We’re becoming more cautious as a society. It’s pretty easy nowadays to get offended and then tell everyone you’re offended. I realize that I don’t want to offend anyone, so I begin to tone down my message, my art, my voice or turn just it off. I’m not talking about winning an argument on social media or boycotting the business you’re angry at this week. This isn’t about throwing morality out the window. I’m talking about (and observing) how it’s more and more difficult to hear what really matters to people. We’re getting quieter. We are losing our conviction.
There’s an old sermon illustration that I can neither confirm nor deny that I used when I was a youth pastor. It goes like this:
Imagine you were put on the stand in a courtroom, having been convicted of being a Christian. The prosecuting attorney has gone over everything you did during the past week. Would the prosecutor find any evidence to convict you? (insert long silent pause for effect)
Ah, the power of the guilt trip. And I may have just offended someone.
The point here is that it’s really hard to create a movement (or just movement in general) with something you’re merely interested in or simply like the idea of. It takes conviction. Raw, heartfelt, believe-it-with-everything-you’ve-got conviction. Think about how many times you’ve started a statement with:
- I need to…
- I would like to…
- I wish I could…
That’s not conviction. That’s your desire for convenience talking. Convenience doesn’t get anything done.
Caution is the enemy of conviction. So is inaction. If you truly have a conviction about something, you’re going to do something about it. Let me give you a quick game plan:
- Paint a clear picture of why the world would improve if your conviction were true for everyone (stories work well here)
- Find other people who share your conviction and build a team
- Keep communicating from your heart, your passion, your own voice and be brave
- Adapt – your conviction needs to evolve and grow just like you are
- Commit to the long haul and the daily grind
The world needs to know what matters to you.
My conviction with starting Lifelong Leaders is this: we MUST focus more on the people we work with than the work itself. This is especially true for leaders.
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