Warriors, what will you do when you finally “make it”?
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Will you retire to Naples?
Sail around the world?
Buy a home in Telluride?
Lately, I’ve been discussing the idea of making a difference in other people’s lives by being “the water” for those thirsting or stuck in the mud. Not surprisingly, it has sparked quite a discussion on Facebook, Twitter, and the 8pm Warrior blog.
However, many are struggling with whether or not they can do something now. Not at the end.
The end game is tricky because no one knows when the end will come. There are no two month, two day, or two minute warnings.
Instead of waiting until you “make it’, why not go out and make something great happen today. Make a difference. Be the water.
What should you do if you’re lost in a desert and someone brings you water?
Last week I wrote about my goal to “Be the Water”, and tonight I want to encourage those who need “the water” to use it when it’s given.
If you’re lost in the desert, don’t hope to find your way out. Don’t wait for it to rain. Don’t be foolish and stubborn.
I personally have many regrets about hurting mentors, missing opportunities, and wasting “the water” when it was needed. What a waste.
If you’re thirsty, drink.
If you’re dirty, wash.
If you’re a fish, swim.
If you’re a sailboat, sail.
No matter how strong we may be, there comes a time when we all need “the water”. If we don’t take it, we may discourage those trying to help and delay the growth we need to help be the difference to others.
Before you click away, let me explain. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds.
A bit more than a year ago, I wrote a speech for my colleagues based on the “Great Flood” of the Okavango Delta in the Kalahari Desert.
It’s a bit hard to explain without seeing it, but basically the rain falls almost 900 miles away and then flows towards the Kalahari Desert on a mission. It arrives just in time to rescue the animals that were exhausted, in despair, and near death.
It was inspiring.
At the same time, I felt both sympathy for the struggling animals (see the video below) and inspiration to be the water. I think this great event offers a teachable point of view regarding the difference leaders can be in this world. They can be the hot sun, or the fresh water.
As the fresh water flows into the desert, it forms little fingers that race across the thirsty sands, bringing life to everything they touch.
It stirs dormant animals to life.
It sustains the weary.
It’s exactly what I want to do with my life. Stir people to action. Sustain the weary. Be the difference!
Right now my wife and I are watching the DVD of “Nature’s Most Amazing Events” (I highly recommend it) and we just finished the section about the annual Pacific Salmon run. It makes for an interesting allegory for the current business environment.
Here it is:
Salmon are drawn by instinct to swim against the current, jump huge waterfalls, and avoid massive bears, just to achieve their mission. Only four out of every thousand salmon make the round trip from their birth place to the ocean and back again.
It’s the challenge of a lifetime! (Sound like your life?)
However, as if that wasn’t hard enough, sometimes the water levels are too low for the fish to even get to the bears, waterfalls, or heavy currents. They get stuck before the battle even begins.
Then the rain comes.
Just as many of the fish are starting to lose energy (and hope?), the rainy season begins and allows the fish to resume their life’s struggle against all odds. They can finally begin the fight they were designed for.
Many of my fellow 8pm Warriors are on their way to following their dreams. We all signed up for the challenges of developing new products and services, avoiding competitors, and challenging the status quo and swimming against the current.
What we didn’t sign up for was the lack of water.
This economy has dried up many opportunities, and left many 8pm Warriors wondering, hurting, and weak. Today I urge you to hold on.
The Rain is Coming!
The challenges we seek will be here soon enough and the days of funding issues and weak demand will be replaced with the challenges of finding the right people, products, and strategies.