So, I just returned from my annual eye exam. I very much dislike this appointment because of how sensitive my eyes are–and that air puff test? Well, I failed it. As I drove away, after getting the report from my doc, I quickly saw a parallel for the physical vision check-up to a self-leadership check-up.
I am near-sighted, and need glasses for seeing far away. Sometimes we all get a little near-sighted and only seeing what is right in front of us, getting carried along by the busyness tsunami–reactive in our scheduling, responses, and decisions. It is important to live in the present, AND it is important to get far-sighted as well, seeing down the road for how to incorporate your life goals, dreams, and values more intentionally into your life. And that takes time to calendar those priorities. So, there is a balance of both that is needed.
Do you need some priority corrective lenses adjusted this Holiday season and into the new year?
Life can get hum-drum. We go through routines and motions. We do our jobs, we drive our kids around, we crash at the end of the night. And do it again the next day. All that “normalcy” can crowd out recognizing the cool things going on around us.
What if we took any chance we could to party? What if we made ‘celebration’ a regular part of our rhythm of life? What if we were constantly on the prowl to find someone doing something well and capitalizing on with a dance of joy?
If you are a leader (meaning, you have a follower), it’s one of your essential jobs to recognize those you are leading: kids, direct reports, teammates, volunteers. Catch them doing a good deed, and bring it to the attention of the group. Give kudos liberally in emails, and CC everyone! Hand-write notes of thank-you, and leave positive voice mails on phones for them to hear later–and bask in. Take your team to lunch for a project completed. And bring out the balloons!
What I’m trying to persuade you to do is rise above the minutia of life to draw attention to all the positives that those you love and work with are doing. It’ll make their day. It’ll raise the group/family’s morale. It’ll make YOUR day! Let me know who you recognized and how you did it…..
“We are behind you 100%!” “Don’t back down!” “C’mon, you can do it!” “I have full confidence in your ability to do it.” “I am FOR you and your success.”
Statements like those above are boosters! Who doesn’t want a regular dose of these encouragements at work and at home and in the community?
Usually, by nature, we are hesitaters. We hold back from the contribution we need to be giving to the world out of fear. And that fear can often be stopped with a simple boost from a friend, boss, or family member who is on your “personal board of directors.” Boosters rev us up and help us to take courage and do difficult things. Sometimes it’s the game-changer to a life breakthrough.
Today you have a choice to be a booster. To see the hesitation in someone you care about and to cheer them on with words of empowerment. It will make their day, and you will know you did the right thing. People will see you as the go-to person to help light their fire when they need a boost. Everyone wins!
Now think, who around you needs a boost?
“Humor is a very effective way of expelling anger feelings.” This is just one of the benefits to get more of a daily dose of humor in your life, and to use it as a communication strategy with everyone around you. Humor builds bridges between people, and laughter is a huge stress reliever–It’s great for your health! And who doesn’t want to listen to a humorous speaker at a conference, as opposed to a serious-toned one?!
Put more humor in your life!
- Post/share them on your social media for others to laugh with you.
- Find the funny side of awkward situations.
- Watch more clean comedians.
- Add humor to the meetings you run, before the agenda starts.
- Amp up the (appropriate) positive banter in the office or at home.
- Find a YouTube funny video every day, just to laugh.
- Learn a few jokes well enough to tell at parties/gatherings.
- Add cartoons to your bulletin boards, refrigerator, and mirrors.
Come on, lighten up, will ya?
In my longer monthly reflection day last month, I pondered the question, What would I do if I only had one year left to live? I’d encourage you to ponder this question from that perspective. Once you write down your answers, think to yourself, “And why am I not living that way now? How can I begin to live that way this week with a baby step in that direction?” Then get your calendar out and schedule it in!
Some of the items on my list were:
- Only take in media for the purpose of output to others.
- Savor food, beauty, and time with God.
- Inspire people through as many speaking engagements as possible. Bring people to get excited about the priorities that last.
- Pour my life into a small group of hungry leaders/coachees who are ready to leave a legacy.
- Spend time weekly volunteering a good chunk of time for causes that do the most good for people less fortunate. And add the most value by volunteering in ways I am strongest.
- Spend every moment with my kids outside of their activities without smothering them. Plan adventures with them, and prep them for their future.
- Spend the moments without kids with my wife, lighting up her dreams, and traveling together to see all 50 states.
Loners. Hermits. Mavericks. Isolaters. “One is too small a number to achieve greatness,” John Maxwell says, and although every one of us can make a significant impact in our circle of influence, we are either standing on the shoulders of those who developed us, or we are doing it with some assistance from another person. Alone, we can only go so far.
So many lyrics of songs that say “Nobody wants to be alone.” And it’s true, because we aren’t wired by God to go through life and its challenges/joys alone. We are meant to grow in community. Heal in community. Rejoice in community. Impact the world in community.
Wise Solomon said, “Two are better than one.” Whether that is cleaning up a mess, mentoring a youth, or championing a cause, the impact multiplies when you bring people along with you. And that takes intentionality. We tend to gravitate into our own caves. You and I must leave our comfort zone to include others. And the result is that we get benefits from rowing oars together, and they get benefits of being included on something significant. Everyone wins!
So, the onus is on you. Will you come out of your cave and develop a relationship or include someone on the “outside” so that you and they win?
I used to go to a counselor who would remind her clients that it is not emotionally healthy to get involved in other people’s drama and make it something to worry about, but to instead “stay on your side of the street.” It’s good advice, because when it comes to having good boundaries in your life, you don’t want to pull someone else’s weeds while your own house is on fire. Taking up an offense for someone else usually just muddies the water and brings unnecessary grief to yourself and others; you usually don’t know both sides of the story.
Then there’s the concept of “bearing another’s burden” in order to help your neighbor with the difficult struggles in his/her life. We are meant to live in community and to lend a hand to those who are in need. If we want to be treated with dignity, assistance, and care, we need to treat others with that kindness and compassion–a thoughtfulness that is intentional.
So, there’s the tension to manage. Not meddling where it makes matters worse, but not ignoring the plight of those in need around us. Pray for the wisdom to know when to move and when to stay put.