“I’m trying to get like you!” “Yo, you are living your best life.” “Price just went up!”
Let’s be honest.
We’ve all said something like this at least once over the last year. If not, we at least thought it – most always with good intent. Currently in my life’s journey, it seems like everyone I ever met is balling out, pursuing their dreams, and securing the bag. Full-time promotions, grad school acceptances AND graduations, and romantic relationships evolving into marriages. Literally, we are all shaking and moving as we try to make the world a better place.
Celebrating our accomplishments and uplifting each other is extremely important and almost necessary in 2018. During a time when cyberbullying, harassment, and discrimination have become commonplace, it is important we recognize and show appreciation for not only each other’s journey, but the destination as well.
But I’d be lying if I said this was easy for me to practice.
Over the last couple months, I’ve come a long way with becoming my whole self through Tim’s 10%, but I’m still at an 8 out of 10. More recently, I have struggled with staying focused on Tim’s gifts and calling because I find myself comparing my journey to those around me. Most days, I know I am living out one of my dream jobs at the NCAA. Other days, I feel like I am “just an intern.” A majority of the time, I believe I have a tight village who are all committed to pushing each other forward. But every now and then, it feels like no one cares to ask how I am doing nor wants to invest in my growth and development.
After three weeks of work travel and a weekend back home in Cincinnati, I discovered the roots of my frustration: my focus and my friends.
I recently watched a sermon and Pastor Michael Todd emphasized how you cannot have goals if you aren’t aiming towards something. He also spoke about the danger of evaluating your success based on the present culture, a shifting set of norms that is dictated by people, not God. I realized that my frustration and anger was because I was focusing on a compounded definition of “success” articulated by people who are “for the culture.” I didn’t believe I was successful because I was focusing on how my peers were celebrating their full-time positions in international destinations, rather than maximizing my experience in Indianapolis as an NCAA staff member. I didn’t view my current destination as a success because I stopped honoring a place that I spent weeks and months praying for.
Don’t get it twisted.
I absolutely love my role and my co-workers and I am beginning to fall in love with Indy. However, I got caught up celebrating my journey, and ignored my current destination.
I did not show appreciation for a role that grants me the opportunity to travel and help organize programs for student-athletes, coaches, and administrators to evolve as change agents in college sport. Since starting in June, I’ve connected with transformational leaders while in Washington D.C., Charlottesville, Phoenix, and San Diego. While away, I learned more about myself and my relationships with others. After moving to Indianapolis and traveling for work, I learned that I did not always have healthy support systems in place to receive the peace I had been praying for. I learned that I failed to align myself with people whose thoughts and behaviors were congruent and echoed what God had spoken over my life. Values congruent leadership is cute. Value congruent relationships are sexy. And to begin re-living a values-congruent and purpose driven life, I had to shift my focus back to my purpose and dissolve relationships that were not adding value.
I decided to write this blog because I want others to know that perception is not always reality and that even when we struggle, we always bounce back stronger.
I started this blog two years ago because I wanted to share my insight on how to identify your passions, inspire vision, and walk in purpose. What I did not know back then, is that I would only be vessel for sharing information that I’ve learned while in relationship with others. I’ve been struggling the last few weeks because in the midst of celebrating myself and others, I failed to ask for help. I am resilient and still in the process of getting stronger, smarter, and wiser. I have learned it is imperative to focus on what I think, hear, and say, both internally and externally. I’ve also learned the importance of taking inventory of relationships, because what I used to acknowledge as celebration and comfort was actually masked as chaos and distraction. Most importantly, I learned that the title others give me will never be greater than the one I give myself.
The last several weeks have been life changing because it’s changing the way I live my life. I am learning how to communicate with peace, listen with grace, and lead with love. God has placed me in Indianapolis this year and it is important I continue to actively seek Him, while in Circle City, so that I do not miss the significance of this season.
As we continue to grow together, I encourage us to reflect on the following:
- What does alignment look like in your life?
- Who is your support system that protects and sustains your peace? How do you know?
- What is one area of your life that you’re working to balance? Who will help keep you accountable?
Regardless of where you are in YOUR process, I write to remind you to sharpen your focus, refine your friends, and to ask for help when needed.
Now, how do I honor one’s success without evaluating where I am in my process?!
Tell the person “I am proud of you.” Then look in a reflective surface and say, “I’m proud of you too.”
Encourage somebody to be great today!