About a year ago, I was sitting around a campfire with some friends when I was asked a question:
What’s your best advice for young people?
Now, at this point in the night, I was easily the oldest person there, and the question was meant more as a way to poke at my age then anything.
I leaned back in the chair, got in a posture as if I was about to say something completely profound, and gave the best advice I could think of in two short words.
It’s become a running joke of mine.
Whenever an Ignite leader is getting ready to speak, I give them this advice. Don’t suck.
When a Czech team member was heading to lead a session, I gave them the same advice. Don’t suck.
Even when the American missionary we met in Czech was about to do his English camp, I blessed him with this advice. Don’t suck.
Really, whenever anyone is about ready to lead in some sort of way, I lay out that advice for them. Don’t suck.
It tends to get a some laughs.
But the longer I have given this advice, the more I’ve thought about what it means, I’ve realized something.
It truly is the best advice I could give.
Here’s why. In order not to suck at whatever task is in front of you – be it speaking to a room full of young people, leading worship, completing a project at work or school, pursuing your dream, leading your family, volunteering in your church, getting good grades at school, competing in sports, learning a language – three things are required of you:
- You put in the necessary preparation before hand
- You give it your all in the moment
- You don’t settle for being mediocre
They are an inherent part of not sucking. Fail at those three tasks, and you will fail at whatever you are doing. Guaranteed.
So when I jokingly pull a student or leader aside and lay on them my brand of in-the-moment advice – don’t suck – I’m really telling them three things:
Give it your all.
Don’t settle for being mediocre.
It’s advice we all need to hear.
Don’t suck at your job.
Don’t suck at your school work.
Don’t suck at leading your family.
Don’t suck at building relationships.
Don’t suck in your relationship with God.
It’s the best and greatest advice I could give to this next generation.
Where in your life do you need to take this advice to heart? Leave a comment below.
Background photo credit: Louish Pixel via photopin cc