My wife and I are preparing to open up a daycare in our home. In doing that we have a number of things we have to change so that our home is considered safe by the state government. Much of that has to do with the yard, so I’ve had a lot of time with a shovel, rake, cordless drill, and saw. I discover that when I have time in the yard (or fishing and hiking which would be more exciting), I tend to think a lot. And when you’ve been listening to a lot of CD’s and reading a lot, it truly is like adding gasoline to a fire. I guess you could say it’s an occupational hazard. So I have a number of things I’d love to write about. Things like self-confidence, commitment, and the desire to change. But let me start with this.
What is the enemy of great? Is it bad? Or could it be failure? I like what I read recently in a book. The enemy of great is good. How many of you saw the movie Courageous? (It’s funny I ask this question as though hundreds or thousands are reading this.) So to the two or three of you reading this, let me ask again. Did you see the movie Courageous? The one friend said, “You’re a good enough father.” To which the reply was, “I don’t want to be a ‘good enough’ father.” The implication is to be the best father, a great father.
There is something almost paralyzing about being good at something. Perhaps it is comfortable. Once we are good at something we can put things on cruise control, maintain the status quot, and pretty much no one will bother us. If I’m a good father, my wife and kids will let me know from time to time which feeds my ego enough to keep me at “good.” After all, there is a certain level of pride at being a good parent, employee, spouse, or friend, because the schmuck down the street or hall isn’t as “good” as me. And besides, why do I need to be better than good?
I run into this quite a bit actually. As I share the details of the LIFE business with people, I’m pretty much looking for those that are ambitious, teachable, and honest, and are looking for a change. What happens from time to time is that people will say something like, “I can’t see myself doing that.” Or, “It’s just not me.” So I began pondering this line of thought. And here is what I came up with.
Many people are so defined by their occupation, that they restrict themselves by their job. In other words, rather the focus of their life being directed towards becoming a person of character, integrity, honor, courage, humility, love, and service, they focus on becoming a good employee, manager, or business owner in order to provide for the family. Then in the little cracks of time when they are not working they at least think about becoming a better person. Maybe they even go to church once a week or occasionally read a book on self-improvement. Don’t get me wrong, these are good things but honestly, are the results good or great?
I used to be a recreation director. It was kind of cool to say that I was a department manager and director of a municipal recreation program whereby I provided sports and activities for youth and adults in the community. To a point, it defined me. And I was good at it. Think about this. What is one of the first ice breaking questions asked to someone we just met? “What do you do?” And how do we answer? Usually with our occupation. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say, “I raise my kids.” or “I love my family. That’s what I do.” So what am I trying to say? Don’t be defined by your job. Be defined by who you are as a person.
I’m part of a business that says, “What would the life you’ve always wanted to live look like?” How do you want people to remember you? And what if you could actually have it? Personally, I want to leave a legacy for my children. I want generations of Vashus’s to be impacted in a way that causes a ripple effect of Godly change through the decades. I want to impact the lives of people with the grace and love of God everywhere I go. I want to inspire. I want to show people a life of greatness is possible as we seek truth. I want the lives of people on every continent to be impacted by the right choices that I make.
There are and have been great people who have worked in many different kinds of occupations. But they didn’t become great because they only allowed their occupation to define them. They worked at improving themselves. They became great because they worked on molding their character and faith life rather than only working on their skill set. So how do you want to define yourself? What do you want your life to look like? How do you want to be remembered? Do you want to be a great parent or spouse? Do you want to be a great employee, manager, or business owner? What do you want? And is what you are currently doing getting you there?
Don’t be defined by your occupation. Be defined by the results in your life. Be defined by the memories you leave behind because they are packed full of acts of kindness, character, principle, truth, service, and love. Be careful of the hazard of being defined by your occupation. You are so much more than that. Press on to greatness. Leave a lasting legacy. Find others that are doing the same. Learn from them, and then help others do the same. You have the seeds of greatness on the inside of you. Grow them.