Stand Up, Shut Up and Do Something

I recently completed a survey about how to cure procrastination.  I wrote back, Stand Up, Shut UP, and Do create something of value.  It sounded harsh as I wrote it; I believe it works.

There is a reason why Teddy Roosevelt’s face is on Mt. Rushmore; he got things done.  If you ever have read any biography of his life, he accomplished much because he never stood still very long.  He pushed ahead at full speed all of his adult life.  As a child he was asthmatic and somewhat fragile; but through rigid training and discipline, he overcame his initial handicap and created a mind and body set on action.  For Teddy, it was ride hard, shoot fast, and be victorious in all situations.  He pushed himself, and he expected others around him to move as fast and be as productive.  

There will be no Mt. Rushmore images of you, but you still have to accomplish something of value every day.

In my working days as the director of the camp, I had an occasional whiner work for me.  Typically, they would not last long; they became frustrated and disillusioned at my style. I, in turn, did not want a whinny person part of my advisory team – they would be relegated to an outer circle of work – far from my ear.

The employee who had my ear was the employee who accomplished things every day.  They were not hesitant in their style.  They did not sit around and discuss the project all day.  Occasionally they made mistakes, but for me, that was part of doing business.  

Staff who accomplished things of value knew:

  • What the end product would look like.  They knew the beginning, and the end and they made up the middle as they went.  
  • Had a concentrated focus throughout the entire project.  They would not let other lesser interruptions side-track them off their project. 
  • How to boss others to maximize performance.  Often they appear dictatorial in their style, but in the end, the building would be built on time or the new program implemented.  

Staff who did not accomplish much of value usually:

  • Talked the project to death.  They were so unsure of themselves and were fearful of failure.They needed everyone’s opinion and input on how the project should proceed.
  • Would allow any interruption to take them off focus.  They lacked focus and determination on finishing.  
  • Lacked drive and persistence.  They were easily discouraged.  

Be like Teddy – do great things that actually matter to the business.







200 year building project

IMG_4970I know I would die first before I ever accomplished the building of Notre Dame Cathedral; so did those who began such a project.  Two centuries of toil.  Two centuries of keeping a vision alive.  Though the architecture is something to marvel, the process and the scope of the task is overwhelming to me.  I grow weary whenever I can’t complete a building in less than a year.

My wife, grandkids, and I recently visited the church. (our daughter lives near Paris) The churches’ primarily function today is a backdrop for facebook pictures.  I sat and watched couples and families from all over the world pose in front of this work of art.  They appeared more concerned that their look was right rather than understanding the magnitude of the building being used for a photo op.  I left the church sickened as I watched the world snap and click with their selfie sticks.

For most of us, our career’s span about 40 years; some more, some less.   Once retired, we look back and wonder if our work has any eternal value.  Will our work influence into the lives of others after we are gone.  Sadly, for some, the answer is no.  “No influence.”  40 years of paystubs filed away in the income tax drawer.

Thankfully, for those who work in the ministry of Christian camping, our toil and labor will matter.  There are no cathedrals; only simple chapels.  There are no statues, only images of changed lives.

Thankfully, you won’t toil for 200 years; you will see heaven before the job is done.  But for now and into the future, keep the vision alive by showing up every day with the HOPE that is within you, knowing you’re not just building another building, or another program or even cleaning another cabin: you are providing an opportunity for a young person to come to Christ around a simple campfire or an evening chapel; perhaps this young person will grow older on a mission field or be standing in a pulpit sharing the gospel to the next generation.

Make today matter.