Two Great Grammy Reminders

In the chunk of time I spent watching the Grammys last night, there were plenty of powerful, poignant messages. Two more subtle statements were made, though, that I wanted to share as a Motivational Monday.

  1. The importance of being able to laugh at ourselves
    John Travolta may never live down his terrible pronunciation of Idina Menzel’s name, but last night he showed the importance of being able to laugh at ourselves when we make mistakes. He cracked multiple jokes in reference to the Oscar fail and even pulled out a written script to make sure he could read his lines. People loved it.It’s easy to get caught up in trying to make ever effort a perfect one, but the odds of that actually happening are slim-to-none. Every once and a while we’ve got to be able to let it roll off our back and learn from the experience.
  2. Success doesn’t happen overnight
    In her acceptance speech for Best Country Solo Performance, Maren Morris talked about how she went to Grammy Camp 10 years ago and was now amazed to find herself on stage. TEN YEARS!I’ll be the first to admit I often want results much faster than they can realistically happen. Hearing Maren’s comment reminded me that, if I want to reach high levels of success, it’s going to take an untold number of hours, and ton of dedication and (probably) a large number of sacrifices to bring it to fruition.

Seasons of Hustle

One of the difficult things to navigate in life is keeping balance when we’ve entered a new season. Understanding when to step on the gas and when to shift our focus is critical to making sure we don’t lose sight of what’s really important.

What’s Next?

Many times, our default question for conversation is “What’s next?” or some variation of it — we have a natural tendency to steer toward the future when talking to others.

I’ve found this question can put people on the spot, though, and realized that learning about their past can be just as effective in developing my relationship with them.

How to Know You’re On To Something

When we start new habits with the goal of becoming more disciplined, people will typically respond in a few ways:

“Wow, you’re crazy! I could never do that…”

“I don’t know how you do that every day…”

“I don’t have enough self control to do that…”

What we do when we’re disciplined will seem counter cultural and people will think it a rare talent or gift. The truth is, we were the same way until we started this new routine…

Only paying for things with cash to stay on budget. Waking up at 5:00am to exercise. Not having dessert at dinner parties. Paying off a mortgage early.

Doing anything with dedicated consistency will cause people to notice. That’s how you know you’re on to something.

Verbalize Your Dreams

Sharing our dreams with people has the potential to create massive amounts of self-doubt.

There’s a fear of rejection, a fear of ridicule, a fear of having to actually start now that we know people will check in on our progress. It’s intimidating.

But our dreams are supposed to lift us up and give us something to hope for. Which makes it all the more sad that we tend to suppress our dreams for fear that they “may never come to fruition” or have a chance of “actually” happening. This is a crazy irony that won’t help us accomplish any dream — ever.

Yes – when you verbalize your dreams you’ll inevitably run into people that try to cast a negative light. But you’re also going to run into people that say, “Hey, I know this guy that can help you with that exact thing. Let me connect you two.” And that’s where the magic sauce starts to come together.

So what it is you want to start?

What do you want to accomplish?

Who do you want to impact?

You don’t have to have it all mapped out (it’s not going to go as planned, anyway), you just have to admit that that’s what you want to do.

Personally, my entrepreneurial dream is to be a public speaker. I want to share a message with people that living with greater self-discipline in our lives actually creates more freedom. The reason I started blogging was to help foster and streamline those thoughts and ideas. Now I have to turn it into a cohesive spoken message that I can share and then convince someone to let me speak to their group(!).

It’s intimidating. I’m not totally sure of what I’m doing. But it’s my dream and my passion, and the satisfaction of pursuing my dream outweighs the regret of sitting in complacency.

So really – what is it you want start, or change or accomplish? Verbalize it! I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Why Discipline Matters

We’re in debt.

We’re overweight.

We’re discontent.

Our relationships don’t last.

Yet the world continues to preach “do what you want when you want”; that the ultimate freedom is in living with a nearly reckless abandon.

But what if that’s not working for us? What if we decided to try the opposite?

We would have to think about why discipline matters and believe that freedom is actually found in living with greater self-control and self-discipline.

On the surface, this seems completely counter-intuitive: constrict or constrain what it is I do on a daily basis in order to do more?

Yes.

If we lived on a budget, we wouldn’t be in debt.

If we exercised and ate well, we’d be in better health.

If we stopped comparing what we have to what “everyone” on social media has, we’d realize we’re probably in pretty good shape.

If we kept our eyes focused on our marriages and families and made dedicated efforts to invest in those people, we would be more fulfilled than ever before.

These are the opportunities that discipline provides for us. This can be our world when we take time to sit down, set goals, have honest internal dialogue about what’s important to us and start taking responsibility for our actions.

2 Tim 1:7 tells us that “God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” We were made to live with self-control. We can do this!

Is it easy? Absolutely not. Donuts are delicious (yet unhealthy). Last-minute outings with our friends are too good to pass up (and weren’t in the budget). But if our waist lines and our wallets become stretched by our normal decision making, we really ought to say “no”. But it takes discipline.

The truth is, deep down, we all know this stuff. The hard part is recognizing it, admitting it and doing something about it.

Discipline matters and makes all the difference.

On Starting Your Own Business

One of the coolest things about our continual surge in technological advancements is the effect it has on starting your own business.

Two and half years ago, my wife knew she could make money as a hand letterer. With the purchase of a $300 computer and a 20 cent listing fee on Etsy, she had an e-commerce store all set up (enter Staples button saying “that was easy”).

Our grandparents couldn’t quite grasp how that was possible. Our parents were supportive, but definitely showed a little apprehension as to how it would all play out. Our friends thought it was awesome and were almost instantly jealous.

No, it didn’t turn into a full-time job overnight, but the fact of the matter is she was able to start it literally overnight.

That’s never been possible until now – and it’s awesome.

The key is to strip down the grandiose idea to its bare essentials and find out what it’ll take to start. Odds are good, you won’t have to lay too much cash out upfront. Handicapping yourself with debt to get the ball rolling is not an ideal situation.

So start simple. Make a few bucks. Do the same thing again. Make a few more bucks. Then begin to implement steps to build something bigger.