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Things That Matter

June 16
by
Clinton Brannen
in
Health
with
.

(Written by Clinton Brannen)


“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs


Who am I? I am from a small town in Middle Georgia that has around five hundred total people. Most had this many people in their high school graduating class. But this has never limited my dreams. Even though my dreams are not the typical dreams of an everyday twenty-two year old, they are big dreams considering today’s society.

For the most part, my dreams have never wavered; they have been the same for the majority of my life.

And this is due in large part to the way my dreams were molded. Who I am today is because of the way I was brought up and the life style I grew up in.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

From the get-go, the family aspect of life was never there for me. Whether it was a family dinner, family vacation, or a simple game of catch behind the house, it never transpired during my childhood. But I knew I was in the situation for a reason. And through this, I gained a perspective that I still try to use today, which is always finding the best in situations I have no control over.

I managed to find the good through the bad, and this leads me to my first point. I found my dream of one day having a family of my own; this dream gave me the passion to be the best husband and father I can possibly be. One day, I will be able to live out the times I never had as a kid through my wife and children, and at that moment, I will further appreciate the experiences I had growing up as a child. Family is one of the most prized possessions we are given, but they’re sadly sometimes taken for granted.

“You’ve got to be there for your family because if you’re not, they will grow and they will grow away from you.” – Arthur Blank

My mother is a hero of mine. John Wooden is a hero of mine. One I have met and one I will unfortunately never have the chance to meet. But they each bring me to my second point. They are connected in the way they both taught me to have compassion for others. Growing up, I saw first hand how my mom always put others before herself.

Whether it was giving her time as a teacher, serving as the Vacation Bible School director or putting her children’s needs before her own, her needs were always secondary to those of everyone else.

On the other hand, Coach Wooden taught me that “love is nothing unless we give it to someone.” This has given me the aspirations to find a way to help others on a daily basis. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., believed “people with passion could change the world for the better.” And he was completely right. We were each given unique talents to place us in different fields.

It is our responsibility to find out what that is. Find out what we love and use it to better those around us. My ultimate goal is to combine my care and passion into one. By doing this, I will have the opportunity to assist those in need, as well as share a common ground through a mutual passion.

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – John Wooden

Those who leave the biggest mark in our society usually stick with us even after they’re no longer here, which is my last point. I want to leave a legacy. I want my impact on earth to be so positive and inspiring that it has the ability to touch people long after I’m gone. But why you may ask?

My ultimate goal in life is to spread the story of God’s unending love, whether it is through my testimony, my actions or the giving of His love.

I hope God can use me as a medium for what He needs to be done here on earth. I pray it’s so great that it can touch generation after generation. And I believe this can be done through the talents God specifically provided me with. I’m not worried about using my gifts to get the most for me. I want to use them to get the most for others.

“Don’t focus on your resume; focus on your eulogy. What is it you want people to say about you when you’re gone?” – Arthur Blank

As I integrate all three points into one, it brings me back to something Dan Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A, once told me; it was something that he learned from his father, Truett, who founded Chick-fil-A. He told me the three most important things in life are “The Three M’s”: Master, Mate and Mission. And it couldn’t be more true.

Our time here on earth is so short, and too often, people get caught up in things that don’t matter.

At the end of the day, there are things in life that matter. And there are things that don’t. But these are three things that are unmatched. They don’t get any bigger.


“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

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