Life can be hard. Perhaps you’ve had a hard week, month or even year. Maybe right now you’re overwhelmed, stressed or moving from one crisis to another. So often we can be overwhelmed by life. However, gratitude, or being thankful, can help bring context and a fuller perspective to our lives. Gratitude is a counterbalance to stress and worry. Gratitude reminds us that even in the midst of difficulties and storms in life, that there is good and we have much to be thankful for. Gratitude helps us refocus on what is truly important in our lives.
Thanksgiving is a good time of the year to remind us of the power of gratitude. However, don’t fall in the trap of just being thankful once a year. Gratitude is a powerful force in our life any time of the year! So how do we get better at being grateful and being reminded of what is most important?
I’m in the midst of some major transitions in my life. I’ve learned the value of having the input of others when I go through these types of changes. No individual can see themselves and their own life clearly. We all have blind spots and things around us that we sometimes miss. We need others to help us sort out fact from fiction, truth in the midst of emotions, and determine the best path forward.
However, we don’t want to just take anyone’s input. We also all have people around us that don’t have our best interest at mind. We have people that are immature and lack wisdom. Those are people you do NOT want to listen to. Here are four types of people you DO want to listen to.
I made a mistake. Over the last year I’ve been in the midst of some major life transitions. What started as a dream over a year ago has now become my new reality. We are very excited for what’s ahead and the direction we’re going. However, there was a point a few months ago where I made a poor choice and it caused me some pain. I want to share a portion of our journey and four ways to avoid the pain I went through.
You can read about our transition and my primary career change here. Recently there came a point where I had multiple opportunities in front of me.
We live in a time of constant interruptions, instant communication, and never ending demands. Everyone needs something from you: your work, your family, your friends, your pets, AND you have a long list of things that you should be doing. How do you do keep up with it all without burning out?
I’ve spent the last 10 years in a full-time ministry role at Life Church before becoming a Leadership Coach at DuLead. People in ministry face a unique challenge as the demands on them never end. People don’t plan and can’t control when there’s a crisis, someone get sick, or a funeral needs to be performed. Some of life’s biggest crises include a phone call to their pastor. While I’ve loved my role and the way I’ve been able to serve others it’s also forced me to learn how to live in such a way that I don’t burnout and my family doesn’t suffer.
I posted this on Facebook this morning and it has resonated becoming my top post ever.
Have you ever noticed that everything worthwhile in life is uphill? A great marriage, building a successful business, advancing your career, being a great parent, living a healthy life style, and making wise financial choices for the future are all difficult. They take work. They take intentionality. The challenge is that our habits often don’t support our hopes. As John Maxwell says, “People have uphill hopes and downhill habits.”
In my own life, I’ve realized that many of the habits and patterns I have don’t support my dreams and hopes for the future. For example, after several years of being very physically active that culminated in my dream of completing an Ironman, I put on 20 lbs of weight in a year. One of my life goals is to remain physically fit so it doesn’t impact life with my wife and children. I don’t want my health to be a barrier. Over that year I adopted some downhill habits that needed to change. I’ve discovered three steps to break a downhill habit and get intentional with my life.
As a parent, I’ve realized the extraordinary power my words have in the lives of my children. I can encourage and inspire my children to greatness, or bring them to tears with just a few words. Even though at work you’re dealing with adults, the power your words have is incredible.
The language you and your team use set the direction and atmosphere for your organization. Average leaders don’t give any thought to the words they use in their emails, team meetings, and hallway conversations. Great leaders are intentional about identifying unhealthy language and replacing it with language that is life-giving, encouraging, and forward-looking. They understand that language creates culture.
Our culture likes titles. Companies get fixated on organizational charts in an attempt to match the perfect titles with the right people at the right layers (and then change them again next year.) Individuals obsess over and chase after the recognition that goes along with titles. People drive their identity and self-worth from the role listed on their business card.
Titles are important and do have a role to play to bring clarity and avoid confusion. However, often times we allow our title to limit our success.
“I blew it.” “The opportunity is gone.” “It’s too late.” “I failed again.” Have you ever heard those statements in your mind? For some, those words are like a MP3 that plays on repeat. We hear them every day and sometimes multiple times a day. Some of us have others around us that remind us of how inadequate we are.
As we work through regret, missed opportunities, and mistakes we often times focus on wishing we had a RESET button or a DO-OVER. Life very rarely gives us do-overs. However, you can have a MAKEOVER.
No one likes tension. However, we live in a world where tension is inevitable.
Here are points of tension that you may deal with this week:
- maximize profit vs. more revenue
- demands at work vs. time with family
- coaching an employee for development vs. for performance
- strategic vs. urgent
- save vs. spend
- working with an employee vs. helping them move on
- working hard vs. taking time to rest
No one likes tension but it’s impossible to live a day without having to deal with it. You can’t ignore it. You can’t avoid it. So how do we deal with it?