Private Habits Translate to Public Living

In recent days we have experienced shock and disbelief at hearing news about people we know – or thought we knew. It’s difficult to wrap our heads around the shocking behavior of some of those people.

Consider another perspective. Have you ever been surprised to hear about someone you know doing something that took a great deal of courage? Perhaps they stood up to authority, or did not back down on a principle. Well, many courageous people have been coming forward lately.

We have witnessed both perspectives in recent days. We have been shocked to learn of some of the private habits that have been brought to light by a courageous few who took a stand, some at the risk of great cost to themselves.

Not by Power nor Expertise

Good leaders do not necessarily have to be an expert in the field where they are called to lead, though it helps if they are. Nevertheless, good leaders know how to surround themselves with the right people, then train and/or empower them to accomplish great things. Good leaders also know how to preserve and maintain healthy relationships.

Great leaders generally acknowledge that success is less about power or a particular vocational expertise. Rather, it derives more from skills of self-awareness, self-management and interpersonal relationships, along with mindful living.

This Is Not How It Was Meant To Be!

Tired. Burnt out. Loss of motivation. Depression. Low energy. Lack of focus.

These are some of the factors often associated with deep tiredness that comes from living life in a constant state of activity and stress. This level of tiredness cannot be fixed by one or two good nights’ sleep or even a two-week vacation. You do not feel able to relax and enjoy anything. You are up tight even when you are supposed to be having fun. You have lost the ability to laugh and the hearty laughter of others seems to irritate you.

Do You Know the Real You?

Who are you?

What comes to mind when you read that question? I imagine you are thinking about your name, age, your family background and your career. Usually when someone asks that question, those are the answers they are seeking.

The same question can be asked but with deeper meaning in mind. This time think of the question in the context of the person you are inside that affects who you are on the outside.

You Have the Power!

Most if not all of us have the tendency to allow words, actions and attitudes of others to influence our responses. At some point in life, we’ve likely blamed someone else for our response to a situation or a person. To be honest, I think most of us still do. We likely do this because it is our default response. It has been part of the human experience from the beginning.

Scripture recounts the first instance of people being held accountable for their choices, and their immediate response was to blame someone else for their choices. This story of Adam and Eve disobeying God in the garden is found in Genesis 3. The tendency to blame others for our choices is still very much a part of the human condition.

Ditch the Balancing Act!

Is work-life balance possible? If so, how does one go about achieving it?

For many years we have been hearing about the importance of work-life balance. Perhaps like many of you, for years I have tried to strike the balance and have not been able to do it.

Trying to manage your time in order to attend to all the different areas of life has been a lifelong battle for most of us. Many of us work too much and as result neglect the other areas of our lives, such as family, health, church, and/or friends. On the other hand, some of us give too much focus to our family, church or physical well-being and give the bare minimum at work.

How can we ease the guilt and frustration of trying but being unable to find that elusive work-life balance formula?

Deposits and Withdrawals: Two Essentials of Healthy Relationships

In leadership, your most important asset is the people you lead. The worth of this asset increases or decreases based on how you treat those people.

In the relationship between leader and follower the banking principle of deposit and withdrawal is always at work. When something positive is said or given to someone under your leadership, a deposit is made. When something difficult has to be said, such as talking to someone about poor job performance or consistent tardiness, a withdrawal is made. The principle is true in all healthy relationships. Things can go very wrong if the withdrawal turns out to be larger than the deposits.

For the worth of those relationships to continue to increase intentional deposits are essential.

Here are some ways you can intentionally make deposits in the relationships of those you lead.

Mindfulness

We are living in a fast-paced world where it feels like we are constantly trying to catch up. This kind of living has brought much stress, frustration and discouragement. It is as if we are living on remote control. We are so busy trying to catch up that we seem to have no sense of the present.

Perhaps you have had this experience: You did something – and for a moment you have no recollection of consciously doing it. For example, have you driven from point A to point B, but then were a bit surprised to find you had actually arrived? Or maybe you took out the trash, but a bit later you go to take out the trash again, only to realize you’ve already done so!

Is there a way to regain control of our lives from the ultra-busy vortex we have been sucked into? Is there a way to live intentionally? How do we learn, or re-learn, to be present in the moment? How do we develop what some have termed mindfulness.

Winning Versus Remaining Faithful 

The desire to win is natural to humans; we can see this trait from the early stages of childhood.

Toddlers fight because they need to win, although they do not know that is what they are doing. We become adults and continue to fight to win, but we tend to be subtler about it now that we can rationalize why we need to win.

Whether vying for a toy, a position, a desired outcome, or just being right, we want to come out on top; we want to win.

Emotional Self-Care

Emotions are a fundamental part of being human. Anger. Jealousy. Joy. Sadness. Grief. Contentment. Love. All of these emotions help you respond and interact with life and living. They impact how you think and behave.

To understand and appreciate the importance of emotional self-care you need to think about what life is like when you neglect your emotional health.

Emotional self-neglect will often result in you being held captive by your emotions.