Archive for January, 2009

What Do You Want To Do?… Do The Opposite

January 26, 2009

 

Is it any wonder a keynote topic like "Tougher than the Times" has surged to "most requested" status lately?  Of course not.  It doesn't seem to matter whether you are a corporate executive, factory worker, healthcare provider, small business owner, or government official.  Across the board, Americans are facing some "tough times" and looking for solutions.  

The best news about all of this is that we seem to be of one mind as Americans as we view our current global and economic challenges as temporal.  We know that “this too, shall pass”.  Still, the questions of how we “get to the other side” and “how long will it take” linger heavily in the air.  Bottom line, in order to get through “tough times,” we need to be “tougher.”  So, what does it take to be tougher than the times exactly?

First, we need to understand that often times, what is required of us in challenging circumstances is exactly OPPOSITE of what we want to do.  Too often, we want to “hunker down” and “wait it out.”  Perhaps we keep operating at the status quo and simply “hope for the best.”  Unfortunately, this passive mentality will have us run over, defeated, and beaten down in no time flat.  There are two important facts to remember when becoming “Tougher than the times.”   One, any challenge or obstacle worth our time and attention will require strategic action on our part.   Two, in times like these, our best defense is offense.  

To illustrate this, I want to share with you an ancient HERO who became (much) tougher than the times.  

When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed King over all of Israel, they (the Philistines) went up in full force to search for him… – 1 Chronicles 14:8

Many of us may have heard the famous “bible story” battle between David and Goliath.  Well, Goliath was a Philistine, a nation of people who were literally classified as modern-day giants.  Clearly, they already had SIZE as an advantage.  But, history also tells us that size was not this nation’s only “weapon.”  You see, archeological digs in Israel reveal that only those sites occupied by the Philistines contained iron tools and weapons.  So, in addition to being giants, the Philistines had developed advanced technology enabling them to create iron weaponry that the Israelites did not have at that time.   A formidable opponent, wouldn’t you say?

Perhaps as formidable as being a leader in an organization experiencing layoffs and massive transition? As formidable as being a small business owner entering a new year dominated by media – driven DOOMSDAY forecasts???  As formidable as entering a new economy in which people more carefully consider each purchase?  As formidable as pursuing a goal that seems “impossible” to achieve?  Let’s see what we can learn from David’s “tougher than the times” response.  

…but David heard about it and WENT OUT TO MEET THEM.” 1 Chronicles 14: 9

The bottom line is that we will all face obstacles in 2009 – just as we faced obstacles in 2008.   But we don’t have to face them the SAME WAY we always have.  We don’t have to hunker down and wait it out.  We certainly don’t have to run away or put our heads in the sand.  I love what David does… He hears about these giants who are coming out in FULL FORCE to destroy him.  Our own first response may have been to HIDE and hope this army of well-armed giants got lost on their way to Israel.  J BUT, history records that David did just the OPPOSITE.  He ran TO the roar.  He met his opponent … his obstacle.. head on! Click Here to read about how  Scott Rigell of Freedom Ford “Ran To The Roar”.

Today, I am asking each of you to do the same.  And, when you are meeting each new challenge with confidence, with faith, with your BEST effort… why not leave a comment below about what you are up to?  I would love to include your story in one of my upcoming books or newsletters.

Author, Rolfe Carawan

Run To The Roar America…

January 21, 2009
President Obama renewed his call for a massive plan to stimulate economic growth.

President Obama renewed his call for a massive plan to stimulate economic growth.

Today, a new President will take office, and while this may be a lifelong dream for him, I can’t say I envy him at all.  He is coming on the scene when our country is facing unprecedented and daunting economic challenges, as well as continued global terrorism and a challenging war effort.  Like a “roaring lion” these obstacles continue to intimidate us, evoking fear and anxiety in the hearts of many Americans. 
 

While we may be tempted to hear the roar of the lion and “run for the hills”, a more thorough investigation of our “enemy” may make us think again.  You see, the male lion isn’t even really a hunter.  In fact, his typical contribution to a hunt is simply his roar.  It is the lionesses who are actually known for their hunting prowess.  As these females lie in wait at one end of the grassland, the male lion will be at the other end, as their prey graze in the middle.  To signal the hunt, the male lion lets out an intimidating roar.  Out of fear, the grazing animals run AWAY from the roar, and into the dangerous group of lionesses, who lie in wait. 

But, what if they RAN TO THE ROAR instead?  Well, with their size (in number) and speed,  they could easily run past the ONE male lion on that end of the savannah and survive. 

It is this very analogy that I shared with Congressman Randy Forbes not long ago.  You see, our immediate reaction to something fear – or anxiety –– evoking is to run away from the roar, often into more dangerous or daunting circumstances.  I, like Congressman Forbes, believe that we stand as a nation in the middle of the grasslands and RUNNING TO THE ROAR is exactly what is required for us to move beyond our current (personal and global) obstacles and challenges. 

To hear more about RUNNING TO THE ROAR from Randy Forbes, visit his blog  and be on the lookout for the book he and I are co-authoring entitled, “RUN TO THE ROAR”.