A halfhearted approach to anything never yields wholehearted results – Anonymous
At The Half-Way Point
Can you believe we are in June? We have gone through the first half of the year and it feels like time has accelerated to unprecedented levels. Or is it us, who are living at an accelerated pace of life? While the pandemic came to slow us down, it appears as life returns to a form of normalcy, part of the new normal is the old fast pace we are living at. What is the cost? We lack or miss moments to reflect or project. In reflection, we look back on where we have come from and weigh our experiences to make adjustments that will either keep us from making the same mistakes or sustain the good systems we have established to propel us forward. Projection, which is more often than not born out of reflection, gives us reason to look ahead with hope, optimism, and anticipation that the past does not have to define our future. With a little calibration, our dreams are not far-fetched or too far off. Reflection and projection are comparable to the act of irrigation that a farmer performs on his land to enhance growth.
One question stands out above all others when it comes to pressing forward into the next six months of the year. Are you all in? To be all in reflects commitment. I define commitment as the point where belief and action meet. Both must be in place for commitment to be visible and effective. This combination was visible in the life of Ramon “Ray Ray” McElrathbey.
Committed to Being Greater Than
Born into a home where addiction held his parents captive, Ramon had greater aspirations than what he saw every day. As a note to self, Ramon developed a statement of making the best of your situation on his sleeve. A gifted athlete, Elrathbey, eventually found his way out of his current environment. A football scholarship to Clemson University. His choice to go to Clemson was because of their commitment to family.
When his brother Fahmarr was on the verge of entering the social childcare system because their mother couldn’t take care of him, Ramon risked his scholarship at Clemson by bringing his brother to live with him on campus. The family atmosphere was on display as the Clemson community rallied around Ramon as he stuck to his commitment to excel as a student, athlete, and take care of his brother. He was all in from the start and did not back down or give up when the NCAA rules prohibited Ramon from receiving much-needed help for his brother from the Clemson community. But Ramon stood his ground and took the NCAA to task in seeking a waiver that would grant his brother transportation and a trust fund to cover living expenses. The NCAA granted the exception.
The Danger of Half-Heartedness
Ramon did not waver in the face of difficulty. He did not capitulate to the gravity of the situation but rose to meet the challenge head-on because he was all in. Like Ray, we should desire to have an “all-in” approach to reach our goals and dreams. A halfhearted approach to anything in life leaves us stuck in the city of hesitation, where the roads are paved with insecurity, houses are painted with excuses, and the currency of ineffectiveness is exchanged at the rate of fear.
State And Stick With It
A wholehearted commitment goes beyond mere interest. It doesn’t settle for dabbling in many trivial things but goes all in for few essential things. To stick with a commitment, that commitment must be first stated. I believe those who carry a wholehearted commitment live more satisfying lives regardless of the challenges and pressures that beat like waves against their commitment. Ray’s commitment was to never let his brother down and he risked everything to keep it intact. Those who opt for a lukewarm approach only discover a life riddled with constant disappointment and are forever stuck with one of the most regret-filled statements, “If Only I ____________.
When I go out on a run, I state my commitment by setting the number of miles I plan to run in the Nike Run Club app before I start my run. This commitment is always tested when my body is screaming stop and I start believing that I have reached my limit and the set distance is out of reach. By remembering my commitment and the desire to meet it with the reality of completion, I dig deeper and find the wherewithal to finish. Nothing is more satisfying in life than knowing you are fulfilling or you have fulfilled a commitment.
Coming This Month
How do we develop a wholehearted system of living that brings us not only to our goals but also serves as an inspiration to others? This will be our focus for our annual Half-Way Point Conference. Our road map is as follows:
Buying-In (Coming June 10th)
Taking the Hit (Coming June 17th)
Don’t Fold (Coming June 24th)
Final Thought: I believe Ray Ray’s life is an inspiration because it brings to light an all-in approach to the things that matter. His story is the focus of the Disney+ original movie, Safety. What amount of heart are you bringing and giving to the valuable areas of your life? Being all in means that you are committed to seeing something through to the end. What is it that you are all in for?
Keep on Keeping on!