SEIZING THE STRATEGIC MOMENTS IN LIFE
Life is defined by moments. We all have vivid recollections of certain life defining moments in our lives; some pleasant and others not so pleasant. My own life has been defined by moments eg. getting married to Liz almost 42 years ago, the birth of our first child, graduating at university, being appointed the first MEC of Finance in the North West province in 1994, the death of my dear mom in 1998, walking my eldest daughter down the aisle on her wedding day …… the list is endless.
One of the defining moments in my life was to read the book of Bob Buford – Halftime a few years ago. The central theme of the book is how to translate your success into significance. Many people like myself, who had quite successful careers in the first half of their lives, are increasingly searching for the answer – is there more to life than my current situation? What can I do to make my life to count for something more fulfilling, more meaningful and more eternally significant? I came from a period of exceptional success in my career and it seemed as if there was a sudden adrenaline withdrawal. As I went through the book, there developed in me a deep longing to leave behind an enduring legacy. I ultimately completed a program with the Half Time Institute. It was life defining and greatly assisted me in responding appropriately to my desire for significance. One of the questions that I had to grapple with, was how can I leverage from my very rich life experiences and the good name and reputation I built up in the marketplace, to impart into the lives of others. One of the statements that really caught my attention was quite thought provoking. “ Significance is not about success or failure, it is about meaning. Meaning is not something that you stumble across but is something you build into your life.” (Bob Buford)
Reinvent yourself or your life will go into a downward spiral. Leverage from your past life experiences in order to maintain upward momentum. This require from me and you to constantly discern those strategic moments in life that mark a turning point on our journey. Tom Patterson defines these turning points as ‘’ The previous pattern or trend is not continued. Something intervenes, occurs, or is decided that alters the future course… The future is not the same as the past once you have passed through this point. Certain things of the past may have been dropped or significantly altered; other things may have been strengthened or emphasized .”
GOING THROUGH YOUR DESERT EXPERIENCE
We all have been in a stage of life where it almost sounded too good to be true. Your star is on the rise and you are on a roll. You all of a sudden develop a sense of becoming disinterested in your current environment and the question might even have crossed your mind – what’s wrong with me? It might feel that you are in an emotional wilderness where the things that defined your identity, purpose and security become meaningless. I have been there before and came to the realization that it is a defining moment in God’s dealings with me. The length of time you spend in your desert is dependent on how quickly you respond in obedience to His call on your life. You will also be well advised, that in your moment of uncertainty, to earnestly seek His counsel concerning your destiny.
One of the disciplines that was instilled in us during the Halftime program, was to go on monthly Solo Retreats. It is a day or sometimes two in which you totally unplug from your mobile phone, emails, social media, television and the news. It is during these Solo Retreats that I also had to seek God’s direction to craft a mission statement for the second half of my life. After various iterations informed by prayer and solitude as well as the guidance of my coach and fellow team members, I got clear confirmation about what will inform my journey moving forward. To sum it up in one sentence – Martin will be a thought leader, developing leaders in the marketplace for Kingdom impact.
A SENSE OF MEANING
Building meaning into your life is a matter of choice. Every moment in life is a teachable moment and we need to determine for ourselves how we are going to engage with that moment.
If you have a sense of meaning:
- it frees you up from the success criteria of the world
- you relate to people from a sense of vulnerability and interdependency
- you live your true passion and your identity is not based on what others think you should be
- you seize every opportunity to serve others above your own interests.
I can without a shadow of doubt says that God granted me the wisdom to have an absolute clear picture on how to move forward in my life after the Halftime experience. I know my core and capacity as well as the context in which it needs to be deployed. It gave me the credibility in becoming a trusted coach, mentor and strategist in corporate, governmental and church circles. I came into my own and can certainly say I am enjoying the journey and my life took on greater meaning. I am humbled by the many opportunities that are coming my way to impact the lives of others and the fulfillment that it brings. At this stage of my life, all my endeavors are informed by legacy considerations.
You have not been created to only operate in the realm of success but to become somebody of significance. Your Creator wants you to live the life you were meant to live. Everyday, He presents to you strategic and life defining moments. Seize it!