Going way beyond extraordinary


This week, I was able to meet with a man who some would think is a legend.   That man would be Ray Brook of Summit Seekers.  Ray spoke to our men’s business and fellowship group about life, the obvious trials, how you survive them, and how you ultimately find your voice, your space, and your purpose.  It was a great time.

Ray also told us stories about the deaths of 3 key people in his life:  

1) His son – (I don’t know if there was a dry eye in the house) Living 2 lives.

2) His wife  – The faithfulness of a fabulous woman during devastating events.
3) His best friend – The power of service to others.

…and what those events did to him and, ultimately, for him.  

Ray spoke of leadership, the roles one takes as we drift along in life, and how destiny shapes and forms you. When you learn that you’re not alone (I realize we all know this) in your trials or foibles, so much can come from them, even if they feel devastating in the middle of it.  You aren’t alone.  Even if you can’t see anyone standing next to you.

Ray also shared 5 key things to do when you want to impact the lives of others.

1) Encounter
2) Engage
3) Encourage
4) Equip
5) Empower

Choose to meet with others, even if they aren’t “your type.”  Spend time getting to know them.  Listen closely. Actively.  Help them through difficulties.  Give them advice.  Mentorship.  Point them towards people that fit their needs.  Give them the tools to live life the way they were destined for.  Lift them up with support and knowledge that you are always there for them.  Be real.  

I admit when I meet most people, one of the first things I think of is how I can make them a customer or work with them in some capacity.  I don’t do this with everyone certainly, but in a business setting, it’s certainly close to my standard expectation.  It’s not that I don’t care about them, but I am passionate about my career and I love helping people out.  However, this can, and HAS, gotten in the way of the much bigger picture, and it’s merely an act of ego and bravura on my part.  

I have learned this past decade to put that mindset aside and embrace the person standing in front of me. How can I possible expect to be helped when I need it, if I cannot provide the same level of care for the person standing in front of me today?

Jeremiah 29:  11-14 says: 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Believe it or not… that’s good stuff.  For everyone, whether you believe in God or not… It’s for you.

To end this blog with a thought from Ray himself:  

“Today, you will make hundreds of decisions; most without even thinking, out of habit. THINK about this definition of Habit: “Habit is a willing surrender” that is a surrender of my will. As for me, and my life, I choose to surrender my will ONLY to God. I will choose my habits by engaging my brain.”

Check out Ray’s profile and life message here.  He’s one for the ages, this guy.