I want to talk with you today about a concept I’ve heard and have really latched onto in my personal life. That is the idea of living your life as a lighthouse.
Before I get too much into this, I do want to give credit where credit is due. This is not a concept I came up with. In fact, it’s been around a long time. I heard it from Sean Whalen who, I believe, heard it from Jesse Elder, who probably heard it from someone else.
Regardless, I’m going to give you my spin on this and tell you why it is so critical that you and I, as men, adopt this belief and way of living into our lives.
Before I tell you what it means to be a lighthouse I want you to consider, for a minute, what our primary responsibilities as men are: protect, provide, preside.
In other words, what makes us men is our ability to be responsible and accountable for ourselves and for those we have an obligation to care for: our families, our co-workers, our employees, our neighbors, our communities, and those who cannot take care of themselves.
Think about that for a second, that is a huge responsibility. Not only do we have to take care of ourselves, we have to take care of others. It’s a tough job, but it is our duty.
Now, what is the function of a lighthouse?
A lighthouse is built to save. It’s built to warn. It’s built to protect. It’s built to keep ships from running into land when land is difficult to see. I think you can already see where I’m going with this.
We, as men, should operate as lighthouses. We save. We warn. We keep those in our care safe.
But, here’s where it gets tough. A lighthouse has some restrictions. I lighthouse cannot move. I lighthouse cannot physically go out and rescue a boat. A tugboat can but a lighthouse cannot. A lighthouse will not. A lighthouse shines so that others may see. It’s immovable. It’s steadfast. It’s resolute.
Sounds familiar, right? Those are the words to the introduction to this podcast.
See, the problem with acting like a tugboat when you should be acting like a lighthouse is that you put yourself at risk for ONE ship – a ship that may not even want to be saved, a ship that may end up bringing you down with it.
As I began working in the financial field, I had a trainer that once told me, “I never work with anyone when I can see that I care more about his success than he does. That is a recipe for disaster.”
I’m beginning to recognize this more and more as Order of Man expands its reach and continues to have a larger and larger impact.
I cannot possibly save everyone by going out to rescue them one at a time. You can’t do it either. And, what I’ve come to notice is that, more often than not, the ones that need to be rescued, in all reality want you to do it for them. They don’t want to exert any effort on their own. They want you to do it all.
Now about this time, the naysayers come in with something like “that’s a selfish way live your life” or “isn’t that one person important” or “ so, you don’t care about others?”
That’s not what I’m saying at all. A lighthouse is selfless. Its ONE job is to shine so that others may see. It does not do it for itself – it does it for others.
What I can see now is that I can have a far greater impact in people’s lives by shining bright and allowing those who are ready and willing to exert some effort to see that light and do something about it for themselves.
It’s an empowering approach to service. It’s a hand-up as opposed to a hand-out.
A lighthouse is an example. An example for his children. An example for other men. An example for his neighbors and employees and co-workers.
A lighthouse does not adapt, conform, or bend to the will of others or what society says about the way it should behave or what it should be doing or how it should be spending its time, energy, and resources. A lighthouse is the rock others will look to. Are you acting like the rock – the lighthouse?
So, here are a couple things you can do to let your light shine so that others may see:
In order for you to serve others as a pillar of strength and stability, you need to know what you stand for and what you don’t. This takes a ton of reflection on your part. You need to have and know your code of conduct.
How are you going to behave when the waves are crashing around you? How are you going to respond when there are those who will mock, ridicule, and berate you for making a stand for something?
If you don’t already know – if you haven’t already decided before the storm comes crashing in – you’re going to cave. You’re going to get crushed.
Next, you’ve got to turn that light on. You have to shine. You’ve got to share. You’ve got to take what you know about who you are and who you aren’t, and you’ve got to let people know.
This is difficult to do. There is an added level of fear. What are people going to think of me? Am I going to lose friends? Are people going to be mad because they don’t agree with the way I see the world?
You’re going to get some pushback but, unless you’re willing to shine, you’re never going to accomplish at the level in which you want to operate. Winston Churchill said, “You have enemies? Good that means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
“You have enemies? Good that means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”— Winston Churchill Tweet that
When you learn to shine – regardless of what people think of you or how they treat you or how they look at you – congratulations, you are a lighthouse.
Lastly men, you need to standfast. People are going to see you shining and sharing your light and they’re going to ask you to come down. They’re going to ask you to drop your guard. They’re going to ask you to leave your post.
And, they’re going to ask you to do that for one of two reasons:
First, they don’t want to exert any of their own effort in creating and implementing the solutions to their own problems. They want you to do it all for them.
Second, you’re shining too bright for them. When certain people see you on that hill, they will not be inspired, but envious. They want what you have. They want to be who you are. But, again, they’re not willing to put in the effort required to have what you have so they’ll take the easy route and ask you to stop shining so brightly.
Do not fall men. Do not stop. Do not be tempted to chase others who will not help themselves. Do not break. Hold the line. Keep shining and let those who are counting on you to hold fast, see you fulfill your duty and obligation as a man.
If you want to learn more about the concept of the lighthouse and how you can serve as a beacon of light and strength for your family, your business, and your community, I invite you to join our elite mastermind, The Iron Council.
This is a group of 170+ working together to achieve more in their lives. We’re all their for different reason but we’re banding together to help us all accomplish big things in our lives.
If you’re interested, check it out at www.orderofman.com/ironcouncil.
Stand strong, shine brightly, and be a lighthouse.