Experiences Versus Things

Last week my wife and I took our nephew to Crater Lake.  During the school year he did a report on Crater Lake (complete with a presentation in front of the class) so it was fun to be there when he first laid his eyes on the subject of his study.  We all had a great time seeing the lake, taking a tour around the rim, and visiting the lodge and visitor center.  It was a very enjoyable shared experience that we will all remember for many years to come.

I love shared experiences where good lasting memories are made.  Not only does the experience make my life more rich and interesting, sharing the memories with the people who were also there is a great way to not only relive the experience, but to build connections and deepen relationships with those involved.

Isn’t that what life is about:  sharing experiences, creating memories, and building relationships with others?

Keep your eyes open for opportunities to have positive shared experiences with those closest to you and then take advantage of those opportunities.  By doing so you’ll be building relationships as well as memories.

Get on the Path

Ever since visiting the Grand Canyon in 2012, I’ve had this goal of doing the Rim to Rim hike.  It’s a hike from the North Rim of the canyon to the South Rim and is a very unique hiking experience with some beautiful scenery.  Many describe it as a bucket list item.  However, aside from wanting to do this hike, I haven’t taken much action to make it happen… until this week.

After talking about it with my wife we sat down, picked some dates and made reservations with a hiking outfitter to do the trip in 2017.  After I made my reservations, and paid my deposit (I had to commit money, so I’m all in!)  I felt great, because I had taken action that will cause this event to happen in 2017.  The part that was so interesting to me was how easy it was to just take action.

I often find myself researching or continuing to think about doing an activity, when instead, what I really need to do is take the step before me.  Put even more simply, I just need to take the action I know I need to take.

After I hit Submit on the on-line registration form, I wondered to myself why it had taken me so long to do this.  If it was that easy to get on the path to achieving this goal, imagine all the other goals I could achieve over a lifetime, if I just take action and get on the path.

How awful would it be to get to the end of life and wonder how different our things could have been if we had only had the courage to take initiative and get started on the path toward doing some things we really wanted to do?

Is there anything you’ve wanted to do, that you keep thinking about, but have yet to take action on?  If so, take action today.  Stick your neck out there and do something that commits you to getting on the path and seeing it through.

Answer the Call

Last Saturday, three friends and I completed a hike that has been on my list for a couple of years.

The hike was to remote Golden Lake in Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness.  About a mile beyond Golden Lake was a glacial tarn at the base of Broken Top that was the ultimate destination for me.  Ever since I first saw pictures of this tarn I have wanted to experience this beautiful setting for myself.  So last Saturday I finally did!  The beauty of this tarn was greater than I imagined.  It did not disappoint!

Glacial_Tarn

I think it’s important to have a list of goals we’d like to accomplish, whether they’re personal, professional, financial, physical, or any other type.  Life is more interesting when we have goals and take steps to make them happen.  Not only does it make life fun and exciting, it makes our world, as well as us, more interesting in the process.

Do you have any goals or activities you want to accomplish?  If so, take a step today that will move you closer to making it happen.  And once that goal has been achieved, set your sights on your next goal and take action on making it happen as well.

Your life is calling.  Will you answer?

You Are the Force

Let’s start this week’s post with a quick test:

  1. Who is ultimately responsible for the success of your relationships?
    1. Your friends
    2. Your parents
    3. Other people
    4. <Insert your name here>

 

  1. Who is ultimately responsible for your success at work or in your career?
    1. Your employer
    2. The customers
    3. Shareholders
    4. <Insert your name here>

 

  1. Who is/was ultimately responsible for your success in school?
    1. Your teachers
    2. The school administration
    3. The financial aid office
    4. <Insert your name here>

 

  1. What is the strongest force that will shape the quality of your life?
    1. Circumstances
    2. Fate
    3. Santa Clause
    4. <Insert your name here>

Now check your answers:

  1. 4
  2. 4
  3. 4
  4. 4

How’d you do?  Hopefully your test score revealed a strong understanding that you are the driving force behind any success in life you want to achieve.

Success will rarely come our way if we are of the mindset that other people should, or will, take the initiative for our success.  Success requires effort and a self-starting mindset on our part.  Does that mean we shouldn’t ask for help from others?  By all means, seek the assistance of people who can help! (And depending on your belief, don’t forget to ask for assistance through prayer too!)

What we shouldn’t do is sit back and wait for anyone other than yourselves to make something happen for you.  No one should be more motivated for your own success than you.

 

You Already Know

My wife has been traveling for work a lot lately, so she’s interesting in looking for tips to help her pack lighter or more efficient.  After she had looked up some tips on-line I asked her, “So what did you learn that you can start applying?”  Her response was, “Nothing I didn’t already know.”

That response got me thinking.  How many things do we already know we should be doing, that we aren’t?  My guess is that in the gap between where we are and where we want to be, we already know the steps we need to take to get there.  At a minimum, we usually know the specific step we should take right now.

The real question then becomes; what’s keeping us from doing what we already know we should be doing?  There are several potential reasons, such as:

  • Fear – of all sorts
  • Indecision
  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of focus
  • Laziness
  • Maybe we just don’t feel like putting forth the effort

So there we sit, where we’ve always been because we know what we need to do, but don’t do it.

Think about that.  When we already know what we need to be doing to achieve a desired outcome, and fail to act, the only thing standing between us and our goal… is us!

What do you already know you should be doing, that you currently aren’t?  Do you already know what you need to be doing in order to:

  • Improve a relationship
  • Get in better health/shape
  • Manage your finances better
  • Advance your career
  • Improve yourself intellectually or spiritually
  • Live the life you desire

If you answered, “Yes”, then starting today, get out of your own way and do what you already know you need to be doing.  You are not only the biggest obstacle to overcome in achieving your dreams; you are also the greatest force to bring them about.

Getting from Here to There

From the perspective of achieving your goals, getting from where you are to where you want to be can often feel overwhelming.  Especially if we’re unsure about the steps we need to take to get there.  The following visual exercise can be very helpful in gaining clarity on what we need to do to start moving forward.

First, make a write in where you are, and where you want to be, as shown below.

Step 1

Second, on the left side of the page, fill in what you currently have in the way of resources and things to work with and overcome.  This gives you a starting point.  On the right side of the page, note what you will have once you achieve your goal.  This will help provide motivation, clarity, and direction.

Step 2

Next, think of all the major tasks you need to take to get from where you are to where you want to be.  The list doesn’t even have to be in order, or 100% complete.  Just start thinking of all the tasks that you need to do and list them in the gap on the page between where you are and where you want to be.

Step 3

At this point we know where we are, where we want to be, and a bunch of tasks that need to be done to get there.  The next step is to number the tasks in the order we need to complete them.  This is where our action plan gets created.  When you’re done with this step, you should have a plan to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Step 4

Now, we come to the most important step in the process:  TAKE ACTION!  The best plan is useless until we take action toward implementing it.

Step5

If you’ve got a goal you’d like to achieve, but need a plan on how to achieve, try this simple exercise.  It will give you clarity on what needs to be done, and motivation to see what you’re moving toward.

Just remember that the most important thing you can do, once you’ve completed the plan, is take action.  Your goals are waiting.  Start today.