Last night, my wife was preparing our home to host a bridal shower for our future sister in law. One of the duties that was assigned to me was to get the video from the laptop to play on the tv. Given the simplicity of the task, I of course waited until the last minute to make sure it would work.
As I casually hooked up the lap top to the necessary cable, I realized that there was no connectivity between the two devices. The laptop displayed and contained the content needed for the tv, but the tv remained blank and unable to transmit the desired contents of the laptop. At that moment, it never occurred to me to check the connection behind the tv. All of my focus went immediately to the laptop. I spent significant time looking through settings in the control panel, display applications, as well as evaluating the connections on the laptop. I grew frustrated because everything seemed like it should work, but there was just no connectivity between the devices.
Finally, it occurred to me to check the cable to make sure it was properly attached to the back of the tv. That’s when the problem became clear. The HDMI cable was not plugged into the back of the tv. The moment that I plugged the cable into the tv, the devices worked perfectly to the deliver the desired contents of the laptop. Wow, talk about overlooking the obvious!
That’s when I had an epiphany. This was no coincidence, but rather a reminder to me of the importance of remaining “plugged in.” Much like that ineffective, blank tv screen, I too can become basically useless if I am unplugged from my source(s) of energy, inspiration, information, and wisdom. We all need a strong connection in order to maintain the desired output. For me, I must remain plugged in to the following sources…
1. God-my faith tells me I have value, talent, and a purpose in life. Without this foundation everything else is meaningless.
2. Family and Friends-yes, I lump these together because sometimes family includes those who are not related by blood. I need to be connected to people who support my bold, scary pursuits in life. I need candid, but positive people who seek to push me to my personal best, and who do NOT attempt to hold me back due to their own insecurities and fears.
3. Personal and Growth and Development- this requires PERSONAL RESPONSOBILITY! I must be intentional about using my time to inform my thoughts and beliefs in the appropriate way. This means reading and listening to podcasts Etc in an effort to relentlessly inform my mind on the HOW AND WHAT of life. We are all what we are and where we are because of what has gone into our minds (Zig Ziglar).
In this scenario, I most closely identify myself as the tv. Notice that my natural assumption was to assume that there was a problem with the source (the laptop). Sound familiar?
In closing, I hope all of you will consider what it means to be “plugged in.” What is your source for truth? What is your source for inspiration? What are your sources for joy, gratitude, and courage? Where do you garner knowledge and wisdom? How do you remain energized? Until you recognize the need to remain “plugged in,” and have a strong connection, you cannot expect to be any more useful than the blank tv I described in this blog.