This summer I had the opportunity to take my wife and kids to Colorado where we went white water rafting for the first time! If you've never done it, it's definitely something you need to add to your bucket list! Our trip was a category 3+ (on a scale of 1-5). So it was fast enough to give us a thrill but safe enough to at least give me some peace of mind knowing that the chances of us losing a kid were greatly reduced.
But how white water rapids work is a great lesson in leadership. Think of it this way. The wider the banks of the river, the slower the water. It has kind of a lazy, drifting effect. The narrower the river, however means that the gorge has to be even more focused. The same volume of water has to flow through the narrower banks. That means that the water must push through deeper, harder, and faster. It also means that the momentum builds and those sitting in the raft can't just coast along casually anymore. Within moments, we would go from taking in the beautiful scenery on a lazy river, to digging our feet into the bottom of the raft and paddling as if our very lives depended on it - because it literally did!
Leadership is the task of taking the wide banks of the river and narrowing them to result in greater power, focus, and momentum. Using this analogy, the river always starts as a spring or waterfall. That's passion. The passion continues as long as the river gushes. In time though, the force of the water will cause the banks to widen, and the river to flatten. Eventually, the river becomes a slow, lazy drifter. For the river to regain power - call it momentum or passion - the banks have to become narrow once again. Sometimes engineers will even do this and cause the river to move more forceful once again.
You might have a lot of passion regarding what it is that you feel God has called you do. But passion alone isn't enough. You've got to narrow your river banks. Focus in on your ideas so that it becomes a singular focus. As Tai Lopez says, "Double down on what's working. Cut the rest." Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. It's the idea behind one of the most challenging books for life and business: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
Over the last few years, I've been able to focus in on why I believe God put Brandon Park here on earth. What my purpose is based on the passions and callings he's placed on my life. That three-fold purpose centers around three keywords: Engage, Equip, Empower.
- I'm here to engage people to see their hearts and minds transformed through my passion for public speaking and communication.
- I'm here to equip people to reach their full potential by writing and developing resources.
- I'm here to empower people to multiply their influence and truly make a difference in the lives of others.
Living life with a narrow focus isn't easy. Like a raging river, it can actually be scary at times. But that's where you gain the greatest momentum and trajectory in discovering your calling. It's also where the greatest adventure is as well!