“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
We’re coming up on that time in San Antonio where the rain will come pouring down and the soil will become so saturated so quickly that there will be nowhere for it to run but in the streets. The greater San Antonio area is prone to flooding and its people have sung their part in Johnny Cash’s Five Feet High and Rising over the years. Over the course of my career as a fire fighter here I’ve seen major interstates turn into what looked like lakes and rivers. The rivers here rise high and it was quite the change for this Southern Californian transplant! Next time you drive through a flood prone part of the country, take a look at the underside of the bridges. That tree stuck in the underbelly of that bridge didn’t crawl up there. That’s how high the water got.
There is a saying here, as it is in most flood prone areas, “Turn around, don’t drown.” But, it never fails. Every year there is someone who thinks that this saying does not pertain to them and that person loses their vehicle or, in the most devastating of cases, loses their life. The city does its best to set out roadblocks and inform people of the hazardous areas. But that doesn’t stop people from making poor decisions. Every year somebody tosses the warnings aside and they go around the roadblocks that are set in place. They make the decision that whatever is on the other side of that crossing is worth more than their life.
The danger of crossing established roadblocks or not having the ability to have self-restraint and set up personal roadblocks is quite literally a life or death decision.
I get it! Roadblocks are a pain in the butt! I hate them. They slow you down from getting you where you want to go, which is extremely frustrating. But, they are there for a reason. Over the next three weeks we’re going to discuss three reasons why you should intentionally set up personal roadblocks in your life and action steps that you can put in place to slow you down. First:
1. Set Up Personal Roadblocks So You Don’t Lose Your Life
Like I said earlier, every year someone loses their life because they failed to heed the warning of the roadblock. If you fail to set up personal roadblocks in your life you run the risk of losing your life. Maybe not in a physical sense but, in a very real way you will lose yourself.
One of the voices that I regularly listen too is Donald Miller. He has built his company, Story Brand, around the idea that humanity is drawn to great stories and that it is almost irresistible for a person to not be persuaded or influenced by a great story. In a recent podcast he was talking with Science Mike about the science behind our buying behaviors. A portion of the discussion revolved around the concept that our brains latch on to good stories and that studies have shown that two weeks after hearing the fact claims of a good story, a person will own them as if they came up with the claims themselves. Whoa! This concept can be used to enhance your life or it can be used to manipulate you into buying, doing, or believing whatever it is that someone else wants. If you are not careful to intentionally set up roadblocks in your life, you will quite literally lose yourself. Your whole identity will be driven by someone else’s agenda. For better or for worse. It doesn’t have to be a true story, just one told compellingly.
Remember the Marlboro Man? The cigarette company didn’t sell cigarettes, they sold masculinity, rugged good looks, and a cowboy spirit. Do you think Captain Morgan sells rum? Think again. Read the slogan from their website, “Who cares if you can’t dance? Who cares if you can’t hit the high notes? Who cares who cares? Get off the couch. Take life by the mechanical bull horns. Go make fun where there’s no fun to be had. Go Full Captain.” They’re not selling rum. They’re selling courage, leadership, and adventure. The list of products that will “fulfill your life” are endless. I’m sure you have a few in mind right now.
So, what do you do in order to keep yourself from crossing those dangerous floodwaters and getting swept up in a current that you didn’t realize was so strong and devastating? Establish a roadblock for yourself.
Action step: Establish a Well and Draw from it Regularly.
For myself, God is my Well. He is the source from which I draw. I notice, and the people around me notice when I have not been drawing from my well on a regular basis. I tend to start believing the storylines of those who do not have my best interest in mind and I start to literally lose myself, who I am on the inside.
If we do not establish a system (the roadblock) of getting to our “Well” and drawing from it regularly, we will lose our identity to someone else’s agenda. We will start to seek meaning and fulfillment in what others want us to find meaning and fulfillment in. If we are not careful to set up this roadblock of establishing our well, we start to find meaning in things that will ultimately bring destruction to our lives.
Join us next week for 3 Reasons You Should Intentially Set Up Personal Roadblocks – Part 2.
Tell us some of your story in the comments below. Do you have a “Well” that you draw from? How do you stay centered so you don’t lose yourself?
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