With the countless choices and pressures that pummel young people, it's challenging for them to build a solid belief system, and even more difficult to have enough strength of conviction that it can withstand the winds of change. Naturally, the problem carries over into adulthood where leadership and the qualities of a role model are built on a shaky foundation.
A lighthouse is built not only to stand strong against the most angry storms and the unrelenting erosion caused by the battering sea. And not only does it stand tall, unwavering, but it also calls out to others and draws them in. It is a haven of safety. A beacon of truth in the darkness.
It's all in.
Whether father, mother, husband, wife, student, manager, vice-president, coach, teacher, pastor, or pilot...no matter our role, without commitment, we can be tossed around by any breeze. Being "half-in” opens the door to pressure and failure. If you're pretty sure about your belief system but can't really back it up, you're half-in, and mere questions will shake you up. If you are pretty sure you want to give to charity and save for retirement, you're half-in, and temptation will cost you a lot. You must know where you stand and WHY. And you must be that lighthouse that leads others through the storms that rage all around.
Here are some things to ask yourself:
- How would you define your belief system?
- Why do you believe what you believe?
- Have you gone through a period of doubt that led to searching? Did it strengthen or weaken you?
- Do you run from discussions of politics or religion because you're not able to articulate your position?
- In what ways are you half in? How can you raise those stakes?
Here's a brief quote that shows some of his thought process when he had to face the truth that he'd only been half-in:
Taylor had moved to the windows and was staring out over the city. Lights twinkled as dusk descended upon Manhattan, casting an orange glow across the horizon. He tipped his head toward the view. “The city is so large it lures you into thinking you can hide from the rest of the world, and no one will know what you’re doing. What a joke.”
***I'd really love to give away a copy of this book to one lucky blog reader who wants to be all in. If that's YOU, just leave a comment that includes the words I'm all in. I'll use random.org to select the winner from all comments made between now and midnight on March 31st. If it's past that date, don't let that stop you from leaving your "all in" declaration.
lighthouse photo 100230970 courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com