Great Change Happens at the Dinner Table

The powerful messages presented at the Smart 2014 were astonishing. The energy was electric, almost palpable throughout the historic Shrine Auditorium, as 8 different speakers inspired 7,000 people. As a mantra driving the conference, the event opened with Ronald Reagan setting the framework:

“And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins.” Reagan continued,“It won't count for much, and it won't last unless it's grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge,”

The compelling segments following Reagan’s charge gave everyone direction and passion to mold those conversations in a way to change not only my life, but to have a butterfly effect on generations to follow. The ultimate grounding. 

Communication Built on Love & Respect

Conversations around the table cover a variety of topics, and the full range of emotions.  Dave Ramsey described his personal gamut from excitement with the announcement of a child, terror with the first trip to the emergency room to the fear signing bankruptcy papers. Life happens, and it is rarely simple.

And the foundation for successfully navigating this thing we call life fundamentally comes down to communication. The most basic form of communication is between a husband and wife.

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs had the audience rolling laughter as he outlined the obvious differences between men and women, from describing their wardrobe to purchasing “self-help” books to how they perceive value. But the clear message was recognizing that men and women have vulnerabilities where the other has strengths.

Dave Ramsey LIVE ?@DaveRamseyLIVE Nov 1

"During conflict 83% of men said they feel disrespected and 72% of women said they feel unloved." @loverespectinc #Smart2014

Rather than passing judgment, instead use your strength to compliment theirs, learning to address their felt need during conflict. For women, use your loving ability to exhibit tremendous respect. For men, showcase your incredible respect in loving tones.  By honoring their strength, your relationship will strengthen, giving you the power to navigate challenges life throws at you triumphantly.

Inciting Change

Dave Ramsey stood before the table on the stage. “This is where I decided to change my life.” The raw emotion was palpable as he described determining “enough is enough” when he confronted the man in the mirror, propelling him to embark on building his own business.

Chris Hogan characterized a pivotal step to moving toward success when you develop those life-altering moments as identifying the difference between chance and opportunity. “Opportunities lead you somewhere. Chances only have a 50/50 chance of leading you somewhere. “ 

When you develop those life-altering moments, one of the key elements to successfully moving forward hinges on the ability to identify the difference between chance and opportunity. Chris Hogan characterized the difference as “Opportunities lead you somewhere. Chances only have a 50/50 chance of leading you somewhere.” Grab the opportunities, and avoid the chances.

Andy Andrews narrowed down the science of creating change to two key elements. First, determine “What’s in it for me?” Second, establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Encouragement is great. Proof is better. Especially the type of proof that makes things so clear you can’t see or believe anything but that. When that type of proof collides with what’s in it for me, change happens instantaneously. Harness this power to pursue opportunities when you discover clear proof that what you are doing isn’t working.

Whose Problems are they?

Life is rarely cut and dry. It involves people, lots of people. And people aren’t perfect. And with the imperfections combined with crazy life situations, many times we find our selves in problematic situations.

And Dr. Henry Cloud helped describe how to clarify when these problematic situations are our problem, or your opportunity to help someone else have some problems.

It’s called boundaries, and they come in handy more often than we realize. You only have the ability to control you, and how others influence you. Boundaries help you keep in perspective when other people camouflage their problems as ours.  This allows us to focus on pursuing the opportunities

Developing a legacy from Change

The true power comes when we magnify the change in our lives to create a legacy of change. Andrews said it best with, “Every move you make matters.” And this applies to everything, even something as simple as the flutter of butterfly wings. Imagine the impact of conversations, mentorships, generosity, love or respect if something as a flutter can change wind patterns around the world.

And one of the most powerful of impacts we can create comes back to those moments around the dinner table, with your family.

Passing on that Legacy

Children, perhaps one of the most apparent ways to leave a legacy, have the ability to learn so much from their parents. In fact, the most important channel we have to empowering our children is through active parenting. Dr. Meg Meeker described the most important messages your kids can take away from parents:

  • What do you THINK about me?
  • How do you FEEL about me?
  • What do you HOPE for me?

She highlighted that parents are highlighted with all the tools we need to successfully raise the next generations, especially dads. The key is to ensure they get the right messages from us.  

Rachel Cruze, living proof that leaving a legacy works, empowered parents to engage their children to continue in their legacy, especially with money. Teach them to work, so they can learn to save, spent and give. Then they have the ability to pass that on to their children, creating powerful generational change.

We are able to leave legacies throughout all areas of our lives. Joy Eggerichs’s new project brought to light one often overlooked area: your relationship. She described the beautiful accountability and transformation "when older couples pour into younger relationships, their relationship is strengthened.”

Driving the Mission Home

As the Smart Conference ended, and thousands of us left feeling inspired and motivated, one phrase kept going through my mind:

“So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins.”

After all eight of the speakers slipped behind Developthe curtain, what remained was the guidance and power to develop life-changing moments around the dinner table. And everyone in the room knew it.

We had the ability to develop a legacy.

Twitter Frenzy

You get 7,000 people into a room with a mission to light up Twitter, let’s just say that there were a few stellar tweets. Who knew being smart could be so hilarious!