25G March 2018 Newsletter

From the Desk of DG Tom Polk

Abbott: I’ve been exercising to get into shape. How about you?

Costello: I wake up in the morning and feel like getting up and running a mile, getting a basketball and shooting baskets and then swimming laps.

Abbott: So, what do you do?

Costello: I stay in bed until the feelings go away.

We laugh at that comedy routine, but it has a fundamental truth. There are three decisions that occur in response to any situation. Those things we “could do”, those things we “should do” and finally those things we “will do”. We list all the items that we could do and that is an important step. Determine and discover all sorts of responses and options. All the things we “could do” to deal with a problem. The list needs to cover all sorts of options no matter how unlikely they initially appear. From there we need to reduce the list down to those things that make the most impact. The list is now down to viable options and potential solutions.

The most critical list is the next one. Those items that we will try to accomplish. Unfortunately, most people don’t go to the next level. They prefer to talk about things instead of acting. So, we continue to talk, and review, and then talk some more. They want things to be perfect, with guaranteed results instead of just trying something and dealing with the problems. Paul Arden, the famed designer and author, once said, “Don’t look for the next opportunity. The one you have in hand is the opportunity.” He also said, “Too many people spend too much time trying to perfect something before they actually do it. Instead of waiting for perfection, run with what you got, and fix it along the way.”

So how does this apply to Lions? We, as an organization, are facing many problems. Declining membership, aging members, lack of members willing to serve in leadership and the list goes on. The answer, for all us, is simple. Find items that we can do, that makes sense and then execute! Try to do something! There is no “better time” – an old Chinese proverb says – “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second-best time is today”

Make a decision to take action. To move forward with some plan – no matter how messy it may be. Remember one fact – Babe Ruth, when he retired from professional baseball, held two major league records – most home runs and most strike-outs.

We need to serve with a purpose!