Don’t Lose Your Brave

The 2020 Covid 19 crisis has us living in unprecedented times.  Everything from our economy to our education has been disrupted.  We have endured community wide shut downs, added masks to our daily attire, and learned to keep a respectful 6 ft distance in all our social interactions.

Most leaders are living in decision fatigue.  Instead of creating yearly plans and following the steps to attain those goals we have been forced to make new decisions on a daily basis.  The carefully cultivated yearly calendar has been decimated and we are now “flying by the seat of our pants” in our weekly and daily planning.  Many have seen their businesses disrupted as events that were sold, planned for, and advertised have been forced to either reschedule or cancel all together.

Such system wide disruption leads to discouragement.  It’s hard to be stuck in the “in between” while you watch your business suffer.  The experts say that someday this crisis will be over and we’ll return to a “new normal,” but many wonder if their business will still be around to see it.

One of the causalities of this kind of forced inertia is the loss of excitement to pursue new goals.  Uncertainty breeds conservative thinking which may be safer but it is definitely more boring.   I have been struggling to dream big and find myself reluctant to follow through on opportunities that six months ago I would have jumped on.

A friend challenged me with the phrase, “don’t lose your brave.”    It is basically a way to say, stay courageous, but I like the way he said better.  He helped me to remember that I not only need to stay full of faith, but I need to actively grapple with the thoughts that fill me with fear.  It’s important for leaders not to “lose their brave.”  People depend on us to dream the dreams that push our organizations out of their comfort zones.

What are the dangers of “losing our brave?”

  • If we lose our brave we could miss out on life changing experiences.
  • If we “lose our brave” those we lead may lose faith in us.
  • If we “lose our brave” when things return to normal we will regret the lost opportunities to grow.

I challenge you fellow leader, “don’t lose your brave!”   You believed big in the past.  Dream big again.  Refuse to cower to uncertainty and push yourself to take on new challenges.

The Wind in Your Sails

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. “So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.”   Mark Twain

Sailing is immensely easier when the captain catches the wind in the sails.  It means breaking out of the still waters and surging forward with seemingly endless power.  To stand on a sailing vessel, when the wind is filling and straining the canvas sails to their full capacity is exhilarating and exciting.  You can hear the sound of the ocean giving way to the force of your ship’s prow slicing through its waves.

Every life has times when you catch the wind in your sails.  Those times when you fill unstoppable. When the obstacles of your life fall before you and your projects cut through life’s bureaucracy like a ship’s prow under full sail.   Not only do you make progress, but your success seems almost effortless.  You chart new dreams as you achieve old ones like a captain plotting new coordinates as his ship passes familiar points of call.

We don’t always call it “wind in the sails.”  Sometimes we call it “being in the flow.”  Sometimes we refer to it as “being in the groove.”  As a man of faith, I call it having the favor of God on my life.If you’ve never been there, you’re missing out on one of life’s great joys.

Can we prompt the wind in sails effect?  It appears that the phenomena  has something to do with timing and that’s limiting, but there are things we can do.

  • Relentlessly prepare yourself for success.
  • Never surrender your passion for your dreams.
  • Prune your life of behaviors that lower your integrity.
  • Surround yourself with dreamers and goal achievers.
  • Deepen your faith.
  • Go further in your disciplines of faith.
  • Clean the junk out of your life.
  • Ask God to make you useful.

You never know when the wind will show up, but the above points will have you prepared and ready to take advantage when it does.

Twenty years will pass before you know it.  When that day comes, will you be disappointed by your habit of playing it safe. Throw off your bowlines of your life, quit paddling around in the safe harbors.  Let’s go sailing and feel wind in our sails and the hand of God on our lives.

God has some adventures waiting for you.




Here’s something ministers know that many people do not.

“You can teach anything you know, but you can only preach what you feel.”

If you want to move people rather than just educate them, you have to engage with passion.

Most ministers have learned this truth through painful experience.  They have endured the frustration of giving a sermon that is being listened to by polite, yet clearly bored people.  When they do their post-sermon review, they remember that when preparing the sermon, they personally felt unmoved by the material.  They understood it well, and it was no doubt solid truth, but they were left feeling indifferent to its content.   They “kick themselves” later for taking such personally dull content to their pulpits.  Knowledge (to be transformational)  has to engage the emotions.  Any speaker, who attempts to deliver material of which they have not discovered an emotional hook that will capture his listeners, is ensuring a disengaged audience.  Only speakers who have audiences that are required to listen, like college and high school teachers, can indulge in this kind of presentations.

Have you ever listened to a speaker and wondered if she was as bored by her speech as you are?  Have you mentally checked out during a speech, while the presenter droned on with seemingly endless points that were unrelated to your business and life?  Or, perhaps you have felt yourself captivated by a presenter who caused you to lose track of time as she shared stories of success and personal impact.  The difference between these speakers was passion.

Passion is like charisma.  It’s hard to define, but it is easy to spot.  Speakers that bring passion to their presentations are delightfully captivating and you always leave motivated to make some change in your life.

How can you get passion into your speech?

  • Speak only about things that move you personally
  • Speak with clarity rather than industry jargon
  • Speak with your entire body, not just your words
  • Speak with intensity, as if this were the last speech you’ll ever give
  • Speak with connection, look at the eyes of your listeners, not your power point

If you are given the opportunity to give a presentation, no matter the size of the audience, refuse to speak until you have found an emotional connection in the material that moves you personally.  Then get up and give your speech with passion.

You will be asked back to speak again.

Remember, you can teach anything you know, but you can only preach what you feel.

P.S.  Be patient with your minister. He has to give a speech every week!  That’s a lot of passion to create.