Did you miss it?
One of a thousand blog posts telling you, inspiring you, challenging you to make 2011 the best year ever?
Did you miss ours?
We didn’t post one.
Many blogs I frequent use the new year as a way to inspire and challenge their readers to new heights. To set goals and press ahead toward the thing they desire most.
This is all good, and for some, a well-deserved and needed kick in the shorts, but….
I’m going to let you in on a secret. I had no goals in 2010. My 2009 was a lot of highs and lows, and my hopes going into 2010 were pretty much to hope to stay alive and not screw anything else up. Well, 28 days into the new year I laid off my entire staff and 2 months later watched our household turn over as my wife went back to work full time and I became the primary caregiver for my kids. So much for an up-and-coming CEO with visions for a 9 figure company, huh?
It became a year of just accepting fate and dealing with whatever life brought. My mind was defeated and my hopes for the future were pretty much shot.
Day by day I processed this phenomenon that was happening to me and questioning what went wrong and why. I thought I successfully got “fixed” in 2009, so I totally did not understand what was happening to me in 2010.
So did I accomplish anything last year?
On paper, you could argue I regressed, but if you look beyond what people normally evaluate, I accomplished a great deal.
First and foremost, I fell in love with my wife and daughters all over again. I discovered a sincere joy in being able to do things for my family that 99% of dads will never get to do. How many dads get to spend every morning and afternoon with their kids? How many dads get to solve hair issues and hunt for matching clothes at 7am? How many dads get to drive carpool and shuttle kids to activities and get to know their kid’s friends?
How many husbands have a talented wife that is so extremely valued by her employer they put her on the company’s “top ten list”? How many husbands could boast that their marriage was made STRONGER during a time when the husband could no longer bring home the bacon and pay the bills? How many couples discover the amazing reality that a wife and mother are not defined by the tidy-ness and smooth operation of the household and that a husband and father are not defined solely by the money he brings in the pay for the mortgage and grocery bills?
I discovered a deep, satisfying JOY in my “new role” and my wife experienced a joy in her new role. It wasn’t fun or joyful at first for either of us, and I admit I sincerely hated it, but through grace and reflection, we really sincerely developed a love, peace, and joy we never had in our family – even when we’re still challenged in these roles.
How about me? Well, for the first time in my life, I stopped being self-righteous and exhibiting false humility. I began to fall in love with myself and for the first time in my life, believed with 100% certainty in the goodness of my heart. I starting living out of who God says I am, not by who others say I am. I’ve tuned out the voices that tell me I’m a failure, those calling me a bad business man, and all the other false accusations. I no longer seek to please or appease others to make them like me or try not offend them. I’m living out of who God says I am, and I am trying to relate to others in the same way.
I discovered that for those that love me the most, including my Father in heaven, that I’m not valued for what I do but for who I am. Knowing this truth frees you from all kinds of shame and guilt. I no longer have to please others or please God by doing things. I no longer have to appease and perform to gain love and acceptance from them, and I no longer demand this of others. Everything I do now flows out of love and my heart, not out of expectations, rules, or obligations.
My discoveries about Grace and Love and the nature of God were frequent topics of my writings in 2010, and the greatest joy of all was that I discovered all God really wants with me is a relationship, and that everything flows out of love, not obligation. The years of guilt and shame that religious thinking brought to me were erased and for the first time in my life, I discovered true freedom. And the best part is, my wife found it too. So we get to start a new journey together and can share it with our kids while they are still young.
Business-wise? We discovered who were are. We discovered who we were not. We have made hundreds of mistakes and made all kinds of bad choices over the years in regards to business. Many of those choices and actions manifested themselves in the business results and we suffered the consequences financially. However, failure is only devastating if you believe it’s an end rather than a start. You see, failure is a necessary part of growth. There’s no way around it. I cannot find a single successful person that doesn’t have a sting of failures, professionally, personally, or financially in their history. These people are successful because they embraced the failures, learned from them, and intentionally put aside the shame and guilt of these past failures and pressed forward into the future.
This year, I am focused, the company is focused. We know who we are, and we’ve got one specific thing we’re focusing in on for us and our clients. This focus and clarity only came about through a tremendous trial period and it’s been worth every second. The future is bright.
So that’s my 2010. A year (on paper) where nothing much happened actually turned out to be the most transformational and exceptional year of my life.
So now as we’re 6 days into 2011, I have a lot of hope. I know 2011 is going to introduce new challengs and new opportunities. Many have not embraced the adversity and processes they’ve gone through in the past few years and will not be able to press ahead in this new season, but I am confident in myself that all these events over the past few years for me have been a proving ground to allow me to see dreams fulfilled this year and into the future.
Let me leave you with this…..
On New Year’s Day, I watched Oprah interview JK Rowling. I know many Christians dismiss Oprah and they dismiss Harry Potter and JK Rowling. My religious mind did for many years as well. That’s a topic for another day. All I can say is I’ve been spellbound by this interview and am really digging the God-breathed message she delivered to Harvard graduates in 2008. JK’s story is one of restoration and a discovery of who God said she was. Her story, and her books are dripping with God. You can’t miss it unless you want to.
Please read this speech. The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination – JK Rowling at Harvard 2008
If you have time, check out the articles and snippets on Oprah’s web site:
The Brilliant Mind Behind Harry Potter and OPRAH AND HARRY POTTER PHENOM BILLIONAIRE J.K. ROWLING
My wish for you in 2011 is simple – to start living out of who God says you are. I bless you with the Love, Peace, and Joy that is promised for all God’s children TODAY through the amazing redemptive work of Christ.