When I first started running 15 years ago, I thought I was pretty good. Let me preface this story by saying that I absolutely hate running but, due to my profession, it was a mandatory event. I was able to run at a 6:30 minute per mile pace with ease which was generally excellent for the company that I kept. A few months later, I started running with a more elite group of guys and they were all running an average of 5:30 minute miles for up to 8 miles. This was extreme and way out of my league. I literally told myself that this pace was impossible for me because I was not in good enough shape and my body was not physically capable of achieving this level. The guys I ran with did not accept my conclusions and used some “mild” persuasion to assist (force) me to maintain this pace for a continuous basis, literally pushing my body and mental capacities beyond there limits. To my surprise, within a few weeks, I too was running this blazing pace. In my mind first and body second this pace was unimaginable just few weeks prior, what had changed?
I was reading Dante’s recent post where he really shared his heart in his writing and I got to thinking that some people probably read this blog and think:
“Wow that’s nice, great aspirations, good Christian men but not everyone can live up to that standard?”
“I’m doing better than a lot of other guys I know, why change and cause discomfort?”
“No one really lives like that, that’s just words. They’re being extreme”
First, my wife and friends read this blog, so I have to be truthful and accountable to what I say. Second is what John Maxwell refers to as the Law of the Lid.
Maxwell asserts the Law of the Lid in leadership is the ability to only rise as high as the leaders and people around you. Meaning, when you associate with mediocrity, you will become mediocre, many times not knowing you are mediocre. When you associate with the elite, you become elite.
I used to get drunk, party until all hours of the morning, treat my wife badly and live an ungodly life. In fact, much like Paul, I would ridicule and persecute Christians for their “holier than thou attitude.” But then some people came into my life and raised the bar for me, they pushed me to run at a faster pace. I started associating with real men of character and class, men that actually walked the walk. I started following the examples of men who treated their wives and families as a precious gift from God.
A very successful CEO once told me that the person I would be in five years time depended on the books I read and the people I associated with. Garbage in, garbage out.
I know this message may fall on deaf ears for some but for others I hope it allows you to take a look at your life and ask yourself who you are associating with? What are you reading? What are you watching? Who are your role models? Where is your bar currently at?
Raising the bar isn’t easy, it forces us out of our comfort zone and makes us live life at a higher standard. Plus, we have to be accountable to this new standard, and it is very easy to slip back into mediocrity.
We at Legacy Dad are hardly perfect and I would not wish my own life mistakes on anyone, but we are dedicated to the process of becoming Legacy Dads. This process means life changes, association changes and media changes. To some running at the old pace, it may seem radical, even extreme.
They cannot see the 5:30 mile as a reality. To others, the elite, it is normal everyday life as a Legacy Dad. Is it worth it? Ask my family.
It’s a new year, time for changes and resolutions. Why not make your resolution to be the best husband and father you can be for your family. Lead the pack, set the example and leave a lasting legacy.
When you’re ready to submit and have your life filleted open for all to see and then be held accountable for your actions, you are ready to run with the elite. This is spiritual manhood and maturity. It’s not a choice everyman will make in his lifetime but it is a choice every man could make.