Lloyd Reeb, the author of From Success to Significance, sent out a blog post called Essential Disruption @ Halftime. To those successful in the marketplace, but seeking a second half move to significance, Reeb suggests, “A few disruptive questions can help you break free of the gravitational pull of your first half success and chart a course toward greater meaning, joy and impact.” He begins with this provocative question: "If valuable assets in your business were unprotected, what would you do?" He then goes on to say, “Now imagine if something truly priceless were largely unprotected.” He finishes this blog post with the disruptive question, “What do you have that is priceless? What specifically are you doing proactively to protect that?”
The first response that comes to mind is my health. As I have found over the last few years, when you lose your health, nothing else matters. I spent a month in bed with a pinched nerve in my back and was totally helpless. So, I know that my health is priceless. Since selling my business, I have a rhythm of life that includes spending both summer and winter at our cabin situated at 9000 ft. in the Colorado Front Range. Genie and I made a fundamental choice that we wanted to live an active life that includes hiking, skiing, and fly fishing at elevation. To that end, between us, we lost over 50 pounds a decade ago, and have kept it off. We exercise an hour a day and are much more careful what we eat. We get physicals and take vitamins and supplements. So, we are very proactively engaged in securing our health. So, the easy answer is health, and then you can focus on needed life changes to bring about good health.
However, when I look a little deeper, another answer emerges. My wife, my children, and my grandchildren are indeed priceless to me. One of the goals of Life 2.0 was to invest in strengthening relationships with family and friends. That’s the reason we built our Home Place in Colorado. It is where we gather in with friends and family. Again this is an easy answer, although many of my friends have trouble prioritizing their time to demonstrate the priceless nature of family. I have succeeded here, and have a better relationship with my adult children than I ever had. And I have the wonderful blessing of being very present in my three granddaughters’ lives. So, having addressed these two obvious answers, I continued to look a little deeper.
In addition to health and family, my relationship with God rounds out the trio of most priceless things in my life. Since I left the business world in 1999, I have been on a discipleship journey seeking God’s faint path. When I broke away from the 50-60 hour weeks running the business, a major motivator was to free up the time to see what God would make of it if I were available to Him.
In the last decade, I’ve come to realize that of the priceless things in my life, the most priceless is my time, for how I allocate time allows me to enjoy the other things that are priceless in my life. I've spent the time since I sold my business in 1999 giving myself away by offering my energy, enthusiasm, entrepreneurial spirit, leadership gifts and time to equip and raise up leaders for the Kingdom.
This journey has been slow and painful because I ignored the Halftime precepts of working with the willing, and building on islands of health and strength. However, the painful experiences of the journey have enabled me to reach clarity about my giftedness, my passions, and to structure a go forward plan. The plan I articulated at Halftime is allowing me to put my time into fulfilling God's calling in my life, working with committed young high-potential, entrepreneurs, professionals and church planters.
The deep satisfaction I am getting from the mentoring/coaching, and even fathering I'm doing with these young men is incredible. My own father was a workaholic, a prisoner of the business he started. I experienced the pain of growing up with an absent father whose perfectionism left everyone else feeling not good enough.
Out of this pain, God has instilled a passion to mentor and coach bright young, high-potential leaders. I'm finding I can speak into their lives in powerful ways. Many of them have conflicted relationships with their own fathers that don't allow them to really access the wisdom and life experiences.
I did not begin to get clarity about the calling in my life until I got really clear about my gifts and passions. The Halftime experience is a wonderful way to look through several different lenses and understand yourself more deeply. Once I began praying and asking God what purpose He had for wiring me this way, and for all the experience and skills I had learned. Then, shapes in the mist started drawing me forward down God's faint path.
Coming to Halftime earlier would have facilitated a more effective first decade of Life 2.0. As I entered Life 3.0 in 2011, I find I am using this most precious resource, time, more effectively and in more satisfying ways then ever before in my life. I'm living day by day into the Abundant Life Jesus promises in John 10:10, and touching people in powerful and catalytic ways. I've adopted Bob Buford's expression, "The fruit of my work grows on other people's trees."
I've published 11 chapters of a book on my blog, and will complete the book when I publish the 12th chapter in January. It's called God's Faint Path: wilderness lessons in leadership and life. Each chapter is interspersed with reflection questions that challenged me at each season of life. In my formal mentoring/coaching, people in the process are reflecting on a chapter each month, and sharing their responses to the questions. Equipping Kingdom leaders is the most precious thing I can do with the priceless gift of my time, and the significance of that work is all the reward I need. Most of the learning on this journey has only come through pain, but I am grateful for the wisdom born in pain. A second half of significance as we live into God's calling will be more valuable than any first half career.
What is priceless in this picture? In the foreground is the watch Genie gave me for our 25th anniversary. It rests atop a coffee table book my son-in-law Kevin gave me this fall for my 60th birthday. We took a trip along with my son to Kulik Lodge in Katmai National Park the week after Labor Day. Kevin, who is a professional photographer, made the book for me from photos taken on the trip.
Both of these are treasures, with very significant memories attached. Yet it is not the watch that is priceless, or this momento from the trip, or even the trip itself. It is the face of the watch, the time whose passing the watch measures, that is truly priceless. What are you doing proactively to make sure your time is invested in those things that matter most to you?