A few months ago, our church’s new youth pastor played charades with the high school students. One of the clues was to act like me. I’ve had several stints with our student ministry so they’ve gotten to know my idiosycrancies.
One gal held up a cell phone, put a coffee cup in her and said “hey, yeah Tarina (my wife), I’m at Qdoba”. Hilarious.
Some high school freshmen barked out my go to sayings from when I coached them in basketball. One even ripped up some white paper and put it in his hair so his hair color matched mine. Brilliant.
But it got me thinking- what are those rules I live by? What are those sayings, axioms, and clichés that guide your life? Here's four of mine.
You have to put the time in
Whatever you want to get better at, you need to put the time in. Athletics. Music. Academics. Work. Relationships. Writing. Teaching. There are no short cuts to success. There’s no life hack to the mastery you achieve by putting in the time. We swoon over the seemingly overnight success story, but the truth is we don’t see all that went into the successes. We don’t see the endless practicing of piano scales. We don’t see the thousand jump shots in an empty gym. We don’t see the words that don’t make it into the book. We don’t see the things cut from the lesson plan. We only see the result and mistakenly believe the success was somehow magical or lucky. Every successful person put the time in.
Control what you can control
Applying this one principle can save you so much anxiety and worry. The cornovirus dominates the news and our psyches. You can’t control it. You can wash your hands. You can’t control the stock market. You can control how you manage your money. I can’t control if you read this blog. I can control my effort at writing a blog I think you’ll get something out of.
Small and sucky beats staying sucky
I borrowed the wording for this rule from Marie Forleo’s Everything is Figureoutable book. If you struggle with procrastination or perfectionism (two sides of the same coin), then this rule is for you. Many times the content I send you isn’t as polished as some other online content. The 31 ways in 31 days videos from last August lack professionalism. Some of the videos I’ve posted recently have an “I kiss better than I cook” sign in the background from our kitchen. Some links in the emails don’t work.
I have to improve on those mistakes, but I’d rather be small and sucky than stay small. I’d rather send the email, post the video or share the content with all its flaws and have it be sucky rather than hide and never share it because of procrastination or perfectionism.
We launch a brand new challenge on April 1 (no April fools here). We’ve had an idea to show a school all it needs find a church partner in a week. To take my successes and failures and to learn in a week what has taken me years to figure out when it comes to partnering with a school. But I’ve never done this before and that “never done it before” fear makes me pause. The perfectionism voice says “the content won’t be good enough” and “who do you think you are to do this”. The procrastination voice doubles down on perfectionism’s doubts and adds one more: you’re not ready. Good thing it’s last on my list.
You’re never ready for the next step
I’ve worked almost 20 years for a church and I have some experience in counseling people. More accurately, I listen to what they’re going through and try understand together what God might be saying. It’s a tall task and one we’ve made more difficult when we believe God’s will is an intricate plan we must figure out and if we misstep, we’ve been bad. I believe God’s will looks more like the Choose Your Own Adventure books from my childhood. There’s freedom in how you live your life. Of course there are decisions you make that can make life harder, but many decisions we struggle with (What college should I go to? Should I even go to college? What job should I take? Should I switch careers? Should I marry this person? Should we have kids?) don’t have a right answer. There’s your answer. Many times, you’re not ready for the answer, and if you wait til you’re ready, you’ll never do it.
If you wait until you’re ready to get married, to have kids, to write the book, to adopt the child, to change careers, to start the business or to run the marathon, you won’t do it because you’ll never be ready. The fact you’re thinking you’re not ready can be proof you’re more ready then you realize. We may not launch the perfect challenge on April 1, but if I wail until I am ready, I’ll never do it.
So, how about you? Which of my rules struck a cord? Do you disagree with any of my rules? What’s one of your rules to live by? Share with us in the comments.