You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space. -Johnny Cash

What are you spending your energy doing? We all have amazing amounts of energy within us. The problem is that most people spend their time and their vast energy source chasing empty pursuits.

Most leaders and business owners I get to come in contact with can improve their situation just by getting a handle on this one thing. So many people get caught up in pursuits for so many different reasons. I’ve met people that say they want to achieve one thing or another, but then fill their day and time with anything but the pursuit of their dreams.

They spend way too much of their time on the internet, wasting away huge portions of every day.

They get lost in planning, preparing, getting ready to go after their dreams. My good friend and mentor Kent Julian has a story of helping his kids with their homework. They would go and sharpen their pencils, continually putting the pencil back into the sharpener because it was never “perfect enough” for them to use. He would eventually have to shout “Stop sharpening your pencil” to get them back to the table and back on task. It transcends homework...

It is easy to get lost in the daily business and minutia. Most people even convince themselves that what they are doing is important.

What can be done to combat this heinous practice, and huge waste of your energy?

  • Stop being “busy” long enough to take a good hard look at what you are doing and where it is taking you.
  • Be your own critic. Where are you putting your energy? If you're not pursuing a great dream, an epic vision, if what you are doing doesn’t inspire you to really get after it, then what are you doing? Change may very well be in order for you. You need to be very clear and honest with yourself in this, and maybe even consider bringing in professional help.
  • If you have a worthy pursuit, something that fires you up and gets you excited, then go after it! Write down what you should REALLY be doing. I’m always amazed that so many people want their lives, conditions, and future to be better than what it is today, but are phobic about making any plan to get there. It can’t just be all in your head.
  • Do it! Don’t stop. Start, and then keep going. Make it a weekly and monthly habit of re-evaluating where you are going and where it is taking you.

I’m going to say this again. Greatness and accomplishment rises and falls with our leadership. People follow and emulate you. I believe that we are in the greatest moment of opportunity that we have seen in decades. We can make the difference with our culture, future, and recovery. People are waiting and wanting better leaders to step up, and show them the way. I think that is the best use of your energy that you could pursue.

Energy and persistence conquer all things. -Benjamin Franklin

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