Our Very First Focus Statement – “Welcome the Rain”
Living A Life of Focus – Part 2
“Welcome the Rain” was the 1st book my wife ever gave me as I made the return to my information systems and technology career many years ago. I used this book as a guide to help me build a team of the most successful people I could. The title itself makes for some questionable thinking as most people frown upon rainy days at least so were my thoughts.
Before I knew that having a focus statement was a practice, I’d started it by accident with this book. I’d reflect over its content each Friday so that I could alter my attitude and perspective as well as that of the team I served.
The Thought or Concept:
Flip the Sail
“It’s not the way the wind blows, it’s how you set your sails.” – Unknown
My wife and I, who had zero sailing experience, decided to set sail on a catamaran. We were enjoying the ride until the shore was quite some distance away and we couldn’t decipher which of the small buildings was our hotel. It seemed as if the swells were getting bigger and bigger.
We realized, as fright set in, it was time to turn around and head back. However, we had no idea how to get the direction of the wind to change. As I noticed the look of terror in my wife’s eyes, I decided to do something, the only thing I could do–something different.
We managed to completely redirect the sails. We flipped the sail around and to our surprise, we had done what was needed to get moving in the desired direction.
You might not be able to control the wind [what’s uncontrollable], but you can control the direction of your sails [your attitude and response to the uncontrollable situation]. That’s what this focus statement taught us.
I’d like to take a moment to share our takeaways gained during this time.
Takeaway 1 – Our perspectives and attitudes are the reflections of those who we are around. Two people can be impacted by the very same experience, yet one will say “Why me? Why today?” while the other will say “What a wonderful turn of events! We are so blessed!” What’s tragic is that most of us would rather respond “Why me? Why today?” It’s common, but do we have to be common? The problem with common is that no one questions it. If you have never heard anyone say in a situation “What a wonderful turn of events! We are so blessed!”, all you’re left with, is what you’ve heard or seen in others your entire life which might only be “Why me? Why today?” Our perspectives and attitudes are the reflections of those we are around and we are most often around common human-beings.
Takeaway 2 – Finding reasons to dance in the rain. Do you ever ask for more rain to fall? Most of us will answer “no”. We use phrases like…will it ever stop raining. I hate rainy days. “When it rains, it pours.”
Have you ever considered the beauty that can be found in rain or rainy days? Try visiting a place that goes without rain for a month at a time and you’ll find that performing a rain dance will become your favorite past time. You might even find yourself dancing in the rain.
Using rain as a metaphor in this case, reveals an important truth about how we see things. In other words, our perspective plays a critical and vital part in how we see the world around us. “Welcome the Rain” is one of the best books I’ve ever read; it teaches a person how to see things from a better perspective while helping you benefit from it. Soon you will go from hating rainy days, to finding reasons to dance in the rain.
Takeaway 3 – Have the right perspective.
We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world. – Helen Keller
First let’s define the word bravery and patient to make sure we can get a clear understanding of what Helen Keller is saying. Bravery is taking a step into the unknown or uncertain, taking a risk. Patient is waiting for an outcome calmly. Now let’s take a second look at this same quote.
We could never learn to [take an uncertain or risky step] and [calmly await the outcome] if there were only joy in the world. – Helen Keller
This quote is about having the right perspective. Bravery can only exist when a problem is present. If you had only joy, why would we need to learn to be brave and patient.
Takeaway 4 – Think About Such Things
Paul, the founder of The Christian Church of Philippi, is recorded having said these words, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
To me what makes this statement so powerful is what he doesn’t say and what the statement implies. Check it out. Because we don’t normally think in alignment with Paul’s suggestion means we naturally think like this.
Whatever is false, whatever is not respectful, whatever is wrong, whatever is selfish, whatever is low caliber or beneath oneself -if anything is sub-par or worth murmuring and complaining– think about such things.
Now that reveals the true nature of what’s found in the hearts and minds of ordinary people. It takes work to turn this type thinking around; it takes a focus statement.
Takeaway 5 – Your life is the sum total of all YOUR choices.
“Life is what you choose to make of it.”
Life is what we have chosen. Your life is the sum total of all YOUR choices. If you choose to be negative, then you have a negative life. If you chose to live with drama, then your life is filled with drama. It is all your choice. Never forget that the choice is yours and you have a right to choose.
“Life is what you choose to make of it.” It represents the best life YOU could make on your own. No one else can take responsibility for your life.
This quote “Your life is a gift, now go make it count!” by Michael Hyatt says that your life is a gift to you. Will you accept this gift? How can you make it count for something? What are you doing to make it count? You see your life is the one you chose?
Takeaway 6 – Opportunity to choose our attitudes.
“Having the right mindset makes all the difference in the world. ” – Eric Harvey
The right mindset. The right mindset in any situation makes the situation different. Approach your situation from a different angle and see what possibilities lie in front of you. Step away from it and see it from another’s perspective and see how it changes.
Make a different world. The world you see is a direct reflection of how you choose to see it. You can choose to choose differently. I’ve heard it said that you see people the way that you are. So in order to see one differently will require you to become different. That’s the point and purpose of practicing and using your focus statement to grow.
You see after a year of placing your focus on this one statement you’ll soon find that it’s not the world that’s changing, but it is you.
That’s enough for today, we will pick up with the remainder of our takeaways next week in “Welcome the Rain – Part 2”.
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