Knowing Your Limits

This post is from back in 2008. We'll need this in the future to come.

Navy Seals Insgnia

The above insignia is for the U.S. Navy Seals.  I didn't realize how significant the symbol was until I talked to Erik, whose brother is a Navy Seal. 

Erik and I didn't talk much about war or fighting, but we did talk about knowing your limits.

The Seals go through very difficult training in the pursuit of becoming elite.  A part of that training is discovering your limits.  My understanding is when a Seal discovers their limits they are better prepared for the extreme situations inevitable in their job.  Some say enlightenment arrives as well with a discovery of one's limits.  I would agree.

So how about you? Have you discovered, and do you know your limits? 

In years past I didn't want to know.  I thought knowing my limits would bring me too close to the "brink."  So many times I chose the expedient and practical  The brink is good for you though.  I say this, knowing how painful it can be.  No one signs up for it (except maybe the Navy Seals) and many times we just want a break.

Here are some ideas around discovering and knowing your limits:

  • When the storms (business drop-off, health issues, job loss, relationship troubles) come, stop.  You're heading into a time of discovering your limits.  Ironically, the choice is yours as to the staying and fighting.  You could choose an easy route to escape, and many do.
  • Focus on what is being produced inside of you.  This is a future-forward perspective.  In other words, a seed is planted, but you don't see the fruit for some time to come.  You have to believe.
  • Prepare for people to desert you.  It's not personal, but it is true.  Limits are markers for what many people see as dangerous, frightening or pure madness.  When you find someone willing to stick with you during your discovery and knowing, you've found someone you can count on. 
  • Don't get bitter or resentful over anything.
  • Don't be too hard on yourself when the mistakes are made.  Mistakes are a part of the process.

The Navy Seals are an elite group of people.  They've set a good example of what we all should be willing to do in our career, relationships, health and dreams.

Discover and know your limits.

A Minute in Boston

 
Boston

What happened in Boston has left me without a conclusion. I am still processing all that was, and is, a tragic event. Maybe it comes down to a minute in Boston. A minute to reconsider, a minute to stop and text an I love you message or a minute to react to what was not supposed to happen.

Many of us in America are searching for answers. Inside of us is this inescapable feeling that what was over there is now permanently over here too. Maybe that's an inherently good thing. The recognition that we do live in a dangerous world-terrorist or not. Maybe we now understand that taking things for granted is no longer an option to be chosen by accident.

A minute in Boston, or anywhere else, should teach us the power in "now" and living life accordingly. No more waiting on a government to fix things or restore things, no more worshiping at the alter of career, no more depending on someone else to do what only you can do.

If we don't get this right soon, history will swallow us whole. 

Still a Child

"Growing younger is the best way to find and keep happiness."

    -Author Unknown

As I sat next to my mom at a church service this past Sunday, I realized that I'm still a child. I found that boy whispering in my ear. I'm thankful I've stayed open to the wonder that is life.

In many ways I'm only an adult now by the things I know to be vital to the pursuit of destiny. Otherwise, I have no use for all of the other garbage adults often accumulate. 

I like the idea of growing younger, it suits me.

Can You Spare 3 Minutes?

Einstein

I noticed (paid attention to) my kids and their screens this morning. I, like many, am challenged by what's acceptable for screen time in my home. Apple, Facebook and Google are just a few of the contenders for attention. Their business models are rooted deeply in this.

My post today is not so much about social media, as it is about what we spend our time on in a given day (given is a keyword here). We all have been given 1,440 minutes in each day.

Can you spare 3 minutes?

Sparing 3 minutes is a starting point. It's a starting point for you to discover how much a gift time is and maybe how much time you're wasting on the pursuits that, in the end, won't amount to much.

So what should you do with 3 minutes? Here's a suggestive list:

  • Take in nature. Right now, where I'm at, nature is sending a love letter to the senses.
  • Turn off the screens and do nothing.
  • Look at people and consider where they may be at.
  • Count all that is going right in your life.
  • Tell someone you love them-on purpose.

Now go do this every day. You'll still have 1,437 minutes leftover. Who knows, maybe that 3 minutes you spared will grow.

We Don’t Need Anymore Actors

Masks
I'm doing more and more everyday to keep things real with everyone I encounter. This is significant because I'm a recovering actor

We don't need anymore actors.

Keeping things real now is not such a chore for me now. Occasionally, I'll have an adviser alert me if my writing or speaking is sounding too "corportese" or "suit-like." Nothing against the corporate soldiers, it's just people have enough of that coming at them already.

Maybe it's just too terrifying for some to be who they are. Like the child at recess who feels awkward about asking to join in the game, due to the rejection of the herd previously. Or the adult sitting in the team meeting feeling embarrassed because their boss personally made them an example of what is frowned upon. If I had the ability, I would be right by their sides telling them:

"It's not you! There's nothing wrong with you."

The difficulty in keeping things real is becoming almost epidemic in my country. I mean, let's face it, many worship actors, entertainers, showmen, and celebrities. The lines of what is real and what is not have been blurred. I can understand why you might find it difficult to be who you really are.

The following is a question that came to me about 10 years ago. It stopped me cold when it landed in my ears, went to my mind and settled in my heart:

"Eric, are you really Eric or are you a representative of him?"

We don't need anymore actors. The problems we face, and will face, tell me we're going to need those who are real. People who are humble, wise and unafraid. The actors are only thinking of themselves. Believe me I know from personal experience. They really are not interested in you, just what is yours.

If you find yourself in the actor's camp today, you can look at me as an example of how one person can change. It's worth it. 

The Unraveling

Looking around you and your own life, do you see the unraveling?

We are like these garments that over time begin the process of unraveling. As years unfurl this is inevitable. It's not all bad because we can always do something about it. See a thread here, see a patch there, and all you have to do is start the repair.

I wonder how many people realize the unraveling is happening.

Unraveling rarely appears as a sudden tear. It's a slow process. Very slow…