What Is Driving You?

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself the question: “what is driving me”?  What causes me to get up every morning and do what I do?  What drives me?  What motivates me?  I want you to pause for a moment and ask yourself this all important question: “what is driving me”?  That all powerful force, drive, motivation that is behind me is propelling me into my tomorrow.  There are one of two polar opposite driving forces that drive every single individual.  You may not realize it, but these two driving forces are very real.  These two driving forces are as different as day and night, a Volkswagen and a Lamborghini, a putter and a 4 iron, and as far as the east is from the west.  Simply put these two forces are: values driven and performance driven.  You are either driven by performance or you are driven by values.  It really does make a difference what you are driven by.


Performance Driven

In the performance driven environment you are focused on the “what” and the “how”.  It is all about “what” I do and “how” I do it that matters in this environment.  It is all about performance.  It is about shining under the spotlights.  If I can just out perform the competition I will be the winner.  This environment is all about winning no matter the cost.  As long as I am number one it doesn’t matter how I get there just as long as I get there.

Sadly there are many with this attitude.  Winning no matter the cost is the mantra of this environment.  Whether it is in your personal life or corporate life this performance driven environment will not last.  As long as I can get to the top it doesn’t matter who I wrong, who I hurt, what rules I break, because it is all about being number one.  We know the right words to say to get the promotion.  We know exactly how to do this or that in order to advance.  We are specialists with what we do and how we do it.  We have done this thing for so long we can do it with our eyes closed.  What happens is we fail to take advantage of opportunities because we are so laser focused on the mechanics of “what” we do and “how” we do it.  We fail to make a difference in our world or someones life because that is outside of our preconceived ideas of “what” and “how”.

Our culture today is all about performance.  We say things like “I’ve got to do this” or “I’ve got to go there” or “I’m in a hurry” and the list goes on and on.  Society has put an expectation on us to perform no matter what.  I am doing this particular thing because this is what I am supposed to do, and this is how I do it.  Performance becomes mundane and monotonous.  We end up just going through the motions of life day after day.  Like the rat in the wheel syndrome – a lot of performing but not going anywhere.  In the performance driven environment there is no clear purpose, and this is the reason so many get frustrated and just completely burned out.



Values Driven

A values driven environment is polar opposite of a performance driven environment.  In a values driven environment purpose is clearly defined.  The focus is on “why” I do what I do, not on “what” I do and “how” I do it.

In order for a culture to be created you must first clearly define your purpose.  The “why” has to be clearly defined before you can do anything else.  If you are struggling to clearly define your “why” I would recommend you read the book “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek.  Once your “why” is clearly defined, then you must set your values.  You need a value system in your organization, department, group, family, church, etc.

It is your values that drive you.  That value system of principles that govern your entire life is what gets you up in the morning to do what you do.  Each of us were created for a purpose.  You are not just “accidentally” here on planet earth with no purpose whatsoever.  No, you were fearfully and wonderfully made as the psalmist David put it.  When your purpose is clear it changes the atmosphere around you.  The “what” and the “how” become the byproducts of your “why”.  Discover your purpose, and watch how your life, outlook, and attitude change.  A performance driven individual says “do I have to go to work today?” whereas a values driven individual says “I get to go to work and make a difference today!”  When your values drive you; decisions are easier to make.  Start paying attention to places of business you go to, coworkers you work with, people you go to church with, and yes even family members and you will begin to recognize who is performance driven and who is values driven.

When you understand your purpose or “why” and you put in place a value system you will then see your life begin to change.  When you understand your “why” you can endure any how.  I challenge you to be values driven and not performance driven.  Uncover the purpose in your life, and make an impact on everything and everyone around you.

I close with the words of a very wise man who once told me that “a values driven environment will always outperform at performance driven environment”.



Fear is debilitating

We have all experienced the debilitating factor of fear.  Whether it is fear of heights, fear of being in a small tight space and feeling claustrophobic, fear of dying, fear of failure, fear of other peoples opinions, fear of the unknown, and the list goes on and on.  Fear has kept many from going to the next level, opening that business, getting a college education, making that investment, etc.  What has fear kept you from doing?  How has fear debilitated your progress?  You see each of us struggle with this thing called fear, and if we are not careful fear can keep us from accomplishing what we have been created to do.

If we let fear into the drivers seat of our lives it will cripple if not completely destroy that calling in our lives.  You and I have been created for a purpose.  We are not merely on this earth to occupy a block of time and space, but you and I were created to fulfill purpose.  Don’t allow fear to abort your calling or purpose in life.


Face your fear

Fear is a normal thing that each one of us must face.  Fear will be there, but it is how you handle fear that matters most.  Suzy Kassem states: “Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will”.  If you are going to win at whatever it is in life, you will have to get comfortable dealing with your fear.  In her book “Business Boutique” Christy Wright states: “Fear isn’t a sign that you’re doing something wrong.  It’s a sign that you’re doing something new.  Fear establishes the limits of your life.  The bigger your fear the smaller your life.”  Don’t allow fear to establish the limits of your life.  Learn to punch fear in the face.  Being a pastor I am compelled to share with you a verse of scripture that I quote found in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

I quote this scripture when fear enters into my thoughts because fear will use voices to speak negative thoughts into my mind, and cause me to be afraid.  I combat those negative voices and thoughts with positive voices and thoughts.  By doing this I have learned to push past my fears.  If we wait until the fear is gone before we proceed we will most likely never accomplish what is before us.  Pushing past fear says if I fall down I will get back up again.  My dad taught my brother and I that “it is failure only if you stay in the dirt”.  Joe Sabah once said: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”.


Fear has only two choices

At the end of the day fear really on has two choices.  You will have to decide on one of the two choices.  These two choices create the pathway for success and the pathway for failure.  No one can decide which of these choices you will make.  The two choices come from the word FEAR:




The choice is in your hands.  I want to challenge you to make the second choice and face everything and rise.  Rise to the challenge!  Rise to the occasion!  Rise to the top!  Rise above your circumstances!  Rise from the ashes!  You can do it!

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NO ~ The Most Powerful Two Letter Word

“By and large in our culture today we have abandoned a very valuable and financially profitable word.  A word that will change your life.  A word that will change politics in America.  A word that would solve the student loan debt problem.  A word that would cause children to behave.  We have lost this word.  It has been removed from our politically correct dictionaries.  We no longer say it to ourselves.  And if you so dare as to say it to someone else; you will be persecuted, tweeted about, and talked about for days.  There will be negative articles written about you.  This is a powerful word.  It is a word so seldom heard it may shock you when you hear it because you haven’t heard it used much.  It is not illegal yet to use this word, but it may be soon.

It is a counter-culture word.  It is a word that will set you free.  It is a word that will change your life.  It is a word that will change the direction of your family tree.  It will help your career.  It will help you as a leader in your organization.  It will make you a better employee.  This is a powerful word, and I want you to practice it with me.  It is heard so seldom some of you will be so shocked when we annunciate it.  Here is how you do it.  You press your tongue towards the roof of your mouth, and as air is released through your vocal cords, you release your tongue making a kissing motion with your lips, and it sounds like this: NO!

It’s an ancient word.  Pull it out of the recesses of your mind, and install it back in the dictionaries that don’t require political correctness. You can’t go to college there, you can’t afford it – No!  You can’t buy that car!  No!  The government can’t provide you everything because it can’t print enough money.  No!  You can’t buy that toy; we don’t have the money.  We can’t go out to eat this week.  No!  We are not buying a car we cannot afford on payment.  No!  We are not going on vacation; we are broke and deeply in debt!  No is a powerful word.  The interesting thing about “no” is that it is a complete sentence.  I’m kind of an old school dad.  Some people think that means that I am mean to my children.  I love my children more than life itself.  I’m not confused about who runs the house.  The inmates don’t run the asylum.  When I say no that is it.  It is not the beginning of a negotiation.  As a parent I take a few moments and explain why I said no.  It is a teachable moment.  So that later on my kids can say no for themselves – it is called self-discipline.  It is one of the most powerful things that a human being can learn.    Self-control!  Self-discipline!  Parents that don’t teach their children discipline do not set them up for the ability to learn to discipline themselves or control themselves.  Spoiled children is what we called it back in the day.  Have you ever opened the jar of something that was spoiled?  It reeks to high heaven.  We must teach our children self-control.  Proverbs says train up a child in the way he should go, and when he grows old he will not depart from it.  We are raising a generation that thinks they are owed everything!  There are politicians on the left and right strutting around promising things they can’t produce.  Self-control and self-discipline are the sign of a mature human being.  Someone who is emotionally and spiritually mature.  When you can control yourself you have mastered the art of growing up.  We have an entire culture that has been buying things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t even like.  No!  It is life-changing!”  ~ Dave Ramsey


Learning to say “no” is learning to say “yes”

Have you ever given it a thought that the ability to say “no” is actually the ability to say “yes”?  Most of us struggle with using this word “no”.  We are a society that quickly says “yes”, but struggles with the ability to say “no”.  When we say “no” to some things it actually gives us the ability to say “yes” to other things.  Good stewards know when to say “no”.  If you say “yes” to every request or demand you will never accomplish what you have set out to accomplish.  I used the above direct quote from Dave Ramsey on this subject of “no” because he articulates this so well.  “No” is a very complete sentence with no need for further explanation.  It is a two letter word that one uses to exhibit self-control and discipline.  This word is a word that we need to re-familiarize ourselves with.  This little word helps to set boundaries in your life.  This little two letter word is a true sign of a mature human being.  Don’t allow your emotions to make your decisions, but rather allow the facts to make the decisions for you.  Your emotions will often times lead you to places you didn’t want to go, be with people you never wanted to associate with, and cost you more than you ever intended to pay.


People struggle with being told “no”

Have you ever told someone kindly but firmly “no”, and then watched their expression?  Most people do not know how to respond to “no”.  I don’t mean that you have to be ugly about saying “no” in order to get your point across, but you do need to be firm when you say it.  You can say “no” with a smile on your face.  Remember this – someone else’s poor planning doesn’t mean it is an emergency situation for you.  When you put boundaries in your life saying “no” is just part of the process.  Dr. Henry Cloud in his book “Boundaries” states that “boundaries define us”.  Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into doing something you really don’t want to do or have time to do.  There are deadlines we all have to meet, and I can’t ignore my deadlines in order to help you meet yours.  This is where good planning should come into play.  Plan your day, your week, your month, and your year ahead of time.  Of course there will be times that you will need to make adjustments, but you do that within a clearly defined framework.  You must realize that some people are travel agents for a guilt trip.  They have the unique ability to make you feel bad if you say “no” to their request.

Teach your children to know when to say “no”

I am convinced that learning when the right time to say “no” begins with our children when they are little.  Children don’t have to be taught to say “no” they just need to be taught when it is the right time to say “no”.  Remember more is caught than taught, so we as parents must demonstrate to our children how and when and why we say “no”.  If we can instill this in them when they are young when they get older they will have some very healthy boundaries in their life that will propel them to success.


You can do this

Learning to say “no” won’t happen over night.  Understand the difference between the urgent and important.  Not everything that is urgent is important, and not everything that is important is urgent.  You will be challenged on a regular basis to give in to the urgent.  Saying “no” isn’t always easy, but necessary.  The cool thing is this; when you learn to say “no” you are giving yourself permission to say “yes” to the things that really matter the most.  You will find yourself being more productive.  You will find yourself doing what you enjoy doing.  You will set yourself free from the pressure of others who try and guilt you into doing what they want you to do.  Saying “no” is about getting your priorities right, and bringing balance into your life!  Yes, YOU CAN DO THIS!

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