“Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it.”
Jesus of Nazareth
I don’t really recall going on a vacation as a child. At least in the way I now know about vacations. I recall sleeping on the floor at an aunt’s house in Dallas one summer and a single day at an amusement park when the temperatures were over the century mark. Not a great memory. Oh yeah, and there was a trip to a funeral south of San Antonio where there seemed to be a lot of drama related to real estate and an undisclosed amount of money.
And don’t hear that I am complaining. I didn’t know any different.
In fact, I have embarrassing admitted that some of my memories of this sort of thing were so co-mingled with the vicarious life I found in television that I once reminisced about my vacation to Hawaii with Greg, Peter, Bobby, Marsha, Jan and Cindy. Of course I didn’t go to Honolulu with the Brady bunch, but when you don’t have the real thing, you sometimes dream stuff up.
I remember going to college and meeting folks who had been to all kinds of exotic places that seemed almost as normal to them as me never having gone anywhere. They started sentences with things like “That was the summer we went to….” and “The place we go to every year…” or “On our annual family vacation…”. Awesome for them, but not my reality.
There is kind of a general understanding that no one really wants to look at someone else’s slide show of their vacation. You couldn’t pay most people enough to do that. Ironically, most Americans spend an increasingly larger amount of their day looking at other people’s highlight reels. What cool place they went, what they saw, what they ate, how much fun they had, and who they were with. But we are largely looking at slide shows of the exceptions and not the reality of their day-to-day lives in our social media consumption.
The science on this stuff is terrifying. Levels of depression, suicide, feelings of isolation are at unprecedented levels and rising annually. There is a whole generation who have been branded by their social media consumption, but this epidemic is affecting all our generations.
Funny, we know what we’re viewing isn’t reality, but we volunteer to do the thing they couldn’t pay us enough to if they tried…watch the highlight reel of their lives.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to finding the abundant life is our hidden conviction that the Bible shares stories of only exceptional people. The reality is that the Bible is filled with examples of how all our lives are supposed to be lived. In fact, Jesus said we would accomplish even more amazing things than him. That is a book of examples, not exceptions.
When we treat abundant life like an exception to the rule and not our expected reality, we miss out on the intended glory of our lives. Much of what we do in our coaching practice is awaken, highlight, and encourage the extraordinary that already exists in individuals and their organizations.
Every person and organization exists to change the lives of others. Excavating that treasure is how we are going to change the world.
- Have you made an agreement with the lie that your life isn’t extraordinary?
- How much would your life and leadership change if you believed the extraordinary was possible?
- Honestly, do you read about the people in the Bible as a group of exceptions or as examples?
- Have you given up on believing that your organization is going to make a real difference in the world?