I delivered a speech entitled “Visionary Leader” at my local Toastmaster club. The purpose of the speech was to challenge the members to assess their vision barometer. Here are some engaging questions I asked the audience – can you see greatness in the future of your professional career; can you imagine the possibility of doing better; or could you develop ways to plan your destiny?

 

I began the speech by defining the word ‘vision’ – the ability or an instance of great perception, especially of future development. The act or power of sensing with the eyes.

 

Next, I illustrated what Visionary Leaders are – and are not! Let’s start with the qualities that are not becoming of a Visionary Leader:

 

  • Lovers of preserving the ‘Status Quo”
  • Individuals who are stuck in the past or have a “we’ve always done it this way” mindset
  • Generation excluders
  • Present day Managers

 

Now let’s look at the qualities of a Visionary Leader:

 

  • Individuals who pushes the envelope or address new creative ideas
  • Advocators who see it, say it, and show it
  • Those who see invisible futures
  • Futuristic builders

 

Days after the speech I took a moment to examine the intersection of vision and passion. Passion of course is defined as any powerful or compelling emotion of feeling. Hhmmm, the two words seems to connect with a common word – “power.” Such an interesting way to view the two words:

 

Passion – the power to thirst

Vision – the power to grasp

 

Do you possess a sensible appetite to thirst for something (passion)? Do you possess a sensible appetite to grasp for greatness (vision)? If you answer yes to both questions and find a need (or power) to do so, then your passion and vision intersects! Take a moment to view the illustration below.

 

Let go people and do some good!

Image

 

 

The Anatomy of Your Actions

Every day, we find ways to move about and get things done. Ordinary things like waking up to go to work in the morning, to helping your child with homework in the evening – we carefully calculate each step of our actions. When we attempt to link our true God-given purpose and mundane actions, the balancing of the two can be challenging. I believe there is an occasional need to examine the skeletal anatomy of one’s action. Let’s take a closer look shall we…

The Head of your Action
The late CBS news correspondent Andy Rooney said this and I quote, “The easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am” – end quote. I’ve often heard that ‘if you surround yourself with a crowd, behave like the crowd, talk like the crowd, you get no further from crowd!’ Advancing yourself to grow requires a head-strong decision to pursue higher learning. Until you expose yourself to something better or different, your current actions will always be kept caged in the current life you live today.

The Shoulders of your Action
“Responsibilities gravitate to the man who can shoulder them and the power to him who knows how” – Elbert Hubbard (20th Century American editor, publisher, and writer). As a mentor to a several young men and an uncle of many nieces and nephews, I often think about my decisions. These self-made decisions I make for my life can and will have some impact on their lives! This philosophy holds true to parents, grandparents and adult guardians. Workplace managers too will have to make decisions for the direction of the company – their decisions will also have an impact to motivate other workers.

The Spine of your Action
Country Star Singer and Actress Reba McEntire said this and I quote, “To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone! – end quote.” Making solid decisions has direct ties to your ethics/character profile.

The Legs of your Action
“If God breaks your leg, He’ll teach you how to limp.” African [Ghana] Proverb. This is where you carry forth your decisions and moving them into action. For example: To lead a lethargic horse, a racing jockey has to influence the behavior of the horse by the motion and movement of their legs. Here are some theories for the race jockey:

1) Leg actions are to create impulsion – when to firmly squeeze/un-squeeze onto the abdomen and flank of the horse
2) Leg actions are to lead the horse – how to slightly bend your legs on the girth to balance for speed of the horse
3) Leg actions are to ask for specific task – developing a personal code between you and the horse
4) Leg actions are to frame and reassure the horse – like how a guitar is strum, the jockey’s repetitious pattern onto the frame of the horse gives directions to go left, right, slow or fast

So by connecting all of these progressive skeletal parts, we can provide a greater sense of becoming more purposeful in our actions.

Let’s go people and do some good!

Secret Ingredients to Launch Your Life’s Purpose!

Some people throughout their life on Earth will discover various tactical ways to bring their life’s purpose into reality. Everyday thousands of upstart businesses are birthed or commissioned for business. The first days/weeks/or months of operating in your ‘purpose’ may feel like a ‘honeymoon’ phase. Everybody will join in the celebration of your achievement, recognition and praise will soon follow, and people from unknown places will come to lend support. Then all of a sudden the strong winds of reality will set in – this is the ‘marriage’ phase of the vision. You’ll have ups and downs – yea-players versus naysayers – highs and lows – increase in revenue and decrease in sales.

Whatever you are purposed to do, these homemade ingredients will help you become an achiever!

     1.   Life Purpose Ingredient #1 – Learn from the Experts!

One movie [I believe] that perfectly demonstrates how to learn from an expert is the 1984 filming of “The Karate Kid.” This movie depicts a teenager who has a desire to become a professional martial artist. It took a level of tolerance and patience for the young teenager to achieve great results and self-fulfillment. Today, I’m going through an apprenticeship training with my mission director – learning all what I can to lead small teams on international mission tours each year. 

  1. Life Purpose Ingredient #2 – Conduct Self Assessments

From time-to-time it’s good to evaluate yourself or look inward and assess your on-going strategies. This process may prompt you to re-calibrate your goals and review the methods by which you hope to gain measurable satisfaction. Ideally, pray and ask for guidance so that your motives should always be genuine and not self-centered. 

  1. Life Purpose Ingredient #3 – Have a Preparedness Plan

At all times, be prepared to face various obstacles along the way. Stephen King, an American author of contemporary horror/science fiction was quoted saying “there’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.” In all business affairs that I invest into, I try to look beyond ‘today’ and ask myself ‘what if.’ In the final report of the National Commission on 9/11 Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, the committee was quoted saying that our very own intelligence agencies ‘lacked imagination.’ Who could’ve imaged such a terrible plot that unfolded the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001? I didn’t mean too negative on this ingredient, but you get the point…  

  1. Life Purpose Ingredient #4 – Focus on the People

Be a great listener – Move away from focusing on ‘self’ and draw closer to the interest of ‘people.’ Successful businesses constantly read through individual market studies, consumer behaviors and buying trends, and focus groups. This vital assessment is compiled to deliver the best product or service to a targeted audience.  

  1. Life Purpose Ingredient #5 – Become a Servant Leader

A person who has a vision or purpose to do something requires constructive responses and reaction from others. Relationship building is necessary for your life’s purpose to flourish. The benefit of leadership growth comes from serving others. One of the best examples of this comes from Super Storm Sandy that occurred in the fall of 2012. After many New England communities suffered tremendous storm damage, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie led the way in making sure adequate life-saving resources reached his constituents. He was able to orchestrate and implement the local and state emergency management teams to provide relief and medical assistance to those in need. He also requested help from the Federal government and large-based corporations to participate by donating, sending in-kind items, and mobilizing heavy transport equipment and machinery to clear and correct thoroughfares within effected communities. He was fully interlaced within the purpose of his life to do well by his fellow man.

So by using these ingredients, you too can see your life’s purpose expand beyond your own dreams!

Let’s go people and do some good!

Are You a Pioneer or Settler?

Several years ago this question sparked instant reaction during an evening church revival in suburban Atlanta.  The emotionally stirred inquiry was in fact the sermon topic prepared by Minister Ben Lang of Cornerstone Baptist Church.  Minister Lang with a thunderously pitch defined the word “pioneers” as a group of adventurous trailblazers who’ll discover a new region to enjoy and make a way for others.  He then downplayed the word “settlers” in a dull-monotone voice… a group of people simply occupying a new country or specific area.  That’s IT for the settlers…to simply occupy a specific area.

The main point of the sermon was to motivate and ignite the audience to use their God-given abilities.  Years later, I still remember key elements of that sermon.  Here goes…

A Settler’s Mentality

We were made in His image – His creative design was for us to serve and worship Him.  He has given us unique gifting abilities to use.  And these explorative gifts propel us to create constructive ideas and innovation that could be beneficial for others.  Sadly, some of our dear friends may never launch their pioneer-game planning ideas.  Instead, they remain comfortable where they are; never having the desire to launch out on their ideas and thus becoming a settler.  Just the other day, I passed through an apartment complex that probably contains – let say – 30 units.  What struck me was the image of multiple satellite dishes mounted at each apartment unit – appearing to look like a string of humongous grey ornamented Christmas lights perfectly aligned near the roof of each unit.  I began to methodically calculate the hours each home would spend watching television.  After coming up with my own hypothesis, I then said to myself…”if one had all that time to watch television, could that same amount of time be spent doing something more productive?”  This could also be said of those watching television in suburban homes too!

South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and former politician Nelson Mandela said “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

A Pioneer’s Mentality

As I said early, God made us in His image and has gifted us with ability to further empower ourselves and those around us.  Pioneers know just how to get the job done even if their goals resulted in success or failure.  The qualities of these individuals are striking:

1)      They are continuous learners and are very creative

2)      They are interested in human development and studying psychosocial theories

3)      They often challenge and critique themselves

4)      They quest for resolutions and achievements

5)      They enjoy new opportunities and study different cultures

Individuals with a desire to ‘change the way we live’ spend an enormous amount of time in isolation.  That isolation prevents them from becoming too settled in their ways.

The late three-time Formula One World Champion Ayrton Senna said this: “I continuously go further and further learning about my own limitations, my body limitation, psychological limitations.  It’s a way of life for me.”

So often these days, I question myself – Am I a Pioneer or Settler?  Do I find myself like a pool of stagnated water with no signs of rippled movement in my life?  Or do I need to re-evaluate the things I’m gifted to do in life?  Whatever the case, the road to your purpose in life requires some investigating.

Let’s go people and do some good!

Embracing Your Life Purpose

Be honest with yourself…no one is watching while you read this.  Do you find it challenging to cultivate your life’s purpose?  Did you doubt yourself the moment you discovered your newly found purpose?  Do you get frustrated when everyone around you is acting out on their life’s purpose and you’re still making attempts to fine-tune yours?

No worries…your purpose in life is already here or just on the horizon; just learn to embrace it!

As a business strategist/therapist, I gleefully hear the enthusiasm of an individual’s new business concept and shortly within the same conversation; they become unenthused when their ideas are faced with perceived obstacles.  Most often, people will point to the main obstacle – that is of course “money.”  But the real obstacle could be the person with the purposeful idea!

Imagine yourself driving pass a large cemetery and viewing the beautiful manicured gravesites, properly spaced tombstones adorned with vibrant flowers and statuette mausoleums.  I’m sure the many buried folks out there had a purpose to produce wonderful inventions or could’ve made a difference in the lives of many.  Problem is most took their unspent purposed driven ideas with them!  You on-the-other-hand have the ability to start today!

Everyday, new business ideas or concepts are meant to produce a response from others (another name for others is ‘consumers’).  Infomercials are prime examples of promoting new ideas.  As weird as those products may look on TV, people will buy into that idea!  From exercise workout videos, to kitchen equipment, and/or faux jewelry, it’s all about trying to make people feel good or satisfied.

While profitable institutions attempt to pitch their idea [product] to anyone who’ll listen, goodwill organizations will pitch their idea [purpose] to build a movement.  The strategy is simple, embrace what you believe in, know what you’re destined to do [your purpose] and put it out there.  You may not have the courage to broadcast your purpose in life to the whole wide-world, but it may be enough to impact your environment or community.

In the best seller book, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, he writes “God has given you a Life Message to share.  Your Life Message includes sharing your Godly passions.  It maybe a passion about a problem, a purpose, a principle, or a group of people.”

Think about the positive impact you’ll deliver to the hundreds, thousands, or millions if you take the risk to embrace your purpose and share it.  Now think about that sizable impact on others if you decide not to embrace your purpose….any questions?

Are you now ready to Embrace your Purpose?  Wonderful! Let’s go people and do some good!