Plan, Be Realistic, and Take the Shot

Writing in a JournalI’ve been traveling. A lot. Heaps, you might say, for those Down Under.

I’ve learned three important life lessons in my travels this past three months during all the travel on which I’ve embarked for Little Flower Strategies. There’s been, in fact, more than three lessons, to be sure. Out of respect for your time, I’m only sharing three.

First lesson: you’re never going to be ‘not-busy.’

Let that sink in for a second. Are you putting off some life goal or dream until a later date or stage in life, when you will “have more time?” Time and time again I hear stories of people who simply ran out of time, or who didn’t heed the opportunities when they presented themselves, simply because they were too busy.

This first lesson is something I’ve learned by sharing the fact that my career dreams have come true because I have taken a huge risk. Could it still fail? Yes. Likely? No. Don’t regret not taking the risk.

Living under the oppression of the spirit of fear is no way to live.

Second lesson: if you don’t create plans to be intentional, you will not reach your goal.

This lesson manifested itself in several ways but two in particular worth sharing. First, regarding prayer, and second, regarding reading daily scripture. Without a written plan that reflects expectational realities (is that even a real phrase?), you will fail.

For example, I have a desire to spend a few minutes, every single day, reading the scripture and praying. In my written plan, I DID NOT include the provision to get up fifteen minutes early every day to achieve the goal. Why? Because I know that within a week’s time, that plan will inevitably fail. I don’t wake up early intentionally for anything, except to catch a flight (and even that can be tough).

Instead, my written plan is not only written, it is realistic. My new policy is simple and follows the advice of Fr. Larry Richards, although he may have gotten it from somebody else, I’m not sure. The plan is this: No Bible, no breakfast. No Bible, no bed.

That’s it. It’s a plan that is simple, written down, and falls within the reality of my personality, strengths, and ‘weaknesses’ (although being unable to wake up early is hardly a weakness; it’s just reality).

Third lesson: always, always take the shot when the opportunity arrives.

What shot am I talking about? I’m on a plane as I write this post flying back home to Michigan from Boston, where I attended the Catholic New Media Conference. One of the workshops was conducted by professional photographer George Martell, photographer for the Archdiocese and Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

After his presentation on ways to take photography to the next level, I approached him to ask the follow question: “What do you do when you want to get an awesome photo, but it might be an inappropriate time or might offend somebody?”

Without hesitation he responded, “Always, always take the shot.” He mentioned that if you don’t, you will miss the moment. In addition, if somebody finds it offensive, it’s likely they will forget about it a few minutes later AND when they see the photo, they will be more happy that you took the shot then not.

Again, the lesson can be tied back to the principle that fear ought not to dominate our decisions.

Ryan Eggenberger is a partner at Little Flower Strategies, LLC. He writes about travel, marketing, and his terrible parking skills. Follow him on twitter at @RyanEggenberger.