I was recently reading an article in which a man described himself as not being a Biblical absolutionist. He believed in Biblical principles, yet did not take every last word as law. Regardless of whether I disagree with him or not, his use of the word absolutionist sparked some thought.
Many of us stand on the stage of absolution in regard to volatile subjects like religion, politics, social issues, morals, family roles and ethics. I am one who is susceptible to cross the line of conviction about a particular topic to the point of absolution. The difference between conviction and absolution is that conviction can listen to a differing option with an open mind. Absolution also, commonly leads to judgment.
Absolution doesn’t allow for the “human condition” to explore the area of the gray. Things are always black or white. As we mature, it is the gray that often teaches us our most valuable lessons.
As parents and Family First Entrepreneurs, our children and loved ones deserve the chance to disagree with us free of judgment and allowed the opportunity to experience the lessons and consequences of dangling a toe in the gray water.
I am a convicted man on all subjects and this is one of those blogs that I’m writing to myself. You would be right to accuse me of being an absolutionist on occasion. Allow for the gray in your relationships. Without it, relationships have no room for growth.
You may agree with me, or not. I just thought it was an interesting concept for us all to consider.
Step One: Your Epitaph
The first step is to discovering your higher purpose in life is to figure out what you want your future life to look like. Evaluate where your life is headed now and compare that to your ideal lifestyle. Decide how you can fulfill your potential and leave your mark here on earth. If having to make money were not a part of the equation, what would you do to leave your legacy?
Figuring out that first step is not as tough as it sounds. I was at this exact moment fifteen years ago. I knew I wanted to be a success in business, and I was looking for a plan. I happened to pick up Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, which soon became one of my all-time favorite books. One of Covey’s suggestions was to look at your goal and then plan steps to get there. He spoke about it in terms of beginning at the end. But how do you look at the end when you’re talking about your life?
Covey introduced the idea of imagining what you would want to be said about you when you die. You might start as I did by writing an epitaph that might go on a headstone. For example, “Devoted Son, Loving Father, He Will Be Missed.”
Step Two: Your Eulogy
Next, go deeper than that. Really think about what you want to accomplish in your life and write your own eulogy. Write a script that you would want to be read aloud at your funeral. What kind of person were you? Who and what were most important in your life? On what things, large and small, did you leave your mark? By the way, your eulogy would probably never mention your net worth.
Writing my own eulogy was one of the most humbling and inspiring tasks I have ever undertaken. I used it to figure out my three-fold Higher Purpose. It was at that point that I realized that money had to be there before I could make those things happen. My goal then became to reach the point where I had more money than I would ever need, so that I would have options about how I spent my money, and more importantly, how I spent my time.
So, write your eulogy. Once that is finished, the intentional journey begins. Once you look at what you want to accomplish in your life, you will know your Higher Purpose. This is your goal. Write it down and keep it handy; it will make it so much easier.
I’m just getting back from a wonderful weekend of camping with my wife and kids. I love that we never asked the question, “what should we do?” There were chores to be done and there were adventures in every direction. Both of my boys were dirt balls by the end of every evening but we were able to scrub them off around the campfire while recalling the day. Closeness was easy and our energetic batteries were refilled.
Even if your not an “outdoorsy” family, there is much to be had for you with a trip to nature. There are no TVs or cell phones and conversation and adventure are easily had. In a time where families are running at warp speed to make their way in our society, the change of pace that nature can bring can’t be overlooked. It’s a chance to slow down with walks in the woods, biking, chopping wood and cooking over an open flame. There’s just something about it.
Other than the fuel to get there, it’s also cheap fun. Get your family out in the woods soon. Plan a fun trip with you and your family this summer. If money and the equipment are the issue, much of that can be borrowed, rented, or bought at a discount. These can be some of the juiciest moments in life. Put it together.
Family First Entrepreneurs and people seeking ONO need to take advantage of setting stages that allow for family closeness. Do what ever it takes to brake routine and bring your family together. Camping is one way I suggest you do that with the people you love.
Here are some photos of the Warnke family camping trip
I just wanted to send out a special thanks to Lauren Harms and Shady Lane Photography. Lauren and her partner Shane Shade true examples of family first entrepreneurs. Together, they own Shady Lane Photography here in Eagle Idaho. Lauren specializes in babies, kids and families. Lauren has done several family shots for us, including the one on the back cover of ONO and on the header of the site. She does great work and has always been a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend her to anyone in the Boise area.
Lauren is just one of the few people that have done small parts to help make this ONO project come together and I just want to thank her, as well as everyone else who had a hand in the making of ONO.
For those of you interested in Shady Lane Photography's services or to see more of their work, please go to www.shadylanephoto.com.
Twitter is a place to be interesting and relevant in 140 characters. It is not a just place to advertise. There is no question that the topic people like to talk about the most on Twitter is Twitter. I have found it to be very effective to talk about Twitter as I talk about my topic of interest—ONO and the Family First Entrepreneur. See…just like that.
Twitter is also a place to tell people what INTERESTING and relevant things you are doing throughout your day. Relevant meaning relevant to your brand or topic. It’s also a place to pass along interesting and significant news to your followers. I’m sure you have seen it in the people you follow. There are many who do this well. Pay attention to the people who’s tweets intrigue or entertain you. Learn from them. They are your example.
You know that guy that you follow that tweets his tail off about nothing relevant, interesting or intriguing? Don’t be him. People like that fall into the white noise category quickly and as soon as their picture appears we all say, “Next.” Don’t be that guy. There is a ton to be said for someone who is funny or passes along good, interesting information. If that person mixes in a bit of quality info about his or her product or service, it will get read. If it’s all just his or her stuff, less people will read it.
The hook of Twitter is to be entertaining, caring, helpful, intriguing, encouraging, informative and relevant before you earn the grace to promote. If you want to talk to someone in 140 characters on Twitter, talk about what everyone wants to talk about; which is themselves. Talk about them first, eventually they will ask about you too.
If you want to be elevated, you have to elevate others first. It’s that way offline and Twitter is no different. Everyone on Twitter needs to brush up on How to Win Friends and Influence People. Perfect book for building acquaintanceships, which is what Twitter is, in its basic elements.
If you are trying to think of something to tweet, that should be your key to not tweet anything. A tweet should strike you. If you don’t say things like, “that was cool,” or “man, that was interesting” then don’t tweet. Sure, as you build a loyal following, go ahead and tell them about your cats, because now they are curious to know you. But don’t forget what got you there (I’m reminding myself of this now).