Two years ago, late December 2015, while being interviewed on a podcast, I stated that my goal for 2016 was to become a more prolific and consistent producer of content. I’d pretty well dialed in the monthly newsletter but wanted to increase my frequency of communication.
In other words, I wanted to become a better storyteller.
This weekly email, in fact, was one result of clearly stating that intention. And in two years time — almost 90 “episodes” later — the audience continues to grow on a weekly basis.
Last year, in December 2016, though it was not stated in public forum, my written goal was to focus on community. To lay the groundwork for scaling contribution and impact through others.
Ideally, this would take shape in two ways:
And while both projects are still a consistent work in progress, I’m grateful to say that these past 12 months have exceeded expectations. This, in turn, puts me in a precarious position.
What do I mean by that?
Well, you see . . .
If I’m being honest with you, when things seem to be going “according to plan,” my natural inclination is to coast.
Especially this time of year. Because reaching for the next level is always tough. And its uncomfortable. I would love to sit here and tell you that I am locked in 24/7. Maniacal with my focus and discipline.
But that would be a lie.
Fortunately, I know this about myself.
The perception of having achieved a goal is my achilles heel.
It dulls my senses. Stalls momentum.
I believe someone once said that the seeds of failure are most often sown during the times of success. In fact, if you recall, I gave an entire keynote presentation on that topic, exactly one year ago.
So, how do you combat the allure of comfort?
The dangers of complacency?
Well, in my eyes there is only one thing to do … Throw yourself right back into the lion’s den.
So, it’s time to step up and to boldly state another intention.
Better yet, to state it in public forum.
To craft a vision and share a goal that is massive and ambitious enough that it scares the bejesus out of you. One that forces you to show up differently and start playing the game on a completely different level.
Or perhaps start playing a new game, altogether.
So here goes …
Are you ready …
I’ve determined that my purpose — my mission, if you will — is to build out an Impact Engine that will consistently donate $100,000 or more per year to local charities.
Yes, you read that right.
My intention is to rally an Impact Army that will consistently donate $100,000 or more. Per year. To local charities.
I love the thought of who I’ll have to become in order to bring that vision into reality.
It’s taken me a really long time to figure out what I am motivated by in life and in business. But after a decade of digging, I’ve finally uncovered it.
What I am motivated by is Contribution.
Contribution is the name of the game, my friends.
One of my favorite books is a little known title, The Art of Possibility. And in it, the authors write:
“Unlike success and failure, contribution has no other side. In the game of contribution, you wake up each day and bask in the notion that you are a gift to others. Naming oneself and others as a contribution produces a shift away from self-concern and engages us in a relationship with others that is an arena for making a difference. The rewards are of a deep and enduring kind and you never know what they will be, or from whence they will come.”The Art Of Possibility
Now, I’m not naive enough to believe this will be easy. It may take one year, two years or even ten years — to reach that level of contribution. Who knows. But what I do know is that it that motivates the hell out of me to start thinking bigger.
Its a great guiding question, don’t you think …
Does this investment, activity, decision or relationship move me closer to realizing my vision of donating $100,000 to local causes?
That question leaves nowhere to hide. It provides crystal clarity as to whether or not you are focused on the right thing or not. Whether you are being appropriate, in the moment.
So, how will we get there?
That’s a story for a different day.
Truth is, I’m not 100% sure yet. Then again, isn’t that the surest sign that we are on to something significant? A journey that is worthwhile?
My buddy Michael posted a quote by Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero’s Journey, on Facebook the other day:
“If you can see your path ahead of you step by step, then it’s not YOUR path. Your own path, you make up with every step you take.”
I believe that sums it up beautifully.
In closing, I’ll leave you with this snippet from a book I’m reading right now called High Performance Habits. The author writes:
“Often, the journey to greatness begins the moment that our preferences for comfort and certainty are overruled by a greater purpose that requires challenge and contribution.”Brendan Burchard, High Performance Habits
Challenge and contribution. An arena for making a difference.
That is where I plan to operate.
Stated more clearly, In 2018, I’m going All-in.
It’s going to be a wild ride. And I can’t wait to share the story with you.
Stay tuned . . .
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