I am walking through John Maxwell’s Book - Put Your Dream to the Test, and putting my dream to the test as a method to help you in your quest to develop and fulfill your own dream. I sincerely hope that we can take some strides together.
In Put Your Dream to the Test, Dr. John C. Maxwell asks a series of questions. We have already covered Questions 1 through 4:
Am I Depending on Factors within My Control to Achieve My Dream?
Does My Dream Compel me to Follow it?
Reminder of My Dream: Be a Coach, a “Thinking Partner” to help others achieve everything they were designed to achieve; and be all you meant to become.
Today, I’ll reflect briefly on questions 5 and 6
Question 5: The Pathway Question: Do I Have a Strategy to Reach My Dream?
Question 6: The People Question: Have I Included the People I Need to Realize My Dream?
It’s been a while since we worked through the Dream Plan together. A lot has happened since my last writing. I apologize for the hiatus, but Life, and actions to truly build a new career can get in the way of writing about it. I am sincerely sorry to those that are following this closely, in order to use my experiences to walk your steps to your dream.
I have always believed that their lies within me great potential. I have done well, but I have not done well enough to satisfy my spirit. I realize that I am a conservative person. Therein lies a big reason for the corporate career path that I have taken.
I will share a portion of my story, as I have some memories that I have remembered for over 35 years. You see, I loved, and maybe more importantly, I excelled in math and chemistry in high school. I had the greatest chemistry teacher, Mr. Rea. Because of this, the career path that seemed quite logical for me was to become a chemical engineer. And despite career day in high school, when I visited Stauffer Chemical with a few classmates that also planned a career in chemical engineering, that is and has been a big part of my career path.
I said, despite career day…..let me share with you a story. The only thing that I remember to this day about career day, was that our host said that one of his responsibilities was to supervise chemical plant construction. This in itself is not a surprise, but it is in the manner and words that he chose to say to a bunch of high school juniors. He said that he would tell people, “Put the f***ing pipe up there.” Yes, he said the whole F word to the group. That’s what I remember.
My initial college to career dream was more vague. While I still wanted to become a chemical engineer, my dream was to gain more responsibility for managing projects, and even a plant, division, etc. I wanted to be in charge. It’s not that I wanted to boss people around. It’s more about doing well, and moving up. I was ambitious.
Now, my educational and career path to become a chemical engineer has proved to be an excellent opportunity to take care of me and my family, and yet, it has never satisfied my spirit. I have always known there to be more.
After working in the corporate world for a dozen years, I needed some more challenge. It’s not that my job wasn’t challenging, it most certainly was. It is more a matter that I want to make a bigger difference, and I think that difference is in the lives of people, not just in rubber products. I want something that awakens and fulfills my spirit.
It was at this point that I began training to become a lay pastor. I wanted to grow in such a way that I could preach in order to help people grow their faith. I knew that I needed to grow my speaking skills, and focus on people. I never expected that my faith would grow more than anyone else’s, but in retrospect, it is so obvious that it did. I put in so much time preparing a message compared to anyone hearing it, of course it makes sense. I then served a church as their pastor for nearly 9 years; all the while continuing my work as an engineer. While my strategy to get to where I am was not particularly clear at this point, it reminds me of the quote by Martin Luther King, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Additionally, as you take steps down a path, the path opens up and becomes clearer along the way. After serving as a lay pastor, and reaching a point where I knew that I needed to move on, that is when the John Maxwell Team came across my path. Actually, it was the second time of learning about the John Maxwell Team (JMT) - but I wasn’t ready. I thought that I was too busy to take the next step. And while that is true, the stronger truth is that I wasn’t mentally prepared for my next step.
When the JMT notice came across my Facebook feed, and I sat down with my wife to watch it, now I was ready! And so was she! We had a similar strategy of investing in ourselves, growing our skills, in order to make a greater difference in the lives of others. This covers question 6 - Have I included others? I’ll never forget when we were watching the John Maxwell Team Infomercial. I knew that I was interested; and wanted to invest the money needed. As the webinar ended and we looked at each other, she said to me, “Can we both do it?” That told me she understood that I wanted to move forward; and it told me how interested she was as well. Gulp?! That was a bunch of money. However, we have grown stronger in our belief that we are worth that investment and far more! We both recognize that it was a decision that we could not NOT make to move forward.
I guess you can see that the strategy had to mold and shape itself over the years. From a chemical engineering pursuit, to lay pastor (people focus) to coaching people to their greater successes today.
Over the last 4 years, the engineering job has changed. When I first started down the JMT path, I started running masterminds with other staff people. It has become clear to me that the majority of people in life are not growth oriented. Wow has that opened my eyes. There are business associates, and even friends that will not talk to me about my new dream. It has completely reshaped the way I look at things, and I am adjusting. I want to spend time with growth minded people.
Additionally, as Kris and I have started our journey to create Leadership Harbor. We have had 2 more coaches join us because of the areas that we want to help people. Our dear friend, Chris Hansen, has played a pivotal role in youth ministry, and more importantly, he has been integral to helping us raise our daughters to be the strong faithful individuals that they are today.
The fourth coach is Cameron Meter. He is our son-in-law. He is an inspiration to me and others due to his financial acuteness when it comes to home budgeting and debt reduction.
Well, this is leading right into Question 7 on Paying the Price. So, it may be time to stop here. Thanks for letting me share my strategy and the people I need to move forward.
If we, at Leadership Harbor, can help you begin your journey, unblock your mindset, climb over an obstacle, or you just want to chat. Let’s get connected. Your life is before you! Move it forward!