“How do we want to celebrate the grandkid’s birthdays this year?” I asked Rita. “What we’re doing has been good but what does “better” look like in 2017?”
As grandparents, we volunteered to guide the celebration of our grandchildren’s “family birthday party.” Over the past couple years we developed the following ceremony.
- Everyone together for lunch or a breakfast
- A “slideshow” to help us re-live their story from birth
- Mom re-telling the original Birth Day story
- Highlight the grandchild’s achievements, awards, and accomplishments
- A silly story or some accident “survived”
- “Just about you” questions reveal some of their favorite things
- A biblical “life verse” is read
- Notes from the family are written on a homemade “birthday card” and read
- We light a candle that represents the Light of the World, Jesus
- The birthday grandchild passes the light of their life. (We now use glow sticks.) With the family standing in a circle, I pray for the grandchild
- The birthday child opens the gifts and cuts the cake
Now, imagine this gathering with two girls (15 and 4 years old) and seven boys; SEVEN boys (8 to 13 years of age) with so much energy and excitement.
“How’d we do?” I ask the de-brief question as we drove home. We declare our belief that the ritual and effort will produce fruit, especially when sometimes it seems more chaotic than meaningful.
After Levi’s December birthday, I asked, “How do we make it better?”
More clarity, please
In my last post, I asked, “What develops after disruption?” Disruption can be the interruption of my plans, wishes, or expectations. Fear, disappointment, anxiety, or frustration can be the first reaction. It’s easy to think of disruption as a negative.
It’s easy to look for someone to blame, become a victim, deny, minimize, or rationalize the whole experience.
However, when we create space to think, it opens the mind to the positive(s) of disruption. In fact, to get the truth in the Story you must intentionally interrupt doing to think. Seeking truth in the Story opens the door to move from a toxic, negative interpretation to helps you gain clarity.
Clarity as the deliberate alignment of purpose and structure to achieve victory.
To achieve victory or win in 2017 it is critical that we discover any misalignment between your purpose and structure. Said another way, clarity is the gift that comes when you align the WHY with the WAY (how) to secure the WIN.
Create Space to think
“What needs to change?” I asked as we continued the discussion. “How do we not give up and make the family birthday celebration better?”
Our family needed and desired clarity. The party to celebrate a child’s life matters to us. While what we had done was good, we could do better. “What do we change to have a better experience?”
When you are willing to explore how to get better everyone usually has a preference or opinion. What did we need? Clarity. It’s 2017: The Year of Clarity. It all made sense.
Create Clarity Exercise
Here’s the process I set up to help us get clarity. May it support victory in areas of your life and business that matter.
Question: Where do I need clarity?
- Where is improvement needed? Where could I do better?
- What needs to change if I’m to improve performance, achieve success?
Purpose: “The Why.”
- What’s the reason for getting better?
- Why are we doing this anyway?
Structure: “The Way.”
- How might we do this and support our purpose?
- What would that look like?
- What are the details?
Victory: “The Win.”
- What does “there” look like?
- What does success mean?
- How will we know we did it?
Disruption, often perceived as negative, can be converted to the positive when you explore the Story. You must Create Space or intentionally interrupt doing, to think. Your ability to create clarity depends on this work. Incredible victories are sure to follow.
So, welcome 2017: The Year of Clarity.
The deliberate alignment of purpose and structure to achieve victory.
Here’s to clarity,
Image credit: flickr.com/photos/usdagov