In Your Best CO, I shared last week on the importance of Certitude and Optimism. I suggest the read, and reflect. In these days and times, we need both as that “CO” in our lives and organizations … at home, school, work, business and community.
Being certain of that which matters most to us and in which we truly believe… and walking forward with that in Optimism… can serve as anchor and rudder and ballast and fuel.
That said, this week, I find myself tired; very freakin’ tired. Honestly so. And I think it was Jimmy Johnson, former coach of the Miami Hurricanes, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins who said something to the effect that being tired makes cowards of us all. So, I am thinking that, if we need and seek Courage in these times (I certainly do), we need remember some things.
In exploring Courage in the face of being tired, I am reminded this Remembrance Day, that laziness is not a thing… it is a lack of a thing. Motivation. Like darkness is the absence of light, laziness is the absence of motivation.
That lack of motivation can be born of tiredness and exhaustion and its impact on our practice of Courage. We can get to a point where we consciously or unconsciously ask ourselves, “Does it even matter?” Being aware of the impact of our weariness on our Courage and motivation is a start; a great start.
I am also reminded that motivation is more than rah-rah; a lot more. Motivation is deeper than we often imagine it. Motivation is driven by the practice and experience and manifestation of three powerful Virtues.
Indeed, motivation has three core factors… energy, direction and follow through. It requires all three. Having energy does not make one motivated. Many run around all day getting little done, not unlike spin tops going nowhere. Having energy and direction does not necessarily get things done either, if we do not follow through amidst the trials along the way. Energy, direction and follow through… born of Enthusiasm, Purposefulness, and Steadfastness… this is true motivation. But this morning, amidst my tired, I am also remembering that such three are found in…
The Deal on Zeal
Zeal has, in some circles, gotten a bad and misunderstood rap…. zealots, you know. But Zeal is that purposeful enthusiastic, determined Virtue that says “tired, be damned, we are going there, we are getting there”. It is a fiery resolve and Ardor. Am I saying that we should exhaust ourselves? Indeed and in deed … not. Dale Carnegie once said, “Rest before you get tired.” and there is Wisdom in that. Still, there are times when we must particularly practice Zeal. I have no doubt in times of battle, exhaustion and fatigue can be our greatest adversaries.
I think on my parents and that generation that lived through a Great Depression, a World War and more. Imagine such times, and length of days. This Day of Remembrance, ponder on that. Go beyond a cognitive remembrance. Try to feel what that must have been like. How does one make it through? Part of it is Sacrifice. I think Zeal is a huge part of it. Zeal, the practice of …
- a deep sense of purpose and meaning
- passion for what matters most, giving all we have to it
- Perseverance and Enthusiasm
- Joyfulness and Consideration, along the way
What does that look like for me? Keeping my eyes on the prize… and my feet on the ground…
But, it is more. It is about getting to an emotional and, dare I say, spiritual WHY. Zeal demands that dive. I am in that space this day, digging deepest yet into why any and all of what I do truly and fundamentally matters. I will let you know what I uncover. But such a dive requires Candor within.
And, Zeal is manifested in diverse ways. Along the way, we can and must rest. We can move and be still with Zeal. We can rest and reset with Zeal.
Remembrance and Zeal
I am tired. Very tired. And, I will rest. But, I will not forget those who committed their lives… and I will not forget the power that is Zeal. I will not forget its importance in defense of what is right and of character. I will not forget its importance in these times of trial and baseness. I will not forget Zeal in these days of Pandemic, Social Justice and Reset. I will remember who I am. I will remember what moves me, feet and heart. I will remember what matters most to me. I will remember the global goals, and the importance of my own and each of our roles in the betterment of the world. These are our historic times, and they require our own individual acts of remembrance and heroism. I will spend time more deeply remembering this day.
For me, and today, my best Remembrance of those who gave all… is to reflect on what that example means for me in living my life, here and now… and forward. My best Remembrance of Zeal is to consider what they had to conjure and offer up… and ask myself what must I do so in spirit, now and forward. How can and will I truly Honor the Fallen…
… by rising, with Zeal… and being the hero of my own life and story… genuinely. In movement and in stillness. And, in so doing, I now remember those words of LP Jacks…
- “A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”
Pursuing our own vision of Excellence starts with getting so tastably clear on why it all matters. We need taste it, palpably so to find our Zeal and deal with the tiredness that comes from us not seeing it.
Going honest and true… getting courageously clear on what and who matters most. There we find mission and meaning. There we find passion and purpose. There, we remember our Zeal.
For the Fallen, we Rise.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green
aka The Unity Guy
Barry Lewis Green moves the needle on character leadership and unity building with joyful ferocity and thoughtful zeal. Barry helps leaders forge strong, united cultures at school, work, business and community. Joe Calloway says, “I had the distinct pleasure of being in an audience in Montreal with Barry Lewis Green on the stage. Quite simply, Barry absolutely captivated us with his talent, his message, and his heart. The feeling of unity that Barry created in the room that day was extraordinary.” With 39 years in education and leadership training and development … and work in the private, public and community sectors across Canada… and as a speaker, educator, master facilitator, coach, writer, singer, dancer, and cartoonist,