It’s kind of hard to explain Making Things Happen to people who maybe haven’t been there, but I’ll do my best.  I was privileged to be a part of Making Things Happen last week with 80-some other amazing people.

Most people come to Making Things Happen thinking that they are gonna get the kick in the pants and the information they need to go out and make their dreams happen.  And they do get that (and so much more), just maybe not in the way they expected.

Making Things Happen is not about getting stuff, achieving things, being someone you’re not, or doing what doesn’t really matter.  MTH is about realizing anew what matters most – deep down inside – and making the necessary (and hard) choices to do the things required to get you there.

MTH14-Day1-236To do that, to really do that, you have to look inside and figure out what’s going on in there.  One of the first things you examine is your fears.  What are you afraid of?

I didn’t know what to expect personally this go-around for MTH.  I didn’t have my answers pre-planned, though I know the questions we face.  In the last several weeks, I’ve experienced a lot of stress, worry, and fear about our business, our lives, and our money.  So much of it was completely irrational when looking at the facts, but it was still there, consuming my mind, coming out in my sleep, and affecting my daily flow.

I’m convinced that MTH is harder work for men than it is for women.  You ask a woman how she’s really doing, what she fears, what she’s carrying, etc., etc., and you’ll get some real, pretty significant answers right away, if you’re close enough to have them share with you.

Many men haven’t honed the ability to say what they’re feeling right away, so it takes a little more emotional energy and mental focus to dig deep and work through that.  We can say what we’re thinking right away, no problem.  But it’s different; saying what we’re feeling takes more work.

MTH also forces us to look at the voices we’re listening to, the people that are most present in our physical lives and minds.  Are they healthy influences?  How do we turn down the toxic voices and turn up the ones that build us up?  This idea echoes Elevation Church’s excellent series (and Pastor Steven’s book) Crash the Chatterbox, which is based on the premise that the voices we listen to will determine the future we experience. 

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So you take all of that and you make declarations, and you make choices.  I made some…

Life is too short to live in fear.  

I’m saying “no” to calling myself a failure at every turn. 

I’m saying “yes” to going deeper in our marriage. 

It’s an empowering experience, because so rarely in life do we stop and make intentional choices to check ourselves.  II Corinthians 13:5 commands us to “examine [our]selves.”  The ancient Greeks encouraged man to “Know Thyself.”  In our on-the-go, mobile, over-scheduled culture, we nearly never stop, cut our phones off, step away from a screen, and spend intentional time dealing with what’s inside.  And then we wonder why we aren’t living the lives we hoped for and have dreamed of.

I was honored to be a contributor during the conference as well.

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I had the pleasure of sharing a little bit of how our money fits into this whole thing.  Nancy and I shared how our money choices can propel us towards those things that are important to us, or keep us from the things we desire most.  We discussed how challenging ourselves towards contentment can change the way you relate to “stuff” as a vehicle for our happiness.

Also, as all the speakers were introduced by song, Nancy broke out a special surprise song to introduce me before we spoke – one that she wrote, arranged, and performed with guitar accompaniment herself!  Amazing!

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Nancy and I are thrilled that we’ll be at the next Making Things Happen Conference in March of 2015!  Registration is open now, so I hope you’ll be able to join us!

Many thanks to Emily March Photography and Glessner Photography for the great images!