“I have this deep, whiny, pitiful, longing deep within,” my client confessed. It was almost as if he’d memorized it from a movie script.
However, he stopped abruptly with a direct order, “Don’t you dare tell my wife any of this!”
Before I could assure him of confidentialities he continued with the script.
“I’m pretty sure she would say it’s just my midlife crisis. But it’s more than that. I don’t wanna go do crazy things. Like buy expensive sports cars or quit my job.”
He paused and stared into space before he began again.
“I just want a life. A real life. I guess it’s kind of wimpy, whiny, and pathetic to have these deep longings. But I don’t know what to do about them…and they won’t stop but…they must stop!”
I think he was a little taken aback by my response when I ask, “And why must they stop?”
He looked bewildered and exasperated at the same time.
“Because it’s stuff I can never have. It just makes me sad and pitiful. It’s time to come to terms with understanding that what my life is now, is all it’s ever going to be. And I just need to get over it!”
Gently, I commented, “We all have longings…”
As a reader, you too have longings. And that’s not dysfunctional.
What’s a longing?
- A strong desire
- A yearning
- A possibility of more
- A possibility of a better
- Craving for something that seems unattainable
I knew that my job with my new client was to help him redefine longing, from just a craving that’s whiny, pathetic, and pitiful…into transforming that longing to a gift that becomes his ‘step one’ or his present need from A to B.
This week that’s my mission with you too; transforming or transitioning that longing.
My client responded to my comment about us all having longings with demands for answers, “Well…does it keep everyone up at night? Or is it just me? And are you going to tell me how to silence it or not?”
I shut my eyes as I often do and said, “I’d prefer to help you get clear about your longings and begin a process of helping you obtain them instead of silencing them.”
The rolling of his eyes and a sigh told me he was certain he’d made an appointment with the wrong person.
Which I totally understood.
I continued, “If ultimately, you want them silenced, I could help you do that. However, I honestly believe I’d be doing a great disservice to you, your wife, and your family.”
He retorted with, “And I’m sure that if they knew about my whiny, pitiful, pathetic longings, they’d think that was a disservice!”
I could not help but smile at his clever sarcasm as he went on.
“My wife told me what you’d say about this, and she was pretty much spot on!”
With a laugh I commented, “She sounds pretty amazing to me, so what did I miss from her prediction?”
“Oh, she doesn’t know that I’m here about this pathetic longing thing, she told me I should come because I’ve lost my vibrancy for living and for life. She told me that you were going to bury me under something, and then resurrect my Champion.”
That warranted a hearty laugh from me and it did and I did before I went on.
“Well, what she shared with you is a big part of what I do. Except that I don’t bury you. Somewhere along the way, that vibrant part of you has already been buried. I call that the Champion in all of us. Longings are the beginnings of a ‘to do’ or an ‘I’m supposed to go for it’ in people’s hearts.”
I continued, “I know there’s a Champion in you, because it’s the Champion part of us that has these deep longings.
Was conducting electricity not first, a longing in Edison or Tesla?
Was Apple a longing in Steve Jobs?
Was the Polio vaccine Jonas Salk’s longing?
Is the pursuit for the cure to cancer someone’s longing?
Longings give life to dreams and dreams give life to blessings that touch and change the world for abundant life to flourish.”
I could tell he was with me. I went on.
“But let me clarify one thing, these longings are not whiny, and they’re not pitiful, and they’re definitely NOT pathetic! They are the parts of us that LONG to express our FULL and BEST selves, so we too will know and share the abundant life.”
He shook his head yes as I stayed on course.
“Let’s start with my definition of a Champion…
Your Champion is the one you were born to be: a priceless, precious, innocent dreamer … buried beneath the pain, the shame, the trauma, and messaging and beliefs about you and your life … installed on the hard-drive of your mind, heart, and spirit. Those things on your hard drive that appeared to have silenced the wonder of the Champion within. That Champion, buried beneath a pile of tangled neuronal thought threads you didn’t create, that we WILL untangle and transform your heart, your mind, your spirit into the Champion you were meant to be…that you WILL be!
There’s truly a Champion inside each of us and I’m here to help you RESURRECT that Champion in you…in its purest form. That my friend, is WHO you were meant to be!”
His response was immediate, “Well…let’s do this,” he said as he paused and rubbed his chin in thought before continuing.
“But I’ll only do it if you promise that if this Champion thing doesn’t work for me…that you’ll help me silence the longings.”
I extended my hand and shook his and stated in my female affirmative tone, “DEAL.”
I continued, “One of the things that we’ll need to do is to talk about your longings.”
“Do I have to do that today,” my client nervously inquired?
“Actually…you don’t today. What I’d like to talk to you about today, are the longings that most Champions have from a 20,000-foot view. I’m hoping that’ll help redefine what longings are for you and give us a solid foundation to begin.”
I am hoping that over the next few weeks, I can not only lay this foundation for you, as I did for my client, but that I can also help you identify your longings and fire them up, instead of silencing them!
Let’s review the longings of Champions:
1. To become the very best versions of themselves.
Champions do not compromise, settle for, or put themselves in positions to have to make excuses for who they show up to be daily.
They have the longing to become an always growing towards an improved/improving version of themselves.
What does that look like?
- They are always open to feedback about themselves. But, with good healthy boundaries. They consider the feedback and look for golden gems of growth opportunities. They can, in real time, turn good boundary-friendly feedback, into mojo-positive desire-fuel! A Champion’s pout (if it shows up) is always short lived and never evolves into a pity party. Stop It…you can you know!
They take the time, energy, and emotion that most people use to make excuses or defend themselves…and invest that into becoming an even better version of themselves.
They KNOW the science that confirms that it’s their longing and the PURSUIT, that releases the dopamine in their brain. That dopamine always turns on, this neuro-mojo chemical in them they need (if and when) the ‘give-up demons’ come calling!
That’s how our ‘give-up’ thoughts are transformed into resurrection-power-thoughts! God made me/you/us that way!
- Champions carefully identify each of the roles they serve in their lives. For example:
- Employee/business owner
- Community member
They assess each of their roles on a regular basis (at least quarterly) and select a small area of improvement to make in each of their roles.
They’re courageous enough to ask the other people who experience them in their roles for suggestions on how to better meet their needs.
However…Champions don’t just ask, they act.
- They have accountability in place. An accountability partner, or a small accountability team, who have an opportunity to watch their lives.
“The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
Their accountability team doesn’t ‘blow smoke’ or just tell them what they want to hear. They certainly want accountability that will encourage them, but that will also always press them to move forward…without guilt or toxic shame.
They keep their accountability partner or team updated on their lives, and their growth (or failure to grow).
They’re very aware that all of us would prefer people see our best and remain silent or turn their heads when we are not that. But Champions are confident and emotionally mature enough to have great accountability in place!
- They are transparent and intentional about seeking, accepting, and acting on feedback about their growth. They have the overall attitude that their best is yet to come!
My client quickly retorted: “Well, I am afraid my best has come and gone, and it wasn’t all that great anyway.”
With curiosity, I asked, “Are you willing to change that? Because we all have the equal opportunity to believe that our best is yet to come.”
“If you’re sure that my best is still buried in there (pointing to his belly), of course I’d like to be my best!”
I know you feel the exact same way my friend. No matter what you’ve done or not done, the mistakes you’ve made or opportunities you’ve missed, or how great or how poorly you’ve run your life…your best is yet to come!
Don’t let your ‘unfinished yesterday start-ups’ keep you from doing now, what you knew to do, then. That’s the surest way to build our own personal rut…and remember what Lawrence Peter (who authored the “Peter Principle”) has declared, “A rut…is just a grave…with both ends kicked out.”
Yes…life is tough, sad, unpredictable one moment … then seemingly bliss the next.
“It’s not the critic who counts; not the one who points out how the strong stumble or where the doer of deeds could’ve done them better. The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again. Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends themselves in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if failing, at least fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
President Teddy Roosevelt
So, the arena is equally predictable, equally unpredictable for all who share this earth and the air we breathe. But it always starts with that Champion longing within us all.
That yearning for life and wisdom to make a difference, be the difference! Our ONE thing we just must try. Our ONE thing we long to go for.
Everyone’s starting blocks are the same; just different runners in different races all sharing the same spaces. All spaces have hurdles. The mantra cry of a Champion?
Be determined…Stay surrendered!
I’m rolling out the red carpet for you to step into the very best version of you! If you’ll embark on this journey with me, I’ll give you the science and truths to discover the power thoughts and attitudes you’ll need to find your every ‘next step’ which IS the path to resurrecting that Champion within!
A Champion with longings! We can only change what we control…US!
LET’S DO THIS!!
2. To have a rich, loving abundant life in their relationships, families, career, finances, and spiritual life.
What is the abundant life? It is a life rich in fulfillment, connection, love, laughter, fun, contribution, generosity, influence, health, energy, and vibrancy.
“Well, Hells bells! No wonder my life isn’t abundant. I don’t have more than two of those moments every year. Truth be told…every decade!”
I laughed with him, and to lighten the moment I asked, “Do you have any idea where that saying about ‘hells bells’ comes from?”
“Well, I don’t know because I’m pretty sure there’s not gonna be bells ringing in hell!”
I loved my client’s humor. I continued.
“So… back to the abundant life. It’s not out of reach for you. I promise you that…that IS the truth.”
He nodded wistfully as I shared, “I’ve sat with hundreds of people just like you who thought that people who have an abundant life were…
- Just lucky
- Born with a silver spoon in their mouth
- On drugs, OR
- Know something about magic that you and I don’t know!”
He asked with hopeful curiosity, “Well…is it a longing that they ever get filled?”
I assured him saying, “The wonderful thing about Champions is that they believe they can have it. They do what it takes to get it, and with every new level they reach in pursuit, they process it in gratitude and then reach for more.”
He asked, “Are they all exhausted from all of that? Do they ever give it a rest?”
I could tell he was seeking answers to motivate himself and check off the ‘made up boxes’ he dreaded having to check off in his mind.
“Let me assure you that part of the abundant life is about giving it a rest. About taking vacations. About resting when they need rest. Rejuvenating when a recharge is needed. About time with family and friends for fun and relaxation!”
Almost as if there had been magic words resonating deep within him, he popped his fist into his empty hand and proclaimed, “Then I am in! All in!”
I reinforced my client’s visible determination saying, “I believe you just completed the first step that every Champion takes in the beginning of their journey to achieve the abundant life…You now believe it’s possible!”
How difficult believing it is possible is dependent on several things:
- What was installed on your hard drive by your early caretakers (parents, teachers, coaches, etc.)
- What you have been through in life (hurt, disappointment, trauma, etc.)
- Your resiliency
- Your spiritual foundation (or lack of it)
- Factors like health, current stress levels, etc.
But the moment you believe it’s a possibility, the wheels are in motion, and the path to the abundant life becomes well lit.
My client began pondering out loud.
“So, I know the universal concept of sowing and reaping. But how do you spread and plant abundant life when you don’t have any? And what if it’s just not meant to be…for me? Like the good book says the poor will always be with you.”
I understood the path that his mind was taking him on, because I experienced a similar path of thought early in my life.
I responded as his thoughts trailed off, “I know exactly what you were thinking. Many of us have the mindset that we must be good enough, or do enough, or have a certain amount of money in the bank, etc. to be worthy of an abundant life.”
He nodded his head in matter-of-fact agreement. I continued.
“When I was in my mid to late 20s and I was working with Dr. John Bradshaw, he was talking to me about having an awesome life. In defining an awesome life, he mentioned prosperity. I told him that I knew that the Bible said that the poor would always be with us. And I remember looking up from my gaze out the window, and looking right at him and from my heart asking, ‘What if I’m just supposed to be one of those poor people’?”
With a compassionate smile, I’ll never forget that distinct voice of his saying, “You are so right, my dear, it does say that. But the last I looked, your name was not in there, and it does say that everyone has to be one of those poor who will always be with us!”
We (my client and I) both laughed and enjoyed the moment.
I continued, “Then Dr. Bradshaw reminded me of an experience that I’d shared with him in an earlier session about my trip to Fiji. He reminded me how I said that they had absolutely nothing. Simple structures to live in with thatched roofs, many living there without shoes, very very few had vehicles.
He asked if I remembered what I’d told him about the night I stayed with them and drank kava tea after they’d extracted it from the root…And if I remembered what I’d said about that night?”
My client was wrapped in my story as I went on.
“Of course, I remembered. But sitting in his office, I repeated it again, ‘They had none of the modern conveniences and luxuries that I take for granted. Yet, they were the happiest people in the entire world’.”
I smiled at my client, paused, then said, “That my friend… IS abundant life!”
We both let the silence speak for a moment.
Then he asked, “Can you help me get started on this track?”
I could hardly believe my client who just a few minutes earlier, had asked me to help him silence the longings, was now, wanting to start down the abundant life path!
Enthusiastically I began, “I certainly can! Let’s get you started by evicting misery and suffering from your life!”
He looked at me as if I’d just consulted my crystal ball and demanded, “How did you know?”
“Because anyone who wants to silence the deep longings or believe the abundant life is not for them…have misery and suffering at the helm of their lives.”
We began. And he indeed was all in!
I led him through the healing process for misery and suffering that I recently wrote about. I got him started on the journey with the handout I had printed and sent him on his way.
If you’re ready to start down the path of abundant life, please do this step yourself! Evict that misery and suffering! If you missed my blog about it, here is the link to walk through that process (https://bit.ly/GoodbyeMisery).
YOU are not disqualified from the abundant life. I hope this will motivate you and shake you to begin this journey.
You can’t just read about it! You must DO IT! It’s interesting to me how many people enjoy reading about it, and how few actually DO IT!
YOU are a Champion.
So right alongside Nike…JUST DO IT!
You were meant to have an abundant life. So, take your marks, get set, and out of the blocks…‘together’…we’ll find YOUR step one!
Remember it’s always getting from A to B.
Not A to Q.
Or A to M… etc.
All we ever need is wisdom for the moment for our next-right-step!
3. To purposefully leave a legacy.
My client returned the next week with his wife. It was so delightful to meet someone who’d been reading my work and was inspired enough to send her ‘lusterless’ husband to me.
He started with his disclaimer.
“OK I asked you not to tell my wife why I came, but after I figured out in our first session that my longings were not whiny or pitiful, I told her all about it.”
His wife jumped at the chance and said, “And I fell in love with him again! It’s like he had life in him once again! We worked on the first two things together. And now we’re here with arms linked, ready to move forward! TOGETHER! That’s a miracle!”
I love miracles.
I count on miracles!
(My tagline on my business cards and on the engraving on my daily book is… “Specializing in Moving Mountains!” I truly count on miracles! I KNEW they were ready!)
I told them that the third thing that Champions long for is to leave a legacy…but…Purposefully.
I explained that Champions did not do this to have their names in neon. They were not doing it to become millionaires. They were doing it…because they wanted ‘their’ generations to come to have this kind of life.
My client’s wife said, “When we were out walking the other night and talking about this, we talked about leading a Life Group at church on this very subject. It’s like people don’t know this stuff. And everyone should know!”
“Oh, my friend,” I stated with true admiration. “That’s the true heart and longing of a Champion. A desire to leave something with and for others, and hopefully it will multiply and make a difference, generations from now and/or in hundreds of thousands to come!”
What about you?
You may say, there’s nothing special about me, and I really don’t have anything to leave behind that would mean anything to anyone.
That’s exactly what I believed about myself at an earlier time in my life. But now I know that …one heart at a time, I too can leave a legacy.
When someone sits down in front of me in my office, they have 100% of my devotion, my courage, my faith, and my determination to help them make their lives, their situation, their businesses better than they ever dreamed possible.
For example, I planted a seed in the heart of this man (my client) several weeks earlier. He went home and planted part of that into the heart of his wife. In the session, they talked about how they were doing that with their children. And now considering a Life Group. One seed has now affected at least 23 people.
How many will those 23 folks affect?
The numbers compound, along with a legacy.
There’s something in you that means the world to another person.
Maybe it’s a word of encouragement.
Maybe it’s a hug.
Maybe it’s helping them carry something heavy.
No matter how small it may seem, it will multiply and create compounding growth, and be added to your account as a purposeful legacy.
Start with what you have.
With how you hope.
Whether it’s a hug.
A kind text.
Just get started!
Life-giving-life always compounds.
When it does…legacy creates itself.
“It’s always too early to quit.”
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
Do you have longings?
I know you do.
They’re not whiny.
They’re not pitiful.
They’re not pathetic.
All are waiting for you to join the treasure hunt and bring them to life.
Next week I will be sharing with you how to identify your longings, and how to breathe life into them.
Longings are beautiful things.
Do not allow them to scare you.
The more impossible they seem the more certain I am…
that you can realize them.
No matter how far away they seem, the more certain I am, we can call them forth.
The more unqualified you feel, the greater the chances are that you’re the one meant to bring them forward.
Allow your longings to talk to you.
Listen for them as you’re falling asleep at night.
And as you awaken in the morning.
Longings are the light!
They’re the lifesparks of the Champion in all of us.
The world needs your lifespark, my friend!