Nearly 20 years ago, I wrote a post-it note and left it in a book by John Maxwell. The words were significant then and even more so today.
Right people. Right place. Right time.
Sure, one out of three is good. Even having two of those three ingredients will keep your head above water. But when you have these three together, you’ll be home, and you’ll know it.
The right people. Can’t emphasize this enough. This is a top-shelf consideration. You’ll only go as far as the people around you. Indeed, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. If that is true, what does that say about who you are becoming? What does that say about how you will reach your dreams or accomplish your goals?
Do the people you surround yourself with daily line up with who you are or who you want to be? In other words, does your identity match your friends, co-workers and other influences in your life?
You need three kinds of people in your life: A Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy. If you’re missing one of those three, you’re missing the boat. Evaluate your inner circle of influencers. Choose wisely.
The right place. This can be obvious, especially if you are in a toxic environment. If you are, separating yourself is the obvious big step. You can’t continue to remain in poisonous surroundings and hope to rise above without some type of action.
If your situation isn’t necessarily toxic, discerning the right place may not be quite as easy. Still, there are ways to know if you’re just settling or if your present scenario is a long-term solution. Here are a couple of questions:
- What would your future self advise you? In other words, 10 years from now, what would you advise your current self?
- Are you having the time of your life? No, really, the time of your life? Or are you just existing, as in treading water?
- Can you say that you are challenged or motivated daily?
- Remember, this answer is not about a stable company or income or status. This is about you, your goals, your dreams, your life.
The right place feels right. There is calm, peace and joy.
The right time. While you can directly impact the right place and right people, waiting is often a key part of the right time. That said, the right time often comes after you find the right people and the right place. God often moves after you have taken the first steps.
Remember, there is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3), so just because you think you’re ready doesn’t always mean the time is right. Maybe God has more work to do in the situation or in someone else before the time is right for you. Still, you must be ready when the right time knocks, or you will miss an opportunity. As John Maxwell says: “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.”
Waiting for the right time doesn’t mean twiddling your thumbs and doing nothing. Waiting involves preparation, which may include education, laying the foundation, rehearsal, training and attitude.
You will know when you are home, just like my oldest son knew when he was in the right place, with the right place at the right time. He was home.
If you aren’t in the right place, with the right people and the right time, what’s holding you back? It’s time to do that check-up and evaluation.