Smile & Error


21 Jul Smile & Error

Life is hard.

Obviously, right?  Most people who interact with me on a daily basis do so because we share a similar trial through cancer.  Others have their own hardships and difficulties they’ve encountered along the way.  Because my story was cancer doesn’t make it any more or less valid than what you’re going through personally.

Lately, I’ve been looking at the journey I’ve been on these last 4+ years of running Gamerosity and it’s blown my mind just how much the responsibility of leadership and purpose have changed me.  TimeHop is probably one of the most useful apps I have on my phone.  For so many, it’s an opportunity to revisit just how much their children have grown, for others, how much weight they’ve gained/lost, and others it’s a chance to see how much they’ve grown personally.  While the first two apply in my life, it’s the latter, seeing how much I’ve grown personally, that keeps me coming back to that app and keeping my daily streak alive.

Oh man, was I dramatic.  I mean, you think I’m dramatic now, it was pretty bad in the past.  Doubt and frustration and faithlessness looking for something to dig in to.  The easy thing to say is that Gamerosity gave me purpose and is why I have my stuff together today.

But it’s a lie.

At least the “have my stuff together today” part.  Every day is a challenge.  Every day I find myself doubting my purpose, fighting my doubt, and overcoming frustration.   Some days, I fail.  Some I win.  But every day I move forward.

I’m calling it “Smile & Error.”  Clever, I know.

I’m a broken man.  As I type this, I’m scrambling to pick up the digital pieces of our charity and find reasonable, sustainable solutions that help us accomplish our goals.

On the surface, Gamerosity is thriving more than it ever has.  Kids are leading other kids!  Hero Packages are getting funded!  GameOn Day Wisconsin is funded!  I just had a meeting for GameOn Day Portland about getting inflatables funded which went really well.  But underneath the surface, I had plans for this charity for 2017.  Great ones!  Unique ones that would reinforce the overall health and sustainability of our charity.  I spent hundreds of hours planning through it and even designing the processes for this to become a reality and yesterday I finally had to accept the fact that things aren’t going to happen the way I planned and I’ll have to start over.  My heart is broken and yet, I’m reinvigorated to find new solutions to overcome these issues.

You can be sad and excited at the same time.  Setbacks don’t mean failure and delays aren’t permanent unless you let them define you.

There’s so much… LIFE in this life.  So many opportunities to learn through Smile & Error.  You have to seek out new opportunities to grow and improve no matter the setbacks you face and the walls you have to hurdle.  If you don’t, you’ve already lost.  Life will not give you the answers, you have to seek them, and not just seek them, but fight for them.  I guess the point of this is to encourage you to rejoice despite your sorrow and move forward no matter how much life’s disappointment tries to paralyze you.

There will be hard times and failure even after you “figure it out” because that’s just the way of the world.  Smiling through these things isn’t my literal point, it’s a mindset that you’re willing to overcome whatever adversity comes your way.  Because, trust me, I’m not physically smiling right now.  If anything, in this moment, I’m more so snarling in the corner of a dark room.  The implication, however, is that we not only can be gracious in the process, we have to be.  Choose to extend grace to those you may not feel deserve it, and receive grace to those you encounter that offer it because you’re gonna need it if you’re going to get through this life.

Man, the stories I could tell you of interactions I’ve had with other individuals, businesses, and even charity leaders.  The different ways I’ve been burned in the last few years both personally and professionally, it’s insane.  If only you knew…  But that’s my point, redemption doesn’t come exclusively in our “doing” it comes in our perseverance and tenacity.  Because once we begin working through these emotions in a positive way, you will still come across adversity from those you least expect it.  And if you’re not in the right mindset, it will break you. Don’t let it.  Smile & Error.  Learn from it, pick yourself up, and keep moving forward.  Don’t throw people under the bus, instead, extend grace.  The biggest gift I’ve ever given is not sharing some of the worst offenses against me with anyone else.  There’s my smile.  There’s the grace I get to extend.  And as awesome as that grace is, it doesn’t hold a candle to the grace given me by my Father in Heaven.  It’s hard for me to hold offenses against others when I look at things from that perspective.

What a lovely gift.  Grace.

And while you’re scraping and clawing and failing and succeeding on this road to purpose, understand that everyone else is doing the same.  Don’t let them give up, either.