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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Developing a mindset to go from good to GREAT

Greatness (Photo credit: Sonel-SA)
Sometimes in order to be great, you've got to leave some good things behind.

You must choose
How you spend your time. If you're at the swimming pool, you can't go to Disney. You can't inhabit two spaces at the same time. You choose.

How you spend your money. If you spend $1,000 a month at Wal-mart buying tupperware and coffee cups, you can't save that money for a cruise. You have to choose.

Sometimes you have lots of good choices.
If you're one of those gutsy talented people out there - your problem isn't going to be "what do I do?" but "which do I do?"

You'll have to choose between good and great. 
Why be good if you can be great? Why do good things if you can do great things? Good just isn't good enough. You have a life to live. You can do stuff or you can do something really important and meaningful.

Will your legacy be heirlooms or "stuff"?

Thinking of the end of my life. Will they go through my closets and find stuff? Will they find heirlooms? Will my work mean anything to anyone else?

I want my life to be full of heirlooms. Treasured, beautiful things polished with care that help others.

When does great become just good?

Sometimes we do something great but when we've done it for the tenth or fifteenth time, it isn't great anymore. In fact, we wonder if it is even good.

Ruts are the enemy of greatness. Greatness blazes new trails, it doesn't get stuck in old ones.
I admit that I was scared to go to South Africa by myself with Microsoft
invited me to cover their Microsoft Innovative Educators
international conference. I went anyway and had one of
the most memorable experiences of my life!

Fear is a liar.

Fear is the enemy of greatness. Fear tells you that you'd better stay where you are. Where you are is safe. Where you are is known. Where you are is where you are and you can stay there and be comfortable.

But Fear is a liar. Fear won't remind you that in nature and life that every living thing is either growing or dying. There is no in between. Fear won't tell you that the human brain really enjoys doing new things. Fear will whisper lies into your ears at night when you wrestle with your dreams.

Fear will tell you that you'll look back and regret the decision. Fear will lie. It will tell you that you're not good enough and the opportunity isn't good enough for you at the same time.
Fear will lie to you. Great paths are often fraught with uncertainty.

Seek wisdom

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14

I'm not talking about seeking sympathy here. Find those one or two people close to you who love you. Seek their advice. I have wise counselors and wise words in the Bible that advise every move. If I don't have any wise words from my counselors, I''ll sometimes wait until it is a bit more clear. Being bold doesn't mean being stupid. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.

Don't look for happiness in people

Happiness can't be found in the eyes or arms of another. It is a grave mistake to think another person can complete you. It doesn't work that way. Love is fantastic, fun and wonderful. But after 20 years in a fantastic marriage to the man of my dreams, I've learned that love is a decision. I've learned that Kip won't make me happy. If I'm not happy, no one can make me happy.

Sometimes people considering going from good to great want to blame others. They mistakenly think if they can just sever this relationship and move to another one that they'll be happier. People don't make you happy.

That said, if there are negative people in your life that you can move away from, your soul will enjoy the fresh air.

Greatness doesn't mean good things will always happen.

The avoidance of pain and heartache is the goal of some. They think if they can just settle in the land of good that nothing bad will happen. Whatever path you choose, it will have good and bad. that is life. This is earth, not heaven, that is what it is called earth. Things stink here sometimes. Bad things happen to good people.

But since you know bad things (and good things) WILL happen. Not fulfilling your purpose while you're here, to me, is the worst thing that could happen. Settling for good will always keep you from your purpose. You are made for a reason and that reason is to be GREAT. Settling in the land of the good can keep you from great. You must choose this day whom you will serve and you can't serve everyone and serve up greatness.

Examine your life for the good and the great

Armed with my pen and journal, lists and logic fill pages as I seek to discern what is good and what is great in my own life.

Great doesn't happen by accident. It takes decisionmaking. Sacrifice. Wise advice. A face set like flint and an indefatigable heart.

As you spend this summer. Examine where you're heading. If you're facing north, you'll head north.

Don't stand in New York and head north and wonder why you don't end up in Hawaii.

Be intentional about your life, what you love, and how you LIVE.

Choose greatness but don't expect applause.
Choose greatness but realize that you'll be lucky to have the time to wipe the sweat off your brow.
Choose greatness but realize that you have to say "no" to some good things.
Choose greatness but be careful not to define greatness in the eyes of the fickle masses.
Choose greatness but know that great isn't often recognized until you're done. Enjoy the journey.
Choose greatness. It is what you were born to do.

Too many of us settle in the land of the good. We should pack our bags and move across the river and become great. It might not be as far away as you think.
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