As I prepare to leave for Orlando to attend David Bayer’s Powerful Living Experience (named by Inc. Magazine as a top 3 must-attend personal development event for entrepreneurs), I’d like to share a guest post by one of my favorite bloggers, Andy Mason, that I found particularly inspiring.

Andy has years of experience helping individuals and organizations discover and align with purpose, then develop practical steps to make dreams a reality. He is the director of Heaven in Business and together with his wife, Janine, leads Dream Culture – a movement catalyzing people to discover and live their dreams. Andy and Janine live with their four children in Redding, CA.

Here we go!

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It took forty years to learn this…

Forty two years ago, around about now, I entered this crazy wonderful planet… probably screaming. Over the last four decades I’ve learned a few things… still screaming (although you probably didn’t hear or see it). In spite of the screaming, I have managed to learn a few things. I will call them life lessons and here’s three of them.

1. If you don’t know and live your priorities, you will live someone else’s.
There is nothing wrong with serving, Jesus Himself laid down everything and served. That’s our never-ending model of leadership. But Jesus didn’t just serve the important people around Him. He knew His purpose. He knew His priorities. He demonstrated how to say ‘No,’ even to those closest to Him. He fulfilled everything He was on the planet to fulfill. What about you?

If you don’t make an effort to discover your purpose, and set priorities in place to live that out, you will find yourself bouncing around fulfilling other peoples vision or dreams and your own will go begging. What are you on the planet for? What impossible things do you want to change? Why are you sucking oxygen? How will you take responsibility for your life and move toward that which is most important? For more on practically working this out grab a copy of our Dream Culture book and do the activation exercises in Chapter 11.

2. Keep walking and don’t let go.
I learned this from my pastor in New Zealand, Mike Connell, then more so when working with Danny Silk at Bethel Church. Look at any successful leader over the long term and you will see evidence of this. When things are tough or delayed or challenging, or you are facing especially difficult conflict with another person – what do you do?

Keep walking and don’t let go.

Don’t stop walking; moving forward in life. Don’t get distracted or diverted from who you are. Keep moving. Movement is what allows other adjustments to take place much easier – like steering a moving vehicle compared to a parked one.

And don’t change the subject (assuming you are already walking towards your purpose and priority).

Don’t let go of the vision or dream. Don’t let your eyes be moved from the goal, the prize or reward you are aiming for.

If your challenge is with a person, keep a hold of them in the process. Keep your part of the connection open. The greater the ‘gap’ between you and them, the more room for negative stuff to get between you AND the easier it is for them to take a swing at you. Think of the boxers when they are at arms length apart compared to when they are clinching. There is no power in a swing without distance.

Where have you stopped walking because it is tough? What will you do to get moving again? Who do you need to move towards and reopen connection? Who do you need to hold onto tighter?

3. My value is not based on winning or losing but in always giving my best.
I read this in a book by legendary coach John Wooden. It is one of my favorites on leadership as he was such an outstanding performer. Yet the way he worked with people and how he defined success is still so much different to other self-help/leadership books.

Anyone can win if the other team has a bad day. That doesn’t prove anything about you.

Alternatively, you may play your best and lose against a better team or some other circumstances. That loss doesn’t define you either.

The key question is, “Did you give your best?” Every time you walk off the court; every time you walk out of your classroom; every time your leave the workplace. Did you give your best?
If you can answer ‘yes’ then flush the head trash and keep moving. Learn from what works and what doesn’t work.

Now what spoke to you the loudest from my life lessons? Share it…
And what is one of your greatest life lessons? Share it also…

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Find Andy’s original post here.