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A personal story from my daughter's wedding

A personal story from my daughter's wedding

November 21, 2017

I don’t usually do this. I don’t usually share very personal stories.

But this past month my daughter got married and something happened at that wedding that left a tremendous impact on me. If you're open, it can do the same for you.

Today I’m won’t share any 5 take-aways or downloadable reports or checklists. :)

Just my reflections on a powerful experience that got me, and will hopefully get you thinking.

My daughter, Ruthie, got married earlier this month. It was beautiful. She and her now husband, Nathan, are a fantastic couple and we’re thrilled.This is a picture with my daughter a few years ago

Now, for those of you who don’t know me so well, I’m the kind of guy who the wedding photographer usually has a lot of fun with. Not because of my good looks.

See, I believe that a wedding is a time to make the bride and groom happy. Period. So I go all out. The idea is to keep your eye on the ball. Where’s the ball? It’s with them, making them happy. It’s not about showing off, getting drunk or simply partying.

So I have a slew of costumes from a fat suit to mime.

I’ll “eat” deodorant and Head & Shoulders shampoo (ok, it's a peeled apple in a deodorant container and blue colored sour cream. A bit gross I’ll admit, but lots of fun!) I’ve created a clown car and danced an Irish jig.

The bride and groom love it. The parents of the bride and groom love it. It brings a lot of joy and fun to the wedding. Everyone’s happy.

So amidst the usually preparations for my daughter's wedding, my ideas were swirling. Which costume? What music? A dance? A show? Fire eating? Acrobatics?

I mean, I had to prepare a real show-stopper for my own daughter’s wedding.

But then I had a total change of heart. Just about a 180.

I asked my good friend Jared who is one of the best wedding photographers in the world for ideas. He said, “Look I don’t know if you are up for it but….”

So a few days later I had bought a costume on Amazon. Then I scrapped the costume. In fact, I scrapped my whole idea. No costume, no special dance or performance.

I was going to create a poem/song from the heart. Words from the heart go into the heart.

Now I have many talents, but I’ll admit, poetry is not highest on the list. So why did I do a 180?

Here’s why. Because it wasn’t about me. The whole goal of my “performance” was to bring joy to the couple on the most special day of their life. And after percolating on the idea, I realized that a meaningful, personal poem with a unique special connection to them would speak to the couple much more than any crazy jig I could think of.

Listen, here is the depths of life. No two souls are exactly alike. And no two moments are alike. Just because we did something in the past doesn’t and were successful with it doesn’t mean that’s what we have to do now. It’s called your “Success MO (Modus Operandi)”. It is your way of being that works for you and has helped you be successful in the past, but sometimes we have to throw out the past and ask the question, “what is being asked of me in THIS MOMENT?”

I almost got too caught up in what was fun, exciting and familiar to me. I almost lost sight of the real goal. I almost created a distraction, forgetting about truly connecting to the couple and bringing them joy in a way that would be most meaningful.

I realized that this year, this daugter, this moment called for something new. Something way outside my comfort zone, but I knew it was the right thing.

And my friend, this happens to us all of the time. It’s very easy to get caught up in what’s fun and exciting. It’s easy to fall into the dangerous routine of what’s familiar to us. It’s easy to focus on what we like and forget about the other.

So here’s what I did.

I stepped outside of my comfort zone. I’m not the poet, but I knew what I was shooting for and didn’t let my discomfort stop me.

I got help. I asked a good friend of mine to help me organize my thoughts and write them out into poetry. I practiced. I asked the band prepared gentle background music, enrolled some buddies for back up and we were in business..

Now it wasn’t an Emmy. But it was (I hope) deeply meaningful for the ones it was intended for. I’m told it was a game changer and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. Words from the heart entire into the heart.

So the question for you is where is the ball?

You have to keep your eye on the ball.

Keep your eye on the ball with your family.

Keep your eye on the ball with your team.

Keep your eye on the ball with your customers.

Keep your eye on the ball with yourself.

What’s your real goal? Are you unintentionally losing sight of your goal and taking the route that’s familiar or comfortable for you?

Where have you fallen into your “Success MO” even though this year or situation may be asking something different of you?

Take a minute and re-align. Am I getting in my own way? How can I keep my eye on the ball?

In a very vulnerable and personal way I’ll give you a peek into one of my most meaningful moments.

Here's the the live video of my poem/song for my daughter and her groom...

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be,

Jon