It’s not an accident. Men of purpose and impact are intentional about their lives. Men who become part of F3 start to explore the idea of Faith. In many cases, this starts with asking questions like, “What do I believe? What do I value? What is important to me? Is there more than just writing a mortgage check? Who can I share the things that concern me, scare me, or challenge me?” These questions drive a man to assess his measure of impact in the world around him.
This year as I wrap up Thanksgiving and move into the heart of the holidays, I’m implementing a process called T.A.P. Thankfulness, Awareness, and Planning. Each year, Thanksgiving comes and goes, I spend some time being thankful and then as most people, we move on and race to the end of the year. Something struck me recently about the fact that even my act of thankfulness might need an overhaul.
In September, I joined a group of 11 F3 men from The Fort who had the privilege of traveling to Colombia, South America to spend time with a wonderful group of people who live in some of the toughest, most remote areas of the desert. They are called the Wayuu. At the time, they had not had rain for nearly a year. Imagine a place where just the basics for survival are a luxury.
On this trip, I encountered one of the most genuine acts of hospitality I’ve experienced. One particular day, as we spent time with 100+ of their men, women, and children in their community, they asked a group of 10 Americans, to sit down in their only shade, in their only chairs, and hauled out one of their most prized goats for us. They killed and cooked a gracious meal for us. They had their daughters serve us. They insisted that we eat first. They stood outside the shade watching as we enjoyed our meal.
What struck me about this was they were so grateful and thankful that we could enjoy this cherished meal before they would even eat. They were happy to see us happy. They watched as we ate their very best. These people had nothing, yet had everything. They gave to us from a place that expected nothing in return except our happiness. There is a song with a line in it, “Have you ever wondered what it is like to give when there is nothing in your hand?” I know I saw and felt that for the first time in my life. The experience was so moving, I sat there trying to eat with tears in my eyes, in awe of their thankfulness and gratefulness for what they had and how they could share it with us.
My perspective has shifted on Thankfulness. I don’t do it well. But I think I know now how to approach it. It is an attitude of my heart. It is a state of mind and soul that allows me to see the world bigger than me. It is opening my eyes to new experiences, perspectives, and opportunities. It is in essence, mindfulness.
So, this year, as I move through Thankfulness, I will then continue into a process of Awareness. Awareness of those areas in my life personally, professionally, and beyond that need me to think differently. What are those 2 or 3 things if I took them out of my life would simplify or make it better? What are those 2 or 3 things if I added would enrich and open new doors?
Planning will soon follow as I reach the end of the year and develop intentional, meaningful, and impactful goals for 2016. Goals that when I’m done reading them I can answer the question, “So That….” If I can’t answer the question after writing a goal with a “So That” that makes sense, then I probably need a different goal.
T. A. P. is a process that I’ve borrowed from our Navy Seals. The “Double Tap” is a signature of their firing on targets. First round for penetration, Second for impact. Every squeeze of the trigger is intentional. No Spraying and Praying. High Impact Men do the same. They pick select targets in life. They reflect but most importantly, they act. When they act it is intentional and for maximum effect.
Use this process of T.A.P. in your life. Do you have someone in your life to lock shields and hold you accountable? Who are you sharing those things that you have become aware in your life that you need to take out? What do you need to add? Who is going to ask if you’ve done that work that you said you would do?
So take this process as I’ve outlined above and share it with a fellow PAX. “As Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another” This requires action and friction.