So What's With The Brackets Anyway?
Spaces. Some people are comfortable with it. Some are not. Some can fill it easily. And for some, it is much more difficult to do. I like spaces.
A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in the UCF Rosen School of Hospitality Auditorium where The Voice Conference, a young adult conference in Orlando, FL, was being held. I was sitting and waiting for the service to begin with my best friend Daniel Gray. We were doing what we do, which was to cut up and have a good time in-between having meaningful conversations, when suddenly he drops a bomb on me. My insides got tense. My soul immediately wanted to duck and take cover. My mind flew into several different pieces like shrapnel from an exploding bomb. Dramatic? Yea. It wasn't so much like that but what he said hit me. "So what are these Brackets about man?" he said. I had been asked the question before and it had not been at issue to give my standard answer. But what could have gone wrong that those closest to me were clueless as well?
I sat in my chair, pensive, as Daniel began to explain what he meant. While he liked what I've been doing with the Brackets and the #Bracketaims and #bracketyourlife hashtag, which he says is uniquely me (which I like), he didn't quite get it. UGH! The person whom I desire to have his support and approval didn't get what I was doing! I hated life. I felt like I had failed. I felt inadequate. As I continued to think about it during the service, it occurred to me that maybe this is an opportunity to inspire...an opportunity to clear it up and help people fill the space of life with meaning!
So why the brackets?
I've always been a guy who believes in having vision. I believe in having goals. I believe in the process. Most people shy away from process. Most people run from what it takes to achieve the unachievable. I'm not most people. I try inspire others to NOT be most people. Bishop T.D. Jakes says, you won't be able to hang on to what God has for you without going through the process. It's all about the process...and that is the space I like.
The brackets represent the start and the finish, the beginning and the end, step one and step two, book ends if you will. They represent where I am now and where I want to be.
If you step back and take a look at the brackets, there is always something within them; A story, a lesson, a feeling, people, emotions, actions, thoughts, etc. This is the crux of the whole vision. Vision and goals are good but are nothing without strategy. They are nothing without living them out. It's like life. It is nothing without the experiences that we go through. What I do is fill my brackets, which are where I am now (left) and where I want to be (right), with these experiences. I try to fill them with moments that I feel are driving me to my eventual goals and dreams and vision. Sometimes my brackets change. I have many brackets. And so often, I get to fill them with all sorts of things.
It's my desire to keep filling my life, my brackets, with moments...with experiences. This is how you #bracketyourlife. You just live. You live not for your job or for your responsibilities, you live for you. You live for the whole you...your whole self...your whole being. And when you do, You are enjoying the space in-between your brackets. You know where you are and you know where you want to be and you are enjoying the space, the process of getting there.
I'm really glad that I have friends like Daniel in my life. They aren't afraid to do life with me which sometimes mean asking the awkward and hard questions. Because of this jolt that I felt from my buddy, I can share with you, my why. Take time to define your brackets and then live within them. Don't just live aimlessly. Don't just wonder around. Define where you are and where you want to go and then, Bracket Your Life.