Do you find that you never seem to have enough time to do important things in your life? Is your time frittered away with minutia and time-wasting activities? How much time do you spend on repeated actions and routines that brings you no closer to where you want to go, to do, or to become?
How can we turn our lives around to get amazing results at no additional cost? In an interesting article by Peter Bregman, author of numerous business books, a weekly commentator on Fox Business News and regular contributor to Forbes, NPR, Harvard Business Review, CNN, and more, challenges us by asking,“Is There a Question That You Can Ask Yourself That Will Change Your Life?”
Bregman thinks the answer to this question is to ask, “What can I do, right now that would be the most powerful use of this moment?”
Are we being held back by our fears, our perceived insufficiencies? Would we be willing to take some risks, step out of our boxes, and take some chances?
If we asked ourselves the above question throughout the day, how different might our lives become?
- What information would we seek?
- What would we do?
- What would we say?
- What decision could we make that would project us forward?
Has anyone given us advice lately that we didn’t act upon, but know it would have great results if we did it?
- And how would we honestly answer these questions?
- Are we willing to risk rejection, failure and even ridicule in the process?
- What do we really have to lose by trying?
- And what would we have the possibility of gaining?
Seizing the Moment
Bregman mentions a very interesting example to show how this might play out in real life. Billy Joel was giving a talk at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, this past January, when he responded to a raised hand from a student in the audience, Michael Pollack. With courage, Michael Pollack asked to accompany Billy Joel on the piano while Billy sang his ever popular song, “New York State of Mind”. Michael Pollack lives on Long Island, therefore the New York connection. A bold question for sure. But Billy Joel had a bold response, “OK”.
Like Billy Joel, Michael Pollack wants to be a piano man. As a result of this move, when he types his name into You Tube, his duo performance is accessible for all to see. What a Moment! What a Dream! This viral Vanderbilt performance skyrocketed Michael to land his first major performance scheduled months later, on August 10th at the Best Buy Theater in Manhattan’s Times Square as a 40-minute opening act for another well-known musical group.
All of this while he is still at the tender age of 19.
Michael’s courage, bold action, along with his talent skyrocketed him on the path to living his dream – being a well-known music man like Billy Joel and Elton John. We’ll stay tuned to hearing his name in the future.
“Having the courage to take the kind of bold action that creates new opportunities is, possibly, the most critical skill a leader can have. It’s why leadership development should involve experiences that hone emotional courage, and the communication abilities necessary to use it productively.” Bregman stated.
For sure the Michael Pollack/Billy Joel incident is a secular response to the question, because Harvard is a secular school. We Catholics might be better served to adjust the question to include Christ. “What can I do, right now, that would be the most powerful use of this moment for Christ and His Church?”
Regardless, what’s the tie-in of all of this to homeschooling?
Taking that Bold Step
If you homeschool, do you remember what it was like when you first decided to take this bold step? A decision which was probably outside your “box”, and especially for early adopters, very countercultural and definitely very outside your box! It might be interesting to ponder, “What impact has your decision to homeschool had on you, your family, and those around you?”
- If you have never homeschooled, what would you lose by trying it; what would you gain?
- If you stopped homeschooling, what might you have lost?
- Should you try again?
Are you instilling this kind of bold courage in your children?
- Are they being fortified to handle rejection of their dreams, and for using their unique God-given talents?
- Are their bars, spiritual and academic, raised high enough to be challenging?
- Or are they complacent to be mediocre?
Since we are children of God, should we not always give Him our best effort – to do our best in all circumstances, even with menial tasks, all for His greater honor and glory? So, be bold for the Lord!
Our children model us in so many ways. If we want courageous leaders of Christ in our world and are training our children to step up into this challenge, are we leading the way for them by our own lives? What kind of zeal for our Faith and the person of Christ do we emanate? Enthusiasm and energy are so catchy and nurturing, even if we have to fake it to make it—and know that I am not suggesting being unauthentic.
We see in our world all too often places where there is little virtue-centered emotional boldness with the result that problems fester with lack of courageous leadership. We need each of us, our children, and our families to be bold in our world today.
Let the past go, worry not about what has happened before and fret not about what is to come. Step into and enjoy the opportunities that Christ sets before us in the present. What bold actions can we take in our worlds, and in our families for Christ? Walking on these stepping stones leads us to Heaven and to the vocation and mission that is ours alone.
Inspiration for this article from A Question that can Change You