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Providing Involves So Much More Than Just Money

by Richard Norris on March 30, 2015


Providing Involves So Much More Than Just Money

Providing for your family and others is a powerful driver in most men. There’s a belief that when it comes to providing it’s all about money. But it’s not. Providing is so much more than money. Just ask your family.

If you’re a man with a family, you know the pressure (real or perceived) to provide for your family. Somewhere at the dawn of man’s time on Earth, it was entrenched in the male psyche that we men must “bring home the bacon”. In today’s fast paced, consumer-driven society, that pressure is seemingly more prevalent. It particularly builds when society compares you with “The Jones'” and points out what you lack more than what you have. And to have requires money. That drives us to want more. There begins a vicious cycle – the more we have, the more we want. Money never seems to satisfy; it seems to dissatisfy.

I get this. For most of my life, I believed I had to be the archetype provider.  It was down to me and was a matter of pride. I have battled this, especially when I have been unemployed, underemployed and my wife took over as the primary breadwinner. I took it all personally. My pride was hurt. My self-esteem was attacked. My identity was wrapped up in providing for my family. No job meant I lost my sense of identity. The result? I was frustrated and angry – with myself and with God. I spent a lot of time, energy and money to chase the almighty dollar. But like trying to chase your shadow, the more you try, the more it continues to evade you.

Only when I became more dependent on God, did I begin to understand. God is The Provider not me. It’s He who gives and He who can take away. In recent years, God in His grace, has taught me that whilst we men are meant to be providers (small p), His purpose was and is far greater. It’s not about money; it’s about meeting needs. Money may be a tool to help meet those needs, but it is not of primary importance.

Are you providing what your family and others truly need?

So far, my kids don’t seem to care about money. They like it when I give them some, but they aren’t consumed by it. They don’t even ask for it. But when I ask them for what they really want, more often than not it’s me. They have needs that only I can meet. I get a similar response from my wife, Nancy. The true currency of providing for those you care about is time. The more time you can give them (quantity and quality), the greater the returns in your relationships and your life.

I’m sure you know, like me, those men who are chasing the dollar and leaving their family behind with unmet needs. When you follow the money, it will lead you further away from who matters most. I’m sure that you, like me, know men who are consumed by making money. One thing I’ve observed is that the more money these men have, the more unhappy they seem.

Whilst I applaud a man who works hard to provide for his family, I pray he will be mindful of the true needs of their family. I learned this the hard way. I hope this caution helps other men to learn before it becomes hard.

Provide all that enables those who matter to us to realize their true potential.

What we men can provide is limited only by our imagination and the wants, needs and desires of those for whom we care – at work, rest and play. Here’s a starting guide as to what makes a good provider:

You understand and anticipate needs. This comes largely through listening selflessly with interest, time and energy to those around you for whom you are responsible and/or care.

You are a learning resource. You share your skills, knowledge and experience intent on imparting wisdom, answers and solutions. You present practical learning opportunities to help your charges to grow and develop.

Your presence gives those who matter to you a sense of security. They know you watch over them and out for them to ensure they are safe on all levels.

You are a harbinger of hope and encouragement. Your presence and reassurance lift others up to believe more and better is possible. You affirm your belief in them.

You are a compass. You provide direction and guidance along the way to help those who matter on their life’s journey.

You give support. People know they can come to you to lean on. You can be trusted to hold them up and give them a hand up to the next level.

You love unconditionally and sacrificially. You care from the heart for the heart of others. You put their needs before your own. You will be and do what it takes to ensure they know they matter.

You are an example. You live with integrity and model doing the right thing. You lead the way. You train them up in the way they should go (See Proverbs 16:3) because you’ve gone that way already.

In short, you give them you. All these above require your time and attention. When you give others the best of yourself, you bless them and you.

Providing for others is so much more than money. The world may create lists of the richest men, but it has yet to list the wealthiest men. God taught me that wealth is not about money. Wealth is measured by what you have when you take away the money. We men are meant more to be providers of wealth than money. The more we give (see above), the wealthier all become.

Your Powerplay

Provide for your family. Start with your time and then go from there.



Who Am I? That Is The Question

by Richard Norris on March 26, 2015

Successful business man standing on a peak of the mountain and purposefully looking away.

Who Am I? That Is The Question

“Who am I?” is a critical question we each need to answer if we are to lead truly purposeful lives. To know who you are is to know your place and purpose.

Today, there appears to be an identity crisis pandemic. Many people live unfulfilling lives because they don’t know who they are. A question everyone needs to ask themselves is, “Who am I?” Some people know who they are. Some people don’t. The people who do, live and lead purposeful and fulfilling lives. The people who don’t, don’t. Identity is important to us.  Ask people what they do and more often than not they tell you who they are. People need to remind themselves and share with others who they are.

I just watched the movie, The Equalizer, with Denzel Washington. Great movie. The core theme throughout the movie is one of identity. The main character, Robert, and those he looks out for, seem to have lost their way and/or have yet to find their true path. Robert had walked away from his old life, but it found him again. He was wrestling with it. In the end, he found peace because he realized that was who he was all along and who he needed to be. To quote a phrase from his former colleague, “He didn’t come for help, he came for permission.” He had made some wrong choices, but they eventually led him to the right place.

The reason this movie resonated with me is because, throughout my own journey, I’ve been egged on by this question. “Who am I?” is a powerful, significant and motivating question. This question has led me to change my career several times and change various other aspects of my life for the better. It’s been the pressing question to answer at every crossroad I’ve come to. It’s a great question when you’re seeking clarification and guidance on your own Journey of Success.

Who are you?

I have to admit I’ve struggled to answer this question. Why? Because I’ve tried to answer it myself. I’ve often tried to answer when I’m unfocused and even confused. Often it’s been when faced with uncertainty and/or with multiple paths to choose from. As I’ve learned a confused mind says, “No!”

Asking yourself is not the right place to find the answer. When you want the answer to this question you must go to the Source – God. He created you and me. He knows you and me. He knows who you are and I am.

Recently, an on-line friend, The Generous Husband, shared that he had been challenged at a men’s bootcamp to ask God His name for him. That question took root in me. I realized that I had missed this crucial perspective. God is the ultimate parent. Like any parent, it makes sense He would have a name for each of us.

When Nancy and I were expecting our children, we sought just the right names for them. We desired a name for them that spoke of who they would be, what they would be known for. We desired a name that would be a blessing to and for them. Names are important – perhaps more than you realize. I make a point of using people’s names when I speak with them. I believe their parents, like Nancy and me with our kids, picked a name to bless them. When you use someone’s name you are blessing them.

There is power in a name. In the name of Jesus, the disciples were able to heal people and cast out demons. Other people use names to hurt people. It hurts me to hear parents calling their kids losers. They may not realize it but they are driving psychologically and spiritually damaging nails into their kids. They are cursing their kids, overwriting who God says they are. You likely know kids and colleagues who feel they are worthless because their parents and those who should matter to them have told them they are. Sadly, they have believed the lie. They have assumed a false identity.

You never find yourself until you face yourself.

The truth is that each and every one of us matters. Each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made. Each of us has what it takes. It doesn’t matter who other people say you are. It doesn’t even matter who you say you are initially. Only who God says you are matters. Once you know His name for you then and only then can you affirm and discover your true self and your purpose here on Earth.

As I grew up I wanted to be a veterinarian. I thought that is who I was meant to be. Yet, as a vet, I was dissatisfied. I felt out of place. When I finally sought God, He said change careers. I found that I fit best where I was coaching and mentoring others to be who God created them to be. More recently, my focus has been narrowed to husbands, fathers and swimmers. It’s with these people I feel the most connection, where I belong. Why? Because this is who I am.

Just because you have believed the lie or wandered around lost, you no longer have to. Who you are now is not who you have to be. You still can become who God created you to be, who God named you. You can change who you are. You can give yourself a new start.

Knowing who you are gives you a sense of  purpose. It’s motivating.

Knowing who you are enlightens you to your priorities. It’s reassuring.

Knowing who you are empowers you to reach your potential. It’s liberating.

Knowing who you are is attractive. People flock to a person with a powerful awareness of who they are. Think Jesus. Think Nelson Mandela. Think Martin Luther King Jr. Think Ghandi.

If you have yet to answer the question, “Who am I?” Make it your top priority. Seek God. When you ask, He will answer.

Who others say you are is of no real importance. Who God says you are is. Who you are is of paramount importance. When you know who you are, you and your life become important. They key is to live out your days living up to your name.

Your Powerplay

Discover who you truly are. Accept who you are. Live out who you are.



You Don’t Need Permission To Enjoy Life

March 23, 2015

You Don’t Need Permission To Enjoy Life You don’t need a lot to enjoy life. You don’t have to defer the life of your dreams. You can start living it now. All it takes is for you to seize the life you have and get the most out of it every day. The world would […]

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