“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” Psalms 84: 5-7
This quote from The Bible is how author Arthur Brooks begins his worthy read titled From Strength to Strength. Could not put this one down (Thanks, Dave). The book is written for those who have accomplished much in the first half of life and now have the feeling they are less than needed. Damn. When I read his premise, I knew this would be one I couldn’t put down. Why?
My idol is exactly this – I need to be needed. I need more, actually, a lot more. I need to be admired. I need to be noticed and held in high regard, at least by those who know me. I need to be special. I’m not afraid to die, but dear God don’t let me slowly slide into insignificance, irrelevance, and incapable of caring for myself, you know. That would be a hellish ride for my pride. Yes, I’m way to proud to slowly fade away, at least not without a fight. Damn.
Reading this book was so good for me. I’ve got idols to burn, don’t get me wrong. But, my life’s work has made these idols much less appealing. You see, as Builders we are not the star attraction – our clients are. We are not the focus – our framework is. We are not the guru’s doling out secrets of the universe. We are masters at tuning in, getting curious, challenging, and making others do what they can. We’re Builders helping others figure out their why and then their way.
So, friend, this book is a worthy read. It’s really not for old dudes trying to figure out the second half of life. It’s for strong men and women (like you) who want to transition throughout life from strength to strength. It’s for strivers of any age chasing excellence. It’s for those who want to master the art of living as much as they want to turn pro. I’m 63 and still a work in process. The more I learn, the less I know. I do know this, however. I have crystal clarity about my greatest leadership challenge. It always has been. Always will be. The challenge of leading me.
God, help me worship you and you alone. God, help me do good work and let the intrinsic rewards fill me up. God, help me love well. God, help me give until there’s nothing left. God help me go from strength to strength humbly. God, help me.
Live hard. Love harder…