Before I set out on any journey whether it’s a backpacking trip or vacation to Disneyland it is important that I have a plan. Pulling out the map I can identify places where I can get water, camp for the night, and see a great view. On the way to Disneyland knowing what the flight times are and which hotel we are going to stay at is an important part of the trip. How we get from point A to point B keeps me on track and focused in one direction. For many of us removing the clutter and confusion from the journey makes it more meaningful and effective.
When we set our goals that lead us to our Vision we are setting way points that allow us to see the journey to the end. The goals are the way that we see intermediate success that keep us moving in the right direction. Even with set backs and challenges, when we set goals we can realize our vision.
So how are you going to get there? You need to know where you are going first. Identify your vision and share it with someone. Figure out your mission that gets you to seeing your vision become real. Then set a few goals that are relevant to getting there.
In Scouting we teach the use of SMART tools. The goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time based. We will go into that in greater detail in a later post. To illustrate the point of SMART tools though we can use a trip to the moon.
To get to the moon we need to set goals. One goal may be to build a rocket ship. We know when it is done when we can see a Rocket that is ready to launch. It is a task that is attainable in that we have the smarts, technology, and materials to build the rocket. The relevance of rocket is that we need it to get to the moon.. we can’t walk or drive there. And we set a time line for when it needs to be finished. Going to McDonalds would not be a good goal to getting to the moon.. it is not Specific or Relevant to the mission.
Think about John F. Kennedy when he shared his vision of getting to the moon. He was dealing with “metals and materials that have not been invented yet”. It was still attainable as it set the course for discovery. It forced NASA to work to the vision by setting goals and a mission to set up the conditions to get to the moon.
So how are you going to get there? Goal setting to support your mission.
Here are more questions from our 20.. as we get closer to number 20 you should start seeing a vision coming to life.
13. What can I do best that would be of worth to others?
Be a good example of living the Scout Oath and Law.. this is a daily chore. Teach skills, outdoor, leadership, and continue to build character in our young men. 14. What talents do I have that no one else really knows about?
At times I have a rough exterior. Not sure if it is talent, but I am very thoughtful in that I like my quiet time and reflection. A talent that I have that may go unknown is that I studied Speech pathology in College and did two internships in speech therapy clinics. Not sure that is talent either.. but it used to be a passion of mine. Money got in the way though and changed my course in life.
I am pretty transparent. What I am talented in is pretty much visible and known. 15. If there are things I feel I really should do, what are they?
I need to focus on the things that are most important to me and my family. I need to wear less hats. I need to prioritize better. I need to write more. I need to be more deliberate in how and what I teach the Scouts of the Troop. I need to take a look at my original ticket from 2005 and rekindle some of the goals I had then and see if I can get closet to my vision.
Your road map to your vision starts here. I hope that you are beginning to see a picture forming. Are you seeing who you are and what you want your future to look like. Are you looking at this through a Scouting lens or a personal lens. At some point those two paths will.. must cross. Is your journey taking shape?
Keep going. Don’t give up. We have 5 more questions to go.
One of the most frequent excuses I hear from Scouters is that they do not have enough time. Time for family, work, sports, scouting, hobbies, church, volunteering, etc. There’s just not enough time. Well folks, there is plenty of time.. in fact no matter how you slice it, time never changes. There are 24 hours in a day, 168 hours a week, about 672 hours in a month etc.. etc..
Time is constant and extremely valuable. Because there are only 24 precious hours in a day and typically 6 to 8 of them are chewed up in sleep we need to value the time that we have.
So how do we value our time? Just like we value our money.. we make the most out of it. A Scout is Thrifty right? Thrifty is not restricted to dollars and cents, it is good stewardship practicing Leave No Trace, it is not wasting food, it is the idea that we value what we have and make the most of the opportunities that we get. And we get time each day.
How we value that time and make the most of it is important.
So when it comes to time, what do you value? What is important enough to spend time doing it? We do not compromise many of the things that we value. Our character is something never to sacrifice. What makes up that character is also non negotiable when it comes to managing our time. So what is important to you?
Faith, Family, Education, Scouting? Friends, time alone, hobbies? What is it that makes you get up each morning? How do want to spend your 18 or 19 hours a day that you have? Work obviously takes up 8 or so hours.. you need to work to support the rest of your goals, desires, and life style. So you still have 10 hours to do something important with your life? This is what is where your ability to manage time comes in.
The excuses that you don’t have enough time is false, we all have enough time, we just don’t use it well. We waste a lot of time doing what is not important to us. We allow other people to suck our time away.
The three biggest hurdles in time management are the lack of prioritizing, the inability to say “No”, and thriving on just being busy.
We get into a routine of being busy which by and large makes us feel like we are using our time well, but in fact it typically leads us to just being busy and not using time effectively.
I have not always been that great with time management and valuing my time. There have always been things that have been important to me, but using the time that I had was not a priority.
My family has always come first and they always were on the top of my time usage list. It is nice that we have been a Scouting family as it allowed for that time to be spent together.
As I started to learn more and get a deeper appreciation for the value of time I started learning how to get the most of that 672 hours a month. My career has given our family the means to have what we have and do what we have done. But that of the things that mean the most to me. As stated, family is number one and non negotiable.
I started to develop routines and habits to make the most of my time. First I started using lists. They helped my manage things in my life assigning priorities to each item on the list. It was at Wood Badge that I learned and started setting goals. Personal, Scouting, Family, and other parts of my life. Setting goals became a habit after Wood Badge and an important part of managing my time. Goal setting showed me the value of time. It clearly identifies those things in your life that you really want to happen. It clearly focuses how you are going to spend your 24/7.
Oh yeah.. and you get things done. You stop being busy and do the things that have value in your life.
So you get 24 hours in a day. How do you use it to get things done? How do you prioritize your time to do the things in your life that you value and feel important?
Set Goals, Prioritize those goals, make lists, and value your time.
The next time you go to make an excuse.. don’t.. just look at your list and know that you are in control of your time.
How do you use your time? Have a Great Scouting Day?
Ok.. you have had a few days to look over and answer your 20 Questions. I honestly hope that you took some time to answer the questions for yourself. It is said that the average New Years resolution lasts 9 days. Then we as a society just give up. It comes back to understanding that we in fact want to do something, change something, be something, but we don’t have a good map to get there. The reason that we lose the trail is that we don’t know what it looks like. We have no idea what the final product looks like. We do not have a picture of the desired outcome or how to get there.
Once you understand what your vision is, you can set a course to get there.
Now in all honesty the book has been written on this subject and I really have nothing new to add, just my understanding and perhaps my twist on the subject.
I have gone to many training sessions, courses and seminars on the goal setting, vision and leadership. In each course, the message is the same, the delivery is a bit different, but essentially it comes down to this when we are talking Vision.
“If you can see it.. you can be it”. The first time I heard this was at a training session about communicating Vision. The instructor quoted Zig Ziglar saying “If you can dream it, you can achieve it”. And that is what it comes down to. Dream it and go get it. So many times we do not allow ourselves to make our dreams come true because we fail to see our way to them. We all dream of the big house, the nice car, or the perfect Scout Troop. We do not see those things to reality because we miss out of following up with our Vision, or seeing our vision through to getting what we want.
So what is your Vision?
Your vision is simply that which you can see or imagine. It is what you anticipate happening or where you want to be.
Your vision is the most important part in goal setting, achieving your dream. You vision is not something that will come to you over night, that is why I think it important to reflect on those 20 questions. They are a starting point in discovering who you are and what you want out of life.
Within those 20 questions you will find your values and ideals. Those of us in Scouting have a solid base in that we agree on a set of values and ideals which are found in the Scout Oath and Law.
This is a great starting point for us to begin exploring our vision and setting that course.
It is important to create that starting point. Who are your friends and why do you like them? A simple question, but important in that it tells you a great deal about who you are. Who are your hero’s and why? Superman can leap tall buildings in single bound but my Dad taught me the value of Character. Take the questions serious and truly reflect on them with the understanding that the more solid your foundation the more relevant your vision will be.
See it and then set the course to be it.
Once you understand the values you live and why, you can generate or strengthen your resolve in getting the life you want.
Remember that this is YOUR Vision.. no one else’s. You may share elements of your vision, let’s say that you and your spouse share a dream. That’s fine. Share it and add it to your road map to getting what you want. It is important that spouses share their dreams. This gets you walking in the same direction toward your life’s goals. This will also force good communication and we all know that the better we communicate, the better our relationships.
Do not allow others to dictate YOUR vision. It belongs to you. It is YOUR dream, YOUR wants and desires. There are many parts of our lives in which we try to please someone else or live up to their expectations. Your vision sets an expectation of success for you.
Write it down. Once you can clearly see what you want.. Paint a picture of it. Use words to describe your vision. Basically write down what you want out of life. Once it’s on paper.. you will have your destination. Now lets map out way to get there. That will be the setting of your goals. Those bite size chunks, those little steps along the way to seeing your vision to reality.
We will talk about goal setting in a later post… give you something to look forward to.
This is a process that is worth sharing with your Scouts. The sooner they get in the habit of seeing their life in a way other than a set of rules and following the wants of teachers, parents, and yep.. Scout leaders.. they will achieve bigger and better things with their lives.
The Eagle project is a great tool in practicing setting a vision, goals, and accomplishing something great.
Le me know what you think. Have a Great Scouting Day!
“You can judge a man by the company he keeps”-Euripides
Guilty as charged. The company we keep, tan shirts, dedicated to being good Citizens, men of Character, and Fit.
I have heard this saying all my life. You are judged, as unpopular an opinion as that is these days, by the company that we keep. If you hang out with knuckle heads, you are viewed as a knuckle head. If you hang out with good people, you are judged as one of the good guys. This holds true in every case. I can not think of one example where people who hang out with bad people are viewed as one of the good ones.. or the better of the bad. Huh.. yeah.. I heard that one last week. “He’s a good guy, just hangs out with the wrong crowd.. he’s the better of the bad guys”.. but you know, he’s still among the bad guys. And yes, lets call it like it is. If they are bad, they are bad.
Too many times these day’s we try to give the benefit of the doubt or try to find that silver lining. Sometimes it’s just not there. More times than not there are opportunities for behavior change and it is neglected. I don’t buy the idea that circumstances create a lack of opportunity. It’s there, it just needs to be taken. I have known many people who came from bad circumstances only to find opportunity, take it, and make something good of their lives.
Here is the deal. We have Scouting. Scouting is available everywhere. Now, it certain circles it may not seem “cool”..so explore the alternative. Join our Scouting gang, or join a thug gang. In both circumstances you will find support, belonging, and a set of values. The difference is one leads to good, the other doesn’t. It comes down to choices.
Parents have a lot to do with this. As a young man growing they assist in creating the environment that will lead their son to hanging with the right crowd. Generations of “good guys” typically lead to more good guys. On the other hand the lack of want to.. the fact that the path of least resistance creates the easy road down a path which lacks character puts young men in the bad category.
I don’t mind calling like it is. The people who I associate with are good. I need not worry about their character. I don’t have to worry about the values that they live. I don’t have to worry about the impression that I leave with the friends I keep.
I see our young men.. they look for that easy road. That road will never lead the right way. As a Scoutmaster, it is my job to help the parents in creating that environment which leads to good character and values. Being a role model in that endeavor is part of the program.
Too often we forget as Scouters that we have an obligation to create those conditions for the Scout. We get wrapped up in making Eagle Scouts that we forget what we are really there for. Citizens of Character.
Now Eagle Scouts that hang out with Eagle Scouts is a good group to be associated with.. You will certainly be judged by that standard.
I tell ever Scout of our Troop that attains the rank of Eagle that up till now they had completed and earned the rank of Eagle Scout, from that day forward they must prove that they are worthy of being one.
That is the company that they keep. It is the company we keep. We are judged in that company. I am happy with that. Have a Great Scouting Day!
The other day I got into a debate or more a less a discussion about Scouting and it’s Values with a co-worker of mine. He contended that Scouting was too conservative in its values and that is what makes it unappealing in the Portland area. He debated that conservative values don’t work well in America today as we are moving toward a Country that is more about the people. Now, I don’t know what the heck that means and I won’t go into the whole debate, but what it did cause me to do was argue the point of values to my co-worker. The basis of that argument was the difference between Conservative values and I suppose we would have to argue Liberal values as they would be the opposites of one another.
This is not a political discussion. We are only talking about values here, but since he brought up the word “Conservative” I had to have an opposing side to compare with.
To make the debate not one of emotion or politics, I stuck with the basics. Where do we get our values and what are our values in Scouting. How we apply our values is up to the individual, but it is fair to say that in an organization like the Boy Scouts of America, our shared values become a part of our lives and we should not separate the Scouting life from every day life.
Scouting gets it values from the Scout Oath and Law, the motto and Slogan, and Outdoor code.
Lets start with the Scout Oath. The Oath is the foundation promise of the organization. It is the jumping off point that the individual takes an oath to “On his honor” he will live the following values. He makes three promises in the Scout Oath. He makes a promise to do his Duty to his God and his Country. He makes a promise to help other people at all times. And he makes a promise to himself, to keep himself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. This promise lays the ground work for the way he is going to live his life. So lets see, those three promises are conservative? Then what do Liberals think and believe?
Let’s move on to the meat and potatoes of our values, the Scout Law.
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. 12 words that define how we should live our lives. Conservative? If so are liberals not trustworthy, loyal, helpful etc? Is it wrong that we want our Scouts to grow up living those values, after all, does not all of those 12 values lead America to a better place? Is it wrong that we want our Scouts to develop good habits of service to others and being courteous? Have you been to a mall in anywhere America lately. We need more Scouts is all I am saying. If rude, unkind, sad, and filth is this new America we are looking for then we are getting there quick.
What about thrifty? Don’t we want our Scouts to develop good habits when it comes to money and how they handle it. Don’t we want them to know that they have a responsibility to pay their own way and not be a drain on society. Now that I will concede is a conservative point of view. Scouts should never be looking for a hand out or to become a part of the welfare state. Scouts should work hard and provide for themselves and their families and should not settle for other people paying their way.
So the Scout Law is our shared values that lead us to being better people and better members of society.
And what about the Outdoor code. Those four requirements to be Clean in my outdoor manners, careful with fire, considerate in the outdoors and conservation minded. Yep, they hurt us as Americans. Those crazy conservative values that direct us to being better in when it comes to our time spent in outdoors and our stewardship to the land.
Now those of us that have been in and around Scouting long enough know that we derive our mission statement from our values and core beliefs.
To refresh our memories and to help my coworker see just how conservative our values are here is the mission statement of the Boy Scouts of America: The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Hmmm… moral and ethical choices over their lifetimes. What the heck are we thinking? That is way to conservative.
How about the Vision statement of the Boy Scouts of America: The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Every eligible youth to become a responsible citizen? That is just conservative crazy talk and can lead to no good. I think the part that scares the liberal-minded in the vision statement is the word LEADER.
So what is the point here?
This started as a debate about conservative values and the closer we look into them they are just good values. What scares me is this. If this is what we consider conservative, what the heck is the opposite? What are liberals thinking?
I would think these are American Values and we should want every American to live them.
As this debate got me thinking, I did a quick Google search and came on this. Thought it was worth your time to review. Values of Americans. Take a look at that and see that Scouting and it’s values do make a difference.
The point is simply this. It is not political unless you make it that way. If Scouting;s values are conservative than conservative is the right way to live. Until I see liberal values that match those strong values that make good citizens that can make good choices and hold themselves to a standard of service to others and self-determination. Being people who are not going to be a burden on society, rather people who are willing to work hard and make a contribution. In short… Men of Character.
Now I am not saying that folks on the left lack Character. What I am saying is that Character matters more when we look at the values of the Boy Scouts of America coupled with the mission and vision of the organization. What I am saying is that if any of those values are wrong then we have some serious problems and I have major problems with the opposite of Conservative.
It is an interesting debate and the further we get into it the deeper understanding of how people like my coworker think the more I realize that we need more Scouts and people who are Scout like in America.
And now you know one of the reasons that I end each post with… Have a Great Scouting Day!
A good friend of mine shared this with me and I shared it with you a while back on the blog, but I was digging through some old stuff on the computer and stumbled on it again. Then last night at Round table I talked with my good friend and this post came up. I am unsure of the original author, so I am giving credit to anonymous.
Life in a Cup of Hot Chocolate.
A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups – porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.
When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: “Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you’re drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.
Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy your hot chocolate.
I can’t say it any better than that… Have a Great Scouting Day!
Today marks the 104th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America! And the BSA is going strong! As I thought about today’s anniversary in preparation for our unit’s Red and Green celebration tomorrow I could not help but think about why the Boy Scouts of America is so strong.
It grows its strength not from the National Office. It does get gain its strength from Council Executives or Professionals down at your local Scout office. The strength of the BSA is not in District committee’s or Commissioners. The strength of Scouting comes from its Scouts and the volunteers at the unit level. Packs, Troops, and Crews are the strength of Scouting. It is for them that everything else drives it’s purpose. It is adventure found in Scouting that invites young men to join. It is fun in the unit that makes them stay. It is the learning that is discovered that one day shows itself and causes the Scout to reflect.
The Boy Scouts of America has found that strength for 104 years. There have been rocky times and times of great celebration. The BSA has been there in peace and in war and through it all, the membership, the strength shines through.
Controversy and differing opinion has not stopped Scouting and it never will as long as units stay alive and continue to deliver the promise.
Politics and Religion can not stand in the way of great program. In an organization where everyone is welcome and everyone’s ideas and opinions are valid and heard. An organization with a firm foundation built on strong values.. the values of the strength, the members that believe in being Trustworthy and Kind, Loyal and Obedient, Helpful and Friendly, Courteous and Brave, Thrifty and Clean, and of course Reverent. We have these values that support a promise that we.. the strength of the organization… live out in our daily lives. That is why it has lasted 104 years and will continue to last.
Scouting’s strength is in all of us. From the Chief Scout Executive to the brand new Tiger Cub. We are the organization that is a game with a purpose.
We know that when we follow the Vision of the organization great things happen. There are no other youth groups like it. Not in size, scope, or program. This is Scouting and this year we celebrate 104 years.
I had the pleasure of celebrating the 100th Anniversary at the National Jamboree! I am so glad that my son’s and I got to be at that extra special event. The night of the big arena program left a lasting impact on me as a Scouter. When we lit the candles and about 80 thousand Scouts and Scouters all pledged to live the Oath together I was moved. Then in a flash, we blew out the candles on a great event, but the dawning of the next 100 years of Scouting in America. The candles extinguished ushered in a fire works display that was so big it reminded me of just how big and great Scouting is. And the fun can not be matched.
Lots of thoughts today about 104 years of Scouting in America… not one of those 110 or 125 type celebrations, but very significant given the climate of the country we are in. The Boy Scouts of America is still the values based organization that teaches young people to be great adults. Character, Citizenship, and fit for our future.
Happy Anniversary to the Boy Scouts of America!