How many times have you picked up a book that kicked you in the gut from the very first page? “Only one man out of ten will finish strong,” notes Steve Farrar in Finishing Strong: Going the Distance for Your Family. As I read, questions began to buzz through my mind like bluebottle flies to a carcass. To be honest with you, I panicked.
As these questions hovered over me like hyenas waiting for me to flail and pounce on me, two words slowly crept into my mind. These were Bravery and Bravado. A day later, my wife comes along and throws in a spanner into my already crazy situation. “You don’t take enough time-out between events,” she started. I knew exactly what she meant. My attempt to wiggle out of the situation was a pathetic and wimpy reply.
Suddenly, I felt like a bolt of lightening coursed through my body. Steve’s statistic came rushing in like an express train ‘whooshing’ past a small station. Was I being brave or was I displaying the classic symptoms of bravado?
Bravado can only be found on the outside. It is what ‘positional leaders’ are made of. Their influence is guided by what they have; high position, money, connections, godfathers, etc. People follow them because they have to and that followership is driven by fear.
“Fear is the sand in the machinery of life.” ~E. Stanley Jones
Bravery, on the other hand, springs from the heart. Authentic leaders are brave as their strength comes from within them [TweetMe]. They know who they are, value their soul and lead by character. People follow an authentic leader because they want to.
“Things will be different because you have chosen to be intentional.” ~Scott Dinomore
And bravery leads me to some three key lessons I learnt yesterday from Finishing Strong: Going the Distance for Your Family. Rare, Exceptional and Teachable.
It is the rare man who finishes strong [TweetMe]. Wow! I immediately thought of how beautiful diamonds are. But did you know that for a diamond to be formed it has to undergo very high temperatures and pressures deep in the earth’s crust. A rare man is one who is ready to withstand tremendous peer-pressure, weather storms of life and grow deep in not only knowing themselves, but also serving from the heart.
It is the exceptional man who finishes strong[TweetMe]. To be exceptional, I have to live my calling. A.J. and Melissa Leon said this, “A good life is not living the life everyone else intended for you. It is being deliberate in the way you live your life.” How true this is. It is only those who are brave enough to face life head-on that are exceptional.
It is the teachable man who finishes strong [TweetMe]. There is no choice, if I don’t learn, I will eventually wither off and die. As I listened to my wife’s wise counsel, it downed on me that I should have more deliberate, planned breaks. “It is important to be aware of your life, aware of everything in it, and what’s important,” says Wokie Nwabueze.