Well-Rounded People Have No Point

well rounded 3As a child, I frequently heard people talking about being well balanced. It seemed when an individual fixated on one thing, others looked down on that type of behavior. People talked about being a “well-rounded person” as if that was the goal.

In order to be well-rounded and balanced, we needed to find out what our weaknesses were and work on them. People wanted us to be involved in different types of activities so we could grow up well balanced. It was exhausting.

As I got older, I noticed there were some things I enjoyed and did well. There were other things I did not enjoy and did very poorly. I had little to no interest in improving some of those activities that I did not enjoy. However, if I wanted to be well-rounded I needed to “try harder” at those activities of which I performed poorly.

well rounded personAs I became an adult, I began to notice that many of the people who made the biggest difference in the world were not “well-balanced”, they were intensely-focused. They did not try to do everything equally well, they did just a few things extremely well. They were people who followed their dreams, talents, and strengths in a way that not only served them but served the world as a whole.

Have you ever found it interesting that the higher up you go in education the more narrow your subject matter? Why is that? The higher the quality of education the more intensely focused it becomes.

Please do not misunderstand me, I am not saying we should ignore those areas where we are not very strong. However, most of our time and energy should be invested in becoming even better in those areas where we are already better than most other people. It is not about being balanced. It is about being intensely focused. I encourage people to invest about 20% of their time and energy into improving their weaknesses (maintenance) and about 80% of their time and energy into improving their strengths (mastery).

John Maxwell uses this illustration; imagine a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest. Maxwell says if we try really, really hard we might be able to raise our number about 2 points. If we are a 2 in something and we work really, really, hard to improve we might

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get up to a 4. Fours are average. However, if we are a 7 at something and we work really, really hard we could possibly bring it up to a 9. And people pay big money for nines.

Albert Einstein, someone who changed the world by being intensely focused and not “well-rounded”, put it this way, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Why? Why would a well-functioning fish think it is stupid?  Because it was not made to climb trees. There are some things you are made for and some things you are not. “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that” (Galatians 6:4, The Message).

Here is the fact of the matter: well-rounded people have no point! Forget about being well-rounded and instead get intensely-focused on what God created you to do. Well-rounded people may be good people. I am not putting them down. They are contributors to their communities. They live stable lives. But intensely focused people…They change the world!


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to ignite their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

Busting Through Roadblocks to Your God-Given Potential

roadblocks2It was 20 years ago when I bought my first Zig Ziglar cassette tape at a local bookstore in Corbin, Kentucky. That tape sparked something in me that has grown for the past 20 years. It sparked the desire to climb to my God-given potential.

I had read and listened to some material before that time. I had read some books by John Maxwell (John Maxwell is where I first heard of Zig Ziglar), I had read “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey, and I frequently checked out cassette tapes from Johnson Bible College’s library so I could listen to them while I traveled to and from the weekend ministry I served during my college years. The seed of personal growth and development was already planted before I bought that Zig Ziglar cassette. But it was that cassette that sparked a flame that would glow for the next 20 years.

roadblockbuster1I continue to feed my mind with audio programs and books that help me get from where I am to where I want to be. Not only that, but I now devote my life to doing for others what Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, and many others have done for me through their books, audio programs, and live events. I do all I can to climb to my God-given potential and to help others climb to their God-given potential.

What is your spark? What is it that sparks such an intense passion in you that you can see yourself doing it for the next 20 years or even the rest of your life? What is it that you love to experience so much that you must help others experience the same thing? What is it that God has put in your heart and soul that it is your vehicle for climbing to your God-given potential?

roadblockbuster2Unfortunately, we experience roadblocks along the way that try to stop us from reaching our God-given potential. Over the next four blogs, I will address four of these roadblocks and prescribe a blockbuster for each one.

I hope you will journey with me this week as we look at four potential roadblocks and how to bust through each one of them. I desire to climb to my God-given potential and I have the same desire for you. Let’s go on this journey together!


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

Are You Wasting Your Life?

How many times have you heard someone make the comment, “I am the same person I have always been”? I am not sure exactly what they mean by that, but I cannot help but see that as an insult to themselves. To say, “I am the same person I have always been” is to say “I have never grown up” or “I am not any smarter now than I ever was” or “I just don’t give a crap about getting any better in any area of my life”.

I know many people reach a plateau and never really grow beyond a certain point. That seems sad to me, not something to brag about.

If you are the same person at 40 as you were at 20 you have wasted 20 years of your life. As we grow older we should be growing in other areas as well. Unless we are perfect, (and none of us are) we should always be growing.

ludicrousThe reason most people do not grow is that growth means change and sometimes change can be painful. There is no growth without change. We have to consistently be changing if we want to grow. That means we will not be the same person we have always been. When we grow, we become different. We change and become better.

If you want something you have never had, you will have to do something you have never done. That is the process of growth. If we just settle, then we will never reach our God-given potential. God is not done with you. So, do not settle. Keep growing. Keep learning. Keep stretching. Do whatever it takes to get from where you are to where you want to be.

I can remember being so shy, I would not look the cashier in the eye as I made a purchase. I hoped they would not talk to me so I would not have to speak. Thankfully, today I am not the same person I had always been.

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I  can remember a day when I hated school or any kind of academics. I had no desire to stretch myself in this area. Thankfully, today I am not the same person I had always been.

Before I got married, I would preach and teach often on marriage and relationships. After I got married I stopped! I realized I was clueless about marriage and relationships. I was married for almost 15 years before I felt mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to teach on marriage and relationships again. It has been a brutal learning process for me; but I have learned from experience, books, audio programs, classes, and especially from other married couples who were much better at this marriage thing than I was. As I have learned, I have become a much better husband, dad, and teacher. Thankfully, today I am not the same person I had always been.

You can change! You can grow! But not if you are satisfied being the same person you have always been.

God is not done with you…so, never settle, live with enthusiasm, and turn the world upside down… Here we go!


Follow to this blog to get motivation, encouragement, and accountability to help you reach your God-given potential!

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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

How Lighting Barbie’s Hair on Fire Changed My Life

t03When I was 4 years old, I lived on Vermont Street in northern Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati. My parents had discussed moving back to Keavy, in the London-Corbin area of Kentucky where they grew up.  One day I helped them make that decision.

I took one of my older sister’s Barbie dolls and a lighter and I walked into my mom and dad’s bedroom. I took the lighter and set the Barbie doll’s hair on fire. Then I laid Barbie on my mom and dad’s bed.  I walked into the family room, sat down, and began watching television. (Don’t worry, no one was in the bed at the time.)

There were several people over our house that evening. All the adults were in the kitchen and many of them were smoking. I suspect that because they were smoking it took them a little longer to notice the house filling with smoke from my mom and dad’s bedroom. (See how dangerous smoking cigarettes can be?)

The whole bedroom was in flames before anybody noticed. Then, the panic took place. I remember very little of what happened next.

The house became unlivable for a while and my parents made the decision to go ahead and move back to Keavy. Oh, a side note – while we lived in northern Kentucky, we seldom went to church. That changed when we moved back to Keavy.

locust-grove.jpegMy mom took me and my sister to the church where she had gone to church before moving away. My grandparents were still going there at the time. It was there at this small church called Locust Grove Christian Church in Keavy, Kentucky that I began to learn about a man named Jesus. I may not have ever received consistent teaching about Jesus if I had not lit Barbie’s hair on fire. Hmm…

As I grew up in this church, I began to learn more and more about Jesus and other parts of the Bible. When I was 14 years old, I made a decision to follow Jesus. I was on fire and ready to change the world.

However, something very bad happened to me six months after I decided to follow Jesus…Jr. High School! At the time, my Jr. High was 8th and 9th grade. Spiritually this was a devastating time for me.

Even though I continued to go to church, be active in my church youth group, and even preach my first sermon at 15 years of age, my devotion to Jesus was not very strong. At times it was probably non-existent. I was not walking my talk.

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During my sophomore year of high school, I could no longer live the lie. I had to make a decision to either follow Jesus or give up on this Christian stuff altogether. I could no longer live with the tension of trying to do both, so I chose.

I chose to follow Jesus! At this point, I became committed to growing in my relationship with Jesus. By the time I was a senior in high school I had made the decision to go to Johnson Bible College (now Johnson University) to prepare for ministry.

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After squeezing four years of college into six, I became a minister in a church that had been split right down the middle for about 20 years before I got there. I was green and ready to change the world!!! And after a year, I left.

I then became an associate/youth minister at a new church plant for about a year. I left there to work at Toyota Motor Manufacting in order to save enough money to go back to school to get a Master’s in Urban Ministry. While I was working at Toyota, the school I was planning on attending closed their Urban Ministry program. So, I used the money I saved to buy an engagement ring, get married, and start a ministry called Upside Down Ministries. Yes, I left a good paying job at Toyota to start a ministry where I would be paid entirely through donations. I just love the way God does things!

My wife and I ran Upside Down Ministries for eight years. I was in my element. I thought, “I want to do this for the rest of my life!” But God had different plans.

After eight years, God called me away from Upside Down Ministries. To be honest, he probably called me away after about six and a half years, but I was too stubborn to listen and I did not want to let it go. That was one of the toughest decisions of my life.

t14After a year and a half of searching, I finally went back into local church ministry. By this time, my wife and I had two kids and I was able to stay home and invest more time with my kids than I could have with Upside Down Ministries. I thought, “I could do this for the rest of my life!” But God had different plans.

t17After seven years of local church ministry, God called me into what I am doing now – helping individuals, churches and other organizations climb to their God-given potential through coaching, leading, instructing and motivating them to believe that with God’s help they can make the climb. I did eventually get my Master’s. Although, at this point, it was not in Urban Ministry. It was in Life Coaching.

Here again, I get to travel but stay home a little more than I did with Upside Down Ministries. I get to connect with you who read my blog, invite me to come and speak, and take advantage of my one-on-one coaching. With every step I take on this God journey, he is helping me to help others in the way that he has best prepared me through my gifts, passions, and abilities.

I love what I do and the more I do it, the more I love it! Sometimes I have trouble going to sleep at night because I am enjoying what I do so much. I enjoy getting up early because of what God has in store for me each day. I did not know that when I decided to follow Jesus it would include all of this! Wow! What a trip!!!

And just think, it all started with lighting Barbie’s hair on fire.

What’s your fire?


Follow to this blog to get motivation, encouragement, and accountability to help you reach your God-given potential!

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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

Letter to My Younger Self: “It’s Going to Be Okay”

t06A letter to my younger self…

It is going to be OK. All the failures have simply been stepping stones for you to improve yourself. All those times you felt extremely inadequate, in the classroom, on the baseball field, and as a son, they get better.

You have been able to pour yourself into people because people have poured themselves into you. Jesus wants to turn the world upside down through you._mg_7209

Grades are not everything. Just because you failed assignments, tests, courses, and even the whole sixth grade it did not make you a failure. As a matter of fact, you eventually get your Masters Degree and you did it with a 4.0. You are even teaching a college course. Not bad for a sixth-grade flunky.

Somewhere around 1998 and 1999, you begin to see yourself differently. All the failure and inadequacy you felt as a kid and even as a young adult begins to change and you begin to discover who God made you to be. You are in for the ride of your life.

There will be rocky roads ahead. Life will seem like it is crumbling down around you at times. But keep holding on. God is preparing you for a journey that is out of this world.

You will eventually meet the girl of your dreams, you will have two crazy and wonderful kids, and all four of you will be on a journey together as you all climb to your God-given potential. lanham-family-2016-46Remember to grab hold of those things that are most precious and at times let go of those things that are hindering your growth. Some people will love the progress you are making while others will hate you for it. Make sure you keep the right people in your life.  Those who would rather hinder your journey than join you…let them go.

So hang in there. It gets better and at times it gets worse, but it all leads to getting great and you do not want to miss that! It will turn your world upside down!!

Be thankful you are here because other people are sure thankful you are here. You have made a difference. You have never settled, you have lived with enthusiasm, and you are turning the world upside down!

Enthusiastically,

Your Future Self


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

Check Tommy’s availability: