Posts Tagged ‘John Maxwell’

LEGACY 18: NOT Being AVERAGE

June 3, 2018

I think I found the point to the question my son raised about mm blogpost NOT FITTING THE MOLD, the question of what my point really was. My point was, and is, that I CHOOSE NOT to be AVERAGE. Gary M. (“Not Fitting the Mold”) is admirable to me in that respect.

Sometimes, we figure out what we want by realizing what we DON’T want.

Ironically, I found this answer become clear while reading an assignment for a mastermind group on Growth I’m in. (The entire quote is below, so you can read it if you like.)

I value differences (see my blogpost on Quirks), especially those which propel us to greatness, even if that greatness is not seen by many, or even not seen at all. Being extra-ordinary, “other than ordinary”, is great in multiple senses of the word. It is great in the common sense of “That’s great!” But it is also great in that it elevates us in the eyes of others (when seen) and elevates us in our sense of being significant whether seen or no. It creates its own grandeur.

Extraordinary is right. Extraordinary is good. Extraordinary is what brings change and growth and life and laughter and love. And being extraordinary requires a choice. It sometimes requires work, and sometimes requires swimming upstream.

My life has been very different than most. I would not trade that for anything. Being NOT AVERAGE in a great way is what I choose for my legacy. I choose being extra-ordinary.

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“Average” is what the failures claim to be when their family and friends ask them why they are not more          successful.

“Average” is the top of the bottom, the best of the worst, the bottom of the top, the worst of the best. Which of these are you?

“Average” means being run-of-the-mill, mediocre, insignificant, an also-ran, a nonentity.

Being “average” is the lazy person’s cop-out; it’s lacking the guts to take a stand in life; it’s living by default.

Being “average” is to take up space for no purpose; to take the trip through life, but never to pay the fare; to return no interest on God’s investment in you.

Being “average” is to pass one’s life away with time, rather than to pass one’s time away with life; it’s to kill time, rather than to work it to death.

To be “average” is to be forgotten once you pass from this life. The successful are remembered for their contributions; the failures are remembered because they tried; but the “average,” the silent majority, is just forgotten.

To be “average” is to commit the greatest crime one can against one’s self, humanity, and one’s God. The saddest epitaph is this: “Here lies Mr. and Ms. Average—here lies the remains of what might have been, except for their belief that they were only “average.”

–Edmund Gaudet, as quoted in Chapter 10, “The Law of the Rubber Band: Growth Stops When You Lose the Tension Between Where You Are and Where You Could Be,” THE 15 INVALUABLE LAWS OF GROWTH by John Maxwell (Hachette Book Group, 2012)

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LEGACY 16: The Value of Focus

May 29, 2018

(Originally written 10/12/15, but reading back through it, it reads like today, except for a few of the specifics being updated! I am at the point of revisiting my focus, re-focusing. Part of that has been a mastermind group on John Maxwell’s THE 15 INVALUABLE LAWS OF GROWTH: Live Them and Reach Your Potential.

Interestingly, though, as our company, Easley Electric Inc., celebrates 25 years of existence this month, I find that over the course of my life, I’ve been more focused in the long view than I had realized–45 years doing electrical work, 41 years being a licensed master electrician, 29 years in business with 25 of it full-time under the incorporated name, 5 years in a BNI chapter). And in marriage, I’ve been very focused also–one marriage of 25 years, ending in death of my spouse [I’d still be married to her, I believe, if she had lived], and coming on 19 years in the second. I like how Eugene Peterson, author of THE MESSAGE paraphrase of the Bible, titled his autobiography of his journey, using a phrase from Nietzsche: “a long obedience in the same direction.” The context reads

The essential thing “in heaven and in earth” is, apparently (to repeat it once more), that there should be long obedience in the same direction, there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living; for instance, virtue, art, music, dancing, reason, spirituality– …

So I guess, there is focus and there is focus. My life has been worth living. And that would be a legacy I could wish for everyone.

This is the last of the blogs on Legacy I’d written 3-4 years ago. Stay tuned for a new direction tomorrow!)

I have lost my focus. Again. It’s been exactly a year since I finished 13 blog writings in less than a month. In that intervening time, I’ve written 2, 1 in March, 1 in May.

Maybe I should say I had different focuses, other focuses. I decided to try to become a Life Coach in January this year, so I was devoting a lot of time to that. We were engulfed in a custody battle for our grandson that ended (abruptly and badly) in May. I was depressed after that. I tried doing a website for a tangent to the coaching (assessments), and that was a fiasco. Legacy was not even on my radar.

I was brought back by reading the section in Donald S. Whitney’s SIMPLIFY YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE: SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES FOR THE OVERWHELMED, the section on “Simplifying and Your Journal.” I was reminded of the legacy we need to work on consciously leaving. So here I am, back at it.

I’m getting some coaching myself, as well as coaching one guy, so I’m realizing the value of focus. I am re-committed to building the business in a more focused way.

Focus is key. Focus is primary. Focus is central.

Focus is critical. Critical to success. Critical to leaving a legacy.

Focus is a mindset. Focus requires perseverance, realignment, elimination, simplification. Focus requires focus.

Yes, that’s a circularity. (Maybe that’s not strictly the meaning in the discipline of logic, but it makes sense to me.) Focus begets focus. Focus encourages focus. Finding focus, ironically, encourages focus.

But it’s so easy to get off track. Life happens. Emotions waylay us, and we cave in to them. Situations arise, and we focus on them, and lose the bigger focus.

How do we stay on focus?

We keep coming back to it. We revisit it. We re-focus.

We remember. We remember being focused, the clarity, the sense of purpose, the rewards of being focused.

So here I am again.

Focusing.

And that’s enough for tonight. More tomorrow.