Make YOURSELF great again
No doubt we have just been through a painful selection process for the next President of the United States. Like watching a train wreck in slow motion, it was at once captivating and repelling. I for one was anxious for the process to conclude so we could all finally move forward. But, I noticed something interesting in Trump’s slogan.
I’ve never been much of a believer in political slogans. Too often they are gimmicky and lack substance (corporate mission statements anyone?). If you are cynical like me, the eye rolling is like a reflex. At the same time, I recognize the value of boiling down a potentially complicated message into a simple message. No matter which candidate you were least repelled by, I want you to take a moment to consider Donald Trump’s slogan, Make America Great Again.
Apparently, this message resonated with a large group of people. I promise I’m not going to get political so stay with me for a second. Think about what might have appealed in this slogan. Within this phrase was the idea that perhaps we have been spreading ourselves too thin. Perhaps we need to bring more focus and resources back to the needs of our own citizens. Maybe people were feeling like it is time to focus on ourselves for a season.
Time will tell how Trump’s vision actually plays out in reality (Trump’s reality was a bit like reality TV–i.e. heavy on drama, and pretty thin on reality), but it got me thinking about how this slogan might be used at a personal level.
“Make yourself great again.”
Embedded in that statement are several ideas: (1) that you were once great (well thinner maybe?), (2) that you are not currently as great as you could be, and (3) that there is a pathway to become great again, but you have to MAKE it so. Makers DO things. Action/work/effort is necessary.
Ask yourself some of these questions
– Are you so focused on external demands (career, family), that you have let important personal things go?
– Have you ever wondered if your best days are behind you?
– Have you lost the sense of what makes you, well . . . you?
– Do you let external circumstances run your life?
– Are your finances cluttered and haphazard?
– Are you feeling like a slave to social media, advertising, and overall distraction?
– Do you wonder if you are prioritizing the things that will bring you the most lasting happiness?
– Do you feel like you once had dreams that now feel impossible?
– Do you wonder if there is more to life than what you are currently experiencing?
– Do you feel like life is passing you by?
– Have you lost control of your body and your health?
We are programmed to get a job to work our lives for someone else. A daily grind of 9-5 with 2 weeks vacation. We are bombarded with distractions. Alerts on our phones. Pop-ups on the computer. Targeted ads on every web page. Cheap amusement and instant gratification all around: Email, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram. We live in the attention economy, and if you are not careful, it can consume you. You will forget who you are and what truly matters. It’s death by a thousand cuts.
As I explain in an earlier post, the The First Habit you need in your life is to take some time to invest in yourself and your future. 90 minutes a day invested consistently over decades will pay enormous dividends in health, wealth, and self-improvement. It’s not selfish. Remember the preflight safety video and how it says to put your own oxygen mask on FIRST?
The First Habit is like that. You are no good to anyone if you are not managing yourself well.
I don’t know what the future holds for the next four years of government, but I would extend a challenge to you personally. Take control of your life back. It’s time to elect yourself! Vote YOU. Live deliberately. Choose fitness. Choose financial security. Choose self-improvement. Reject the fear of missing out. Reject the desperate-for-attention media that wastes your time. Reject the trivial many in favor of the vital few.
Warren Buffett, one of the smartest and most successful men of our time – and Medal of Freedom winner – was recently asked what he considered to be the best investment the average person can make.
Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents; nobody can tax it or take it away from you. They can run up huge deficits and the dollar can become worth far less. You can have all kinds of things happen. But if you’ve got talent yourself, and you’ve maximized your talent, you’ve got a tremendous asset that can return ten-fold.
Will our government now focus more on our own citizens? I don’t know. But you can make it a theme in your life. Man up (or girl up)! Pay yourself first. Master this first habit (a daily self-investment), and then let’s check back in four years. Regardless of what happens in government, you will be able to say that you chose yourself, you are better off, and YOU made it happen.
Take 30 min and go somewhere quiet without distractions. Sit at a table with a pen and notebook and review three areas of your life: (1) physical fitness (2) financial fitness (3) mental fitness. What’s working? What’s not working? Where would you like to be in four years?
Tell me what you think. Start a discussion! Do you feel over-extended in “foreign entanglements” (i.e. commitments that are diverting your focus from what matters to you)? Is it only me, or do you feel an urge to become more “isolationist” in your personal life?
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