Remember the ancient story about David and Goliath? A young shepherd David going to battle against the enemy giant Goliath? He ends up killing Goliath with only a few smooth stones torpedoed by his leather slingshot.
The part of the story that is particularly powerful is what happens before that final scene. The King, whose people are battling Goliath’s army, calls David before his throne and offers his own personal body armor to wear to go up against the giant.
Now this is no small offer. The King has been a hugely successful warrior and leader of his people, achieving epic victories through the years. And he’s always worn this special armor to protect himself and he’s used the sacred sword to defeat his enemies. Now he offers them to David.
I was finishing a coaching session with a couple and decided to ask the question, “So which of your strengths would you like your partner to ask you to contribute to your marriage more often?”
What followed was 45 minutes of profound, deep, honest, heartfelt sharing between both of them.
She stated that from the beginning of their marriage, when she had tried to organize and activate him around one of their tasks, he had told her not to nag him.
Have you noticed that most of our new year’s resolutions center around stated behaviors, action steps, goals? It certainly makes some sense – after all, we’re trying to engage in actions that are important to us.
But often times, we don’t ask the next set of questions. What is it we’re hoping those actions will help us feel? What do we truly want to feel as we go through our lives this year?
Stop and think about it. What you’re really wanting when you set a goal is a certain way of feeling. Right?
We choose to engage in certain actions and behaviors (we establish goals and intentions) because we really want to feel something specific and good. Underneath every goal is a desired feeling.
Albert Einstein once made the astute observation:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
There are three points from Einstein’s statement I want to unpack relating to what it means to living your strongest, most authentic life this new year.
First, everybody is a genius. That means you. That means me. That means the person next to you, too.
Does it feel that way to you? Does this statement resonate as truth to you?
Paul and I in a moment of spontaneous fun at his men’s friendship weekend where we spent time sharing our journeys, expressing love to Paul, and celebrating his birthday.
My closest friend Paul and I were having our weekly phone visit a few days ago on New Years Day. We shared how we had experienced and lived out the primary feeling words we had chosen at the beginning of 2013 – the feelings we most wanted to experience for the year and what activities we had engaged in to help us truly feel those words.
The sharing was powerful and very validating, as it always is when we visit – a weekly commitment we’ve made with each other for the last 16 years. Being able to bear witness to each other’s lives, the ups and the downs, the victories and the challenges, is extremely affirming and encouraging.
At the end of our New Years conversation, we both commented on how blessed and grateful we are to have this time set aside for deep, honest, authentic, sharing of our lives with each other. We both know many men who simply don’t have this experience in their lives for various reasons.