Posts Tagged ‘laughter’

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 7: PLAY

May 16, 2018

(Originally written 9/20/14. My grandson is almost 7 now, and STILL teaching me about the value of play, of complete abandonment into the moment, and the tremendous satisfaction of those kinds of relationships!)

Play is priority. Play is primary.

I learned this from my 3-year-old grandson.

I am 62, but looking back, it is almost as if the first 55 years were in black and white. Then I began to get hold of some teachings about manhood and how men were created and designed, and a light bulb went on. It was like (as I mentioned in Legacy 4) color TV had come on the scene. I was fascinated.

But the past 2 years with this child (“a little child shall lead them”) have taught me the intense value of play. Animals learn how to survive by playing. Children do too.

We spend vast amounts of money on play and recreation: sports, vacations, even gaming and gambling, to the point of addiction and self-destruction—I knew a lady who let her marriage go down the tubes playing games like Atari and Nintendo. People take play seriously, and even get seriously overcommitted to it sometimes.

And that defeats the whole purpose of play. Play is intended to be recreational—RE-creating, as it were, renewing and restoring balance in our lives. Laughter has been proven to be healing. We don’t laugh enough. We don’t play enough, in the best sense of what it means to play. Our society is too serious. Looking back, I think when my father committed suicide at age 3, I shut play down. And for whatever reasons, most of us don’t know how to be playful, to simply enjoy life’s moments. Here and there we do, but many times we miss that joie de vivre, the utterly captivating joy that life can be. Even some commercials on TV are an attempt to re-capture that playfulness.

So how do we play effectively? How do we learn to play in ways that are refreshing and life-giving?

  • EXPERIENCE TOTAL ABANDON. I watch my grandson, and he is rapt in the moment. Nothing else matters: He whispers, “STOP!” and holds his arms out. Danger ahead! Some dragon or bad guy. He is into it on all cylinders. Sometimes when he jumps into our arms off the sofa or bed, we are not ready for him. He trusts with total abandon. Life is all in the moment.
  • FORGET THE COST. Play doesn’t have to be costly. Some of the best play times have cost nothing. One of my most memorable summers with my kids was a series of day trips to waterfalls, mountains, play areas. But if cost IS involved, don’t let cost be the focus. Spend what it takes gladly and willingly—but make the moments memorable. They only happen once.
  • LET OTHERS HELP YOU. Play is not solitary. It is meant to be shared. Treasure other people who are playful, and learn from them. Enjoy the gifts people are, just in who they are.

Play can be rewarding beyond measure. It can even be financially rewarding. Entrepreneurs who tap into play-fullness are fortunate in more ways than one!