Five months ago, I made a decision that has profoundly changed my life.
During the second week of April, I was doing a management seminar in Lubbock, TX. It wasn’t a big class, only 45 people or so.
During part of the morning, I taught the group how to set goals. If you’re a leader, this is good information to have. It took about 30-40 minutes to teach them the system I’ve developed. I had them practice what they’d learned in small groups, and then I took them through a segment where they looked at eight “life” categories. I explained each; they picked one, and then they wrote their own three-month goal. The ending date for them was June 30, 2011. They had about five minutes to decide upon their goal and then to write it down.
While they were writing, I had a couple of minutes to think.
A couple of months before, a friend of mine named Matt Fagioli told me that I needed to write a blog. I kind of knew what a blog was, but didn’t subscribe to any, and really didn’t understand what it meant. I also had no idea what to write about.
But I also knew this. God has given me the ability to tell stories. I do it everyday, and love to use real-life examples to make points while teaching. There are many things that I’m not good at, and I know what they are. But telling stories is somewhat effortless for me. As Marcus Buckingham said in his book, “First Break All the Rules,” I have a “superhighway” in my brain when it comes to this. Other parts of my brain are winding, rutty, dirt roads and lead to nowhere.
So I set this goal on a 3×5 card:
“By June 1st 2011, I’m launching a blog that I’ll post to three times a week.”
There’s something strange that happens when you write down a goal on paper. It’s almost magical. I think that when the ink hits the paper, the goal becomes a real, breathing entity.
After seeing that the attendees had completed their goals, I asked them to stand, pair up with someone they didn’t know, and share their goals. They did so–hesitantly at first. But you should have heard the energy of the room after a minute or so! There was a lot of laughter and excitement as people described to each other what they’d written.
After they were reseated, I asked for two volunteers who would read their goals out loud. The two goals were outstanding! They generated even more excitement.
There’s something about accountability. We need it, but we don’t want it—at least I don’t. It’s tough to ask someone to hold you accountable, especially when you have somewhat of a maverick personality like me.
So I’m standing in front of the class listening (or acting like I’m listening).
But in the back of my mind, I was still thinking about my goal. Whenever we are in the process of making a decision, there comes a time when we need to step across the line and commit. So the whole time I was standing there, I was quietly thinking to myself, “Tell them.” But the resistance part of me was yelling, “Noooooooo!!! Then you’ll have to do it!”
It was a battle that raged in my mind for a couple of minutes.
When the second person finished and we were getting ready to go to break, I stood there for about 10 seconds and then said, “I just wrote down a goal, and I want to share it with you.”
I read them my goal.
And something changed…
It reminded me of something that I’d read and memorized years ago.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative, there is one elemental truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic. Begin it.”
With decision, there is power! I felt it the moment I read the goal to the class.
You may ask me why I choose to start on June 1. I wanted to accomplish two things during that seven-week period:
- I wanted to learn how to write a blog. What does it mean? How do you post? There are a million things to learn, which all seemed so foreign at that point.
- I wanted to create a storehouse of posts so that I didn’t have to feel under the gun at any given time. There are times when travel and the busyness of life get in the way of my writing. So I wanted to keep the pressure down.
So I began on June 1st. It’s been alive for a little over three months now. I spend hours each week quietly thinking and writing with the purpose of hopefully having an impact on you and your life!
I’ve found that I have a great passion for this! I can truly tell you that I love writing these. I can get lost for hours at a time hearing God’s voice and my own thoughts and then meshing the two together.
I’ve also begun to find my “voice.” Most of you have already figured this out, but I tend to see life through the filter of God. I realize now that this runs to the deepest part of me. It too, feels natural.
My desire is to point as many people as possible to the realization that God is with us 24/7. He’s not a scary thing. He’s a loving Father. And the more you align your life with him, the more joy and satisfaction you will find in your life.
A few admissions:
- There are times when I want to not write about God. I sometimes think that I should be writing about more worldly things—that it would interest more people. I worry that I’m overdoing it. But I know that to do otherwise would be a lie to me and a blatant disregard to whatever gift or talent God has given me. So I will continue as God leads me. This I believe is “my voice.” I believe that there is an audience for this. But it’s definitely not for everyone. I wish it was.
- Another admission. Over the last three months, I have had more of a conscious awareness of my own mortality. I want to have an impact. So I stay on task and write as I feel led. I sometimes think, “If someone doesn’t like this, they don’t have to read it.” But I’ve made the decision to be true to my own heart in this. So if I have weeks, months, or years left to live, I want to live true to a calling I feel God has given me.
- I have a desire to one day turn this into a book. I don’t know how—yet! But maybe it will one day happen. I guess it’s a dream of mine.
- Last admission. I feel fear! As I write this, I have a document that’s 78 pages long, of story after story ready to be posted. Some of these I want to “keep” because they’re special to me and I don’t want to turn them loose yet. I also have another document that has 94 blogpost ideas to write about in the future. That’s a lot of stuff in the wine cellar, fermenting. The funny part is—I still don’t feel confident that I have enough ideas to keep this thing going. (Yes, the “resistance” lives!!!) Please pray for me that this “fear” will go away. I know that if I can just keep living, God will bring me stories to write about. (I guess I’m not trusting Him to provide, I’m depending on me, and that’s where the fear comes from.)
So I guess back on that day, in front of the class, I “committed” myself to this adventure. And I’m so glad that I did!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my posts. I can truly say that there have not been many things I’ve done before that have brought me this much joy. Feel free to make comments about my writing. I love your thoughts and feedback.
And lastly, I want to say thanks! Thank you for reading my blog. Without you, this would be nothing but a colossal waste of time. If you know of someone who could benefit from my writing, send them to www.RMallon.com so that they can subscribe. It takes less than a minute to do.
Thank you, and God bless you!