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Three Levels Down

My husband is standing on the street talking to a man in dreadlocks who’s 60 years old if he’s a day.  Somehow, I think that if you can rock dreadlocks at 60 years old you must know the secret to life.  Seems that’s something we are all searching for – the secret of life, the secret to business, the secret to success, the secret to happiness.

Did I mention our friend in dreadlocks is wearing a very bright blue Hawaiian shirt.  It’s raining a little bit, more like a drizzle, yet there they stand discussing life.  I just finished reading a book that references more than a few times the phrase “three levels down.” It got me thinking, this is where it all begins – three levels down.

We cruise through life at surface level.  We go one level down and this is what we show friends and co-workers, the people we engage with.  At two levels down, we have that part of us we hold close to the chest, that part we only show to our best friends, spouse, the people that really know us, who truly get us. The ones we can be most vulnerable with.

And then there is three levels down.  At three levels down, we find ourselves.  I don’t know if we find the secrets to life or the secrets to business, but we do find the secret to happiness, living an authentic life. A life we can embrace.  Three levels down is where the answers begin.  Three levels down gives us the freedom to wear dreadlocks at 60.

Over the last year, I’ve watched nearly 150 people, including probably 25 close friends, go three levels deep. The result? Mike went home finished writing a letter to his son, which turned into a book and is being published in the next few weeks. TJ went back to work and told his bosses that he was the right guy for a new position, six months in he was the right guy and is the right guy. Bryan made difficult and impactful changes to his company resulting in a new culture. John reached out and got to personally know his employees (and reignited a 35-year marriage), Edgar redefined his goals and passion for the future…and on and on.

So, the question arises, what is three levels down for you?  Is there a passion, a change, a direction, a focus that needs to come out? Then again, do you even know? When is the last time you went three levels deep or have you? I challenge you to put yourself in a position to go there.

This line is slightly paraphrased, but I love it.  “It is impossible to predict when or how we change the plot line of our lives.  But once the door to the future opens, the door to the past slams shut.  It is a new day.  One decision, one risk, one idea, that’s all it takes. A seed is planted deep within you, three levels down. The future begins to change. [Mark Batterson, Chase the Lion]

The next question is why? If the things we see around us – our business, our lives, our relationships, our community, our world are not what we want, we need change. If we want change, we need to make a case for it. We need to become changemakers, in small ways or big ways. I am watching Mike, TJ, Bryan, John, Edgar and so many more become changemakers in their lives and in the influence of others. They have gone three levels down and found a passion, a boldness, a direction. Changemakers.

Our dreadlocked guy? It ends up he lives in his van in the church parking lot down the street. Maybe he doesn’t have the secret to life after all. He was complaining to my husband about the noise caused by the live band playing at a mid-day event downtown. Really? Come on guy, if you don’t like what you are hearing, just move the van!

Deb Bostwick
Staff Blogger

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