Byron's Babbles

Why Are You On This Planet?

Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What MattersBurnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters by Eileen McDargh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Anyone who has ever read a book review from me, or spent much time with me knows that I’m not real big on a bunch of words that mean nothing without any actions. I knew this book was going to give actionable advice that was going to be immediately applicable and usable when she used the subtitle “Throw Out The Dictionary” in chapter four. Eileen McDargh reminded us in this book that we are human beings. Everything we experience (good/bad, stress, events, et cetera) changes us forever. Recognizing this fact of being forever changed is key to letting events either knock us down or us being able to grow through them.

One of the great models (…and I love models) that McDargh gave us in the book was the “CAT scan.” It is her acronym for CHECK what claims your time, ASSESS why and how; Is it of value?; and, TAKE action (what can you amend, avoid, alter, or accept). This is so insightful and gives us strategies and tools to take control of how we live a life filled with purpose and meaning. McDargh taught us that your legacy is more important that our eulogy. She asked the questions of us in the book, “What will people say when they hear your name?” and “Why are you on this planet?” Those are pretty powerful things for us to think about. If our “why” is crystal clear and we are steadfast to that “why” we will have the energy to work tirelessly, without burnout, toward completing our role in society.

This is one of those books that everyone should read no matter role you are playing in society. Today, as I write this review, we are in Day 150 of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic and I believe this book is an incredible guide as we are “building resilience to refuel, recharge, and reclaim what matters.

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“Sam, Be A Man”

I have been in the Rayburn House Office Building many times in Washington D.C. I had not, however, really ever given much thought to the great man the building was named after, former Speaker Of The House Sam Rayburn. Robert Caro did a whole chapter plus on Sam Rayburn in the great book I’m reading right now, The Path To Power. I am now researching biographies on Rayburn and I am going to study his life, service, and leadership.

The part that Caro vividly portrayed is the integrity with which Sam Rayburn lived and led. He wrote the story that Rayburn told of what his dad told him when he left home for college. His dad held his hand and told him four words, “Sam, be a man.” That’s pretty powerful when you think about it. What does it mean to be a man? For Sam Rayburn it was about living and leading with honor and integrity. Rayburn would say, “There are no degrees of honorableness. You either are or you aren’t.” A very powerful two sentences to live by.

There are no degrees of honorableness. You either are or you aren’t.” ~ Former U.S. Speaker Of The House Sam Rayburn (Texas)

This reminds me of what my good friend, former U.S. Congressman Steve Buyer, used to tell me and my students each year when we visited him in room 2230 of the Rayburn House Office Building: “Your character is your legacy.” That was always so moving. My students would talk about that and try to define it for the rest of our time at the National FFA Washington Leadership Conference, and the trip home. I was so proud, as an Indiana FFA Advisor to take students to this conference every year for so many years and have my students get to meet with such a great leader. It was so impactful for me to read about the man who lived with such honor that the building was named after that housed the office of a man that was such a great leadership role model for myself and my students.

“Your character is your legacy.” ~ Former U.S. Congressman Steve Buyer (Indiana)

Our legacy grows with each new experience. Our leadership is not shaped nor our legacy defined at the end of our career or life, but rather by the moments shared, the decisions made, the actions taken, and even the mistakes made along the journey. It’s about a continual reinvention of ourself with new learning, experience, relationships, and wisdom. We need to be thinking about our personal growth and continual improvement.