Today was an opportunity I could have missed.
I got out on the bike today and enjoyed a ride through the Chickamauga Battlefield National Park. I had been in the office working all morning, trying to coordinate upcoming events, keeping up with an expedition that’s overseas right now, and trying to keep the new business filling the pipeline. I grabbed a late lunch and then, in the middle of the day, I found myself outdoors, whistling through the autumn leaves, gazing around at the gorgeous golden colors, avoiding the deer grazing along the side of the road, and filling my lungs with fresh, perfect air.
It was a glorious day, and I was out there immersed in it. It was so exhilarating that I had goose bumps up my arms.
I’ve got a question for you. When was the last time you did something that gave you goose bumps? It might have been a trip, a visit, an activity, anything that you’re passionate about. In your everyday life, do you make time to do anything that absolutely challenges your body and mind, and makes you feel alive? In other words, what is your lifestyle, right now?
Now I ride the bike a lot. Although I do love getting out on the bike, it is really not just something I do. It’s not specifically about the bike. I don’t do it to lose weight, or to bring down my blood pressure, or anything like that. It has more to do with lifestyle and, more accurately, the lifestyle I decided that I did NOT want.
That’s far different from a diet, which is a short-term fix…a band-aid on the symptom of the real problem. It is also not a “take-away” or denial of things I want or enjoy. For me, this lifestyle change means that I want to accomplish, to achieve, to improve and excel. And then there are the unexpected things about the activity. Getting out there requires me to be fully invested, all-in on the activity. The result is that it empties and purges all the nonsense that clouds the mind.
Again, it has nothing to do with the bike, but has everything to do with being fully invested. That’s why “vacations” don’t necessarily work. It needs to be something to which you must give your all. Skiing might do it. But sitting on the back deck gazing up at the trees, doing absolutely nothing can do it, if you commit to doing it completely and decisively. Maybe playing frisbee with the dog, or play with the kids. And so, it’s quite true to say that, for me, each and every ride is a vacation. Yes? That’s about the size of it.
Now there are days when I don’t feel like going through the hassle of getting everything together, driving way out there, and getting out on the bike. It takes a lot of time out of my day. Sometimes I feel there’s just too much to do, or I feel too heavily engaged, or just don’t feel motivated. I considered reasons not to go today. But then I remind myself, “hey, this is who you are and how you live. Get going. It’s out there waiting.” And so I went today, and was quickly reminded of something I say all the time. We wait around all the time for motivation to take action. That’s completely backwards. Motivation comes from Action. It’s like our favorite definition of Initiative: “changing the situation by action.” Well Motivation is just like that.
I almost didn’t take action today. But, after getting home, I’m all fired up and wishing I weren’t indoors.
All these things represent leadership principles that we exhibit for ourselves, either good or bad. We either live them or we don’t. But one thing we know is that Leadership is not something we create at a moment’s notice. It’s something that’s lived.
We all know things we’d like to do, or problems that need fixed. Failing to “change the situation by action” is anything but good leadership. Right? What are you passionate about? Is there anything at all? Are you doing it?
I almost missed that experience today. Autumn is here. It’s gorgeous out there. Get outdoors. Enjoy life! Have fun. Work hard. Play hard.
Welcome to “The Trident,” the Leadership Lifestyle home of Trident Leadership.com.
Good leadership doesn’t live at the office, on the battlefield, or on the ball field. Good leadership is not something you turn on or off, or put in a box; it is a lifestyle!
Let’s go enjoy it!