I mentioned this concept in my last post. If you haven't read it, I encourage you to take a look back at, "Dad of the Year".
I've been giving some significant thought over the last few months to the idea of being deeply rooted in the things that matter most. I think I've always had a pretty good handle on what I believe in, and what is important to me, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I really started giving it some sustained thought, and took the time to actually articulate what was most important to me.
I'm sure most people have heard the quote,
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything"
I think that is true, it sounds good, and it was probably said by someone who is much more historically significant than I am.
But I came across this idea of being deeply rooted because I think it is more significant than standing for something.
Standing for something can be situational. You might stand for something specific now, in this given time, or in a particular place, but later, you may have a need or desire to stand for something else. To me, it gives off the perspective of taking a stand, making your voice heard, being assertive.
I get it, and maybe I'm splitting hairs, but deeply rooted resonates more with me.
Being deeply rooted doesn't call for a given situation, or ask you to determine for what you might stand up and be heard. Deeply Rooted calls for us to determine what matters most to us, the person that we hope to be, what we value, and to invest (deeply) in those things.
When we determine what our roots are, we can better determine how we want to spend our time. We can determine what we should be saying no to and what we should be saying yes to. Determining our roots allows us to begin to take a look at who it is we want to become (as a person) and make daily decisions that help to make that a reality.
When I think about deep roots, I think about large, thick, old trees that cannot be easily uprooted. Despite the wind or rain, or human elements that may affect the tree, it holds steadfast. And when it is uprooted, by something significant like hurricane force winds, you can see very clearly, the intricate web of roots that have been woven together to help strengthen and hold up a massive tree.
Being deeply rooted helps us to answer tough questions before they are asked. When we wait until that moment, when our adrenaline or hormones or anger is raging, it can be very difficult to make a wise, long view decision. Spending some time determining and then developing our roots, gives us an opportunity to answer some of those challenging, pressure filled questions in advance, taking out some of the inevitable stress of the moment.
It doesn't mean it will all be easy, but it gives us a filter through which to run our decisions.
"How does this align with what I've said (and written down) that I've valued and who I want to become?"
For a point of reference, here are my roots:
Faith: God knows me, loves me, and wants me to thrive.
Relationships: Cultivate meaningful, loving relationships. Invest in friends and mentors/mentorship.
Family: Lead and love your family in a way that makes them proud you are their husband, dad, and son.
Value Statement: Be a humble man of character. Lead a life of purpose. Love others. Add value.
I'm not always hitting on all cylinders with these, but I know what I want, and who I want to be. From time to time, maybe I edit some of the verbiage, or do a better job clarifying or simplifying, but from a foundational perspective, my roots don't change much.
I would encourage you to spend some time determining your roots. Chances are, you have a good idea as to what they might be, but maybe you haven't taken the time to write them down in a clear and succinct manner.
After you have defined them, start developing them. The more you nurture them, by saying yes to your roots, and investing in things that strengthen your experiences and resolve in those areas, the stronger and deeper your roots will become.
Thank you for taking the time to read.
If anyone would ever like to engage further, have some dialogue about what you've read, or share any feedback you have as to how any of this is connecting with you, please reach out at: