When I haven’t written in this blog for a few days, the compulsion to write overcomes the stupor and laziness that crept into my brain. “What should I write about?”, I ask myself. And then a conversation I had with an acquaintance earlier this evening is worthwhile to share. Tonight, I am thinking about ideas and action, as qualities that two individuals of wildly different backgrounds find commonality.
Our conversation was from his experiences as a formerly employed worker seeking a new job, and the shaping of his character and an entrepreneurial mind through an invention he has developed over several years. Out of these experiences and the mentoring from unlikely sources – one, a spouse of an longtime friend, helped him change his approach. “You talk too much. Only answer the question asked.”
In an interview, preparation is important, and listening for the question being asked – succinctly wins the day. It is not the goal to intimidate with intellect, but to understand what the other values, ask the right questions and win the interviewer over. A humble nature and confident answer is good; admission of “I don’t know” shows a freedom from fear. Fear limits our potential. He feared that he had to have the right answers at his interviews. He feared a loss of control over his entrepreneurial idea. Tonight, in the course of our conversation, when he realized that he was looking both at employment interviews and marketing his invention from the wrong perspectives, he was invigorated and committed to a new approach.
Perspectives. In my past military career, I set out to accomplish a dream. Missteps at the beginning, by not listening to mentors, cost me a prolonged dull existence that saw only limited challenges. I started to seek, earnestly, a new purpose. Not education, though it provided me how to learn. Not a relationship that was selfish, but it taught me what not to be. It was to find meaning. I sought to fill a void. After ten more years, I found that hole filled by the LORD.
And then over twenty more years, marriage, raising sons, mentoring by men and women skilled as Navy leader gave me insight and leadership, others in business taught me value, and others whose wisdom as Disciples of Jesus taught me to thrive. Where Jesus redeemed me, it was through the living that I found perspective. What do others value? How can he help them see that through a life reborn in Jesus they can accomplish dreams? By working diligently and creatively for my employer, modeling a spiritual marriage and parent for my children, and being a great friend. You see, anyone can have a dream, but never act upon it or act in a selfish manner such that it fails. Jesus used twelve men two thousand years ago to change a world. Each of us can dream great dreams. Acting upon them when we have the right motives and purpose, we succeed.