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A Sample Chapter of Wake Up! Your Life is Calling!

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Responsibility, Not Fate

When I share my story with others, whether it’s a large audience at a conference or a single person, I am often told that I was meant to be saved, or that God has plans for me, or that I have

an angel on my shoulder looking out for me, or something to that effect.

While I’d like to believe those statements, I can’t accept them outright. The people I knew that worked with me were simply not as lucky that day. How can I have been meant to be saved while none of them were given that same offer? I knew them. I heard their life stories—saw their passion and commitment, shared pictures of our beautiful families with each other, spent 70% of my waking hours with them. I’m no more special than they were. They were me, they were you, they were us.

So rather than spending more time looking back and saying, “Why?” “Why did that happen?” “Why me?” and “Why them?” I have to accept that I am here. I am alive. I have a beautiful family, great friends, and a meaningful mission. And I have a responsibility to look forward and say, “What now?” “What will I do with this opportunity—with this gift that I’ve been given?”

You have been given that same chance! Today is your gift!

Life is all about balance. Shouldn’t you make sure your plans include a mix of joy, satisfaction, and service today? If you tilt too far in any direction, you are missing out on one or more aspects of your life. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Plan for tomorrow but live today.

“FINE” Is A Four-Letter Word

Some of you who are reading this book may think your life is fine. That’s okay. But I invite you to take a deeper look at why you’ve chosen to stop at fine.

I say fine is a four-letter word. We get lured into fine’s lair, giving us just enough success, just enough happiness, and just enough comfort to get sleepy. It makes us complacent, tricking us into believing that fine is where we need to remain. It starts planting its roots into us, making us attached to the way things are in our fine life. It deprives us of the urgency we once felt to create more for our lives! It skews our vision and thoughts into believing that we must defend fine at all costs and that more than fine is dangerous, even selfish. We start to worry about what we’re risking if we seek more, aim higher, and play bigger.

Things were fine for John. I met him at a talk I was giving and he challenged this concept, telling me that he was perfectly pleased; his life was fine. I asked him to discuss this further and he shared that he was in the mortgage business, working 10–12 hour days in a job that was paying the bills. He and his wife were okay—no major fights—his days and weeks ran pretty smoothly, and, basically, things were fine. As he shared the details of his life, he was leaning back in his chair, hands crossed behind his head, one ankle resting on the knee of his other leg.

Then I invited John to tell me about something he really loved that he hadn’t done in a long time. At first, he had a hard time  remembering. But as I continued to probe, the lost dreams started surfacing to the top. He shared that he had always loved coaching high school football and did it for years but gave it up when it became harder to earn a living in his industry. Money was tight and he had to focus all of his time on the job. Exploring his love of coaching further, he described how he could spend endless hours designing plays and game plans, being outside working with the kids, and keeping himself and the team fit, strong, and active. By now, he was sitting upright, legs uncrossed, hands moving around energetically. This was a different man in front of me. I yelled “STOP!” and had him become aware of how his energy and presence had shifted, something that was very obvious to everyone in the room except himself. John thought that fine was enough—but was it? His very energy as he began to talk about coaching—a long-lost passion—said differently.

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