Vision stretchers

One of the things that I’ve learned on my journey through this life, is that success is a balance; and there are many areas that I have to intentionally focus on if I want to grow.  I have also learned the impact that relationships have on our thinking and our decision making.  We cannot drift into excellence, and therefore we need a plan to get better results.  The book, Resolved 13 Resolutions for Life, by Orrin Woodward, has stimulated my thinking in so many areas; and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite books.  It explores our lives from many different angles, and challenges us to resolve to live to a higher standard.

Recently, I’ve enjoyed playing basketball with a group of guys at the YMCA in my town.  Not only has it helped me with my physical goals, but it is a lot of fun.  The guys that come to play are very diverse in age, profession, background, etc.  From a very fit 59-year old retired government employee, to a judge…business owners, a variety of professionals, and a group of college kids, we play full court basketball for over an hour–three times a week.  As always when interacting with folks, it’s amazing to see the maturity (or lack of) that is exhibited when there is conflict.  To their credit, most of our games are competitive and fun, and very few incidents occur.  I found myself analyzing the different guys, and wondering what circumstances and relationships led them to their current place in life.  It is somewhat obvious to see that some have learned many success principles, have a good attitude, sport good people skills, and have confidence in themselves.  Then, there are those who lack in these areas and seem to feel that they have something to prove.  They get offended easily, and react negatively when things aren’t going their way.  Looking back, I used to be the guy who needed to prove something, because I didn’t see the big picture or realize my purpose for living. That was when God led people into my life that believed in me, and introduced me to information that changed my perspective.  Now, I am on a journey to continue to learn truths and discover what exciting adventures are ahead.  As Helen Keller said, “Life is either a great adventure, or nothing”.

What kind of circumstances and relationships have led you to where you are in life?  Is your life a great adventure?  As I look around and continue to meet people and build communities, I realize that just like the guys at the gym; the difference between people so often comes down to the relationships that they have, and if someone has taught them truths–or more importantly where to find the truth.  It is exciting to think that we have the opportunity to impact people by how we live our lives.  It is also important that we realize the ripple effect of our actions and attitudes on all those that we influence.  It’s a very negative world out there, and a smile, kind word of encouragement, or any positive affirmation does make a difference. As John Maxwell says, ” Those closest to you will stretch your vision, or choke your dreams”.  Let’s be vision stretchers.

God bless! Dean

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8 responses to “Vision stretchers

  1. Thanks Dean. The book is amazing. It is so packed with ideas and ways to improve who I am. I am taking longer to read this book than I might normally because I keep stopping to think. Every day I tell someone something good about themselves, something positive they may never have noticed about themselves. Never would have happened without all of the books I have been encouraged to read in the last 6 years

  2. Great post, Dean! It’s a great reminder that every pair of legs is carrying around a full volume of stories that defines who that person is at that moment in time…as our own do.

  3. Thanks for posting, Dean. Andy & I are so thankful God brought you into our lives at a critical time. In a sea of dream chokers, you are that vision stretcher for us, and we are grateful. Keep writing!!! It’s good to remember we do not live to ourselves.

  4. Thanks for the post. While reading this it reminded me of when I was this punk 19 year old kid playing beer-league softball. I now play in that same league and see these kids acting like they have something to prove and I’m only out to have fun. The team that I play for is filled with a bunch of guys who are past their prime and have nothing to prove. We are just having fun. The best thing is is that we have won the league two out of the last three years.

  5. Dean…

    I love it ‘Life is a great adventure, or it is nothing’. That Helen Keller was my kind of lady! It’s an honor to be in this fight with you!

    God bless, Kirk Birtles

  6. “Life is either a great adventure, or nothing”.
    Dean,
    I love that quote! Not too long ago I found myself thinking I had already lived my “great adventure” what a horrible feeling to wake up wishing the past wasn’t over, with nothing to look forward to, no goals, and slipping into a day by day cycle of mounting failure. Thankfully God directed my life into situations that rekindled that sense of adventure by getting me around people with contagious vision. Now I realize that I still matter, and there is yet a cause worth fighting for with a difference to be made. I thank God for people with vision who have invested in my life and helped me rediscover that there is still a “story” to be made. Thanks for sharing Dean! God bless.

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