My Parenting Goal

My parenting goal is pretty simple:

Inspire my children to be who they were created to be and go live accordingly.

Of course, there are other goals, but this one seems to rise to the top. In a season of graduations and college planning one needs to get pretty singular.

The irony of my stated goal is found in the opposition each of my children face every day. For example:

  • The school system where I live is fixated on testing. It runs from state testing to the ACT. Heaven forbid, they don’t do well on these. The stress and anxiety can be downright sad. Especially since very little meaning in life has ever come from a pass, fail or score
  • Our culture has thrown out meaningful self-care (nutrition, stress management, physical exercise, and on) as an important habit to practice
  • Distraction is blocking the ability to embrace our 5 senses and the power found within

I could list other things, but I think you feel me here.

In my family, inspiration is the keyword. My children have been watching me for a long time. That reality is daunting. The conclusion is a parent’s influence is greater than the “system,” for the good in this case.

The Moment

I know many are in goal-setting overload right now and as a follow-up to Tuesday's post, I'm going to chime in. Just not in a way you might expect. Here goes:

Don't set any goals for 2013.

The reason is quite simple. Until you have a moment, the moment, setting goals is more wishful thinking. You may feel better that you created a list or have a feeling of temporary validation, but it will fade. Trust me.

In my own journey I have found myself confronted with "the moment" multiple times, even when I didn't want to. The moment is a place and time where there's no more BS and there is the appearence of a crossroads. Sometimes it's life and death, sometimes it's a place where I've been humbled. Either way, the bridge was burned and change was waiting just beyond the flames and embers.

In 2004, my dad had an aortic aneurysm. It was caught in time and they operated to quickly address a very dangerous condition. My dad didn't tolerate anesthetic very well, so his recovery from surgeries could be dicey. On the day of the surgery, my mom called me at work to tell me that he wasn't coming out of the post-surgery anesthetic well and the doctors were concerned. 

I went to the hospital that day "put out." I wondered how bad could it really be. You see, I was in a place of prosocuting my dad for his past sins. And I thought this was just another situation to get through. Besides, his sins were the real issues.

I entered his hospital room and found myself surprised and disarmed. He looked so fragile and vulnerable. Not the man I grew up watching. The moment had come. I felt like God was right next to me whispering "it's time to rest your case and forgive." The moment. That set forth a process of learning how to forgive and accept forgiveness. My dad passed away 5 years later.

You should also know that I spent time setting goals around my relationship with my dad in the preceding years. Multiple years of resolving and planning. You know the drill, "I will have breakfast once-a-month, I will go to a baseball game, I will invite him to, the list goes on. I never did it because there was never a moment.

I have learned some valuable lessons in the last few years. Two of the most important ones are the need for the moment and that I don't have to wait for the moment to come to me. The latter implies that you can humble yourself and look at your life soberly and make the move. Regardless, without out the moment goals rarely stick.

You want them to stick.

Letting The Story Unfold


I am prone to excitement. Give me an idea, a vision or a dream and I'll plug in. I never want to change that about me or lose it in age of skepticism. In the last few months I've started to move to a more patient and steady approach in how I evaluate ideas.

In many ways I would describe it as letting the story unfold.

In the past week I've started to get lift on a few projects and goals. All of these are in process. And the keyword process is important. I have made a conscious decision to let them unfold to a logical conclusion-good or bad. No predictions, just one step at a time.

For you, you might say "duh, Eric." But I am a man who is learning. Learning what is sustainable, learning what is viable and learning what I believe God is pointing to. If you're not careful, you'll miss a key step if the story is not allowed to unfold.

The 30 Day Breakthrough Experience and Me


Last week I had the honor and privilege to take a group of people through the Take Time for Your Life 30 Day Breakthrough Plan.  We held the workshop part of the experience at a place called Sparkspace, which I highly recommend in a multitude of ways.  The second part of the experience for each person who attended is happening now and onto the achieving of a small goal in the next 30 days.

Without a doubt, I was inspired by the attendees last week.  But I've embarked on a 30 day breakthrough plan myself.  Somehow this makes the process much richer for me.  It moves me as a learner and as a facilitator.

I understand you might not be able to fully grasp what our 30 Day experience looks like if you haven't gone through the program, so see our page on Total Life Management to gain more understanding and learn what others experienced as well.

Now for the vulnerability part:

I have set a 30 day goal is to improve my approach and presentation with prospective clients of Epic Living.  I will do this by engaging them with my heart first and my head second.  I will measure this by having a trusted advisor/coach attend 2 business engagements with me to observe my presentations.  I will also provide examples of heart approaches versus head approaches for that advisor/coach.  Doing this will help me achieve my big goal of improving Epic Living's (Me) mission performance in the next 90-180 days.

The importance of me sharing this subject with you is to help me (hopefully you too) find a breakthrough.  If you're a subscriber reading this, a person who has attended an event where I was the speaker, a participant in a workshop I facilitated or some other connection, you know my sincerity and heart delivery.  My block has been with those who are not currently engaged with me.  In those settings I have, mistakenly, led with my head.  Translated, I've used old approaches designed to induce credibility and a corporatey persona.  In the spirit of giving me a greater chance to speak from the heart.  As you can imagine, that way of doing things feels awkward, canned and like I'm wearing another man's coat. 

So why did I choose this approach?  Fear.  Fear of not making the connection, mostly.  I won't drone on here because I now proceed to courage and doing someithing about the block.  In many ways this is a breakthrough unto itself.

The Meaning of Vision and Goals

Mountain range photo


Conducted a workshop this weekend for a company around vision and goals.  It was a great group to work with.  I was truly honored to leave my imprint on their management team.

I got to thinking this morning about why vision is a necessary part of goal setting.  The formula goes something like this:

Vision is the why and what, while goals are the how.

It’salso important to rememberber that vision develops over time (Thank you, Rick and Terry).  The old Polaroid camera can be a great object lesson here.