Politicians, entrepreneurs, parents and pastors – everyone you are leading is looking for you to take responsibility. When you lead others it’s your tribe that keeps you accountable. What about when you are leading your own life? How are you taking responsibility for your own personal and spiritual development? It was one of those very disruptive, pivotal, thought provoking, experiences of my life, when I considered my responsibility for my own spiritual growth. It made me think about responsibilities in a whole new way.
Responsibilities. We all have them. However, we may not all take them as seriously as we should. Wouldn’t it be great if we all took responsibility for the things we are responsible for? Our finances, health and relationships.
Everyone loves the underdog. People who begin with limited opportunity and overcome great odds. These people often could complain ‘Life’s not fair’. But, instead they choose not to make excuses, but to leverage what they have for the benefit of others.
We’ve all said ‘Life’s not fair!’ We all say it when we feel we’re comparing ourselves to people with more opportunity. But some of us learn to do the best we can with what we have. How do we learn to understand life’s apparent inequality and begin to start taking responsibility for our own life?
It’s time to get personal and share with you some of my journey to redirecting my own story. Wondering about how to make a difference? Want to redirect your journey?
In Finding Your Purpose, by Regi Campbell, an eBook on his blog Radical Mentoring there is a simple analogy; “if your life is a dollar bill, what are you spending it on?’ The average person meets over 10,000 people during their lifetime. That’s 10,000 opportunities! It’s often small things that are done that accumulate to a big difference. Don’t overlook the little things!
Young or old, we all wonder if our life is going to make a difference? We all want to find purpose in life and make our lives count for something. But how do we find out where to invest our time and our money? It’s not enough for us to do our best. We need to figure out God’s plan for our lives and THEN do our best. But where do you turn to for insight?
God through the apostle Paul provides illumination
We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
Did you know as Canadians we spend 99.6% of our income on ourselves? The average donation in 2010 was $260 on the average family income of $69,860. Worse only 23% of Canadians claim a charitable donation. That means 77% claim zero. Until 11 years ago I was one of them. I’d give a $20 at church here or there. Even a $100 thinking I was generous. But until you look at your tax return you have no objective means of analyzing generosity. It’s like learning how to be rich. Learning how to be generous takes thought.
This is thin ice I’m stepping on; after all as Canadians we pride ourselves in helping around the world. But I really want you to wrestle with this for yourself. Don’t think about an image that we project and protect. Think about reality!
How are you going to make a difference.?
The Bible speaks about training in this area of our lives as the apostle Paul wrote to his apprentice Timothy:
It is required of a steward (property and money manager) that he be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2
“Faithful” – What does that mean?
I sat stagnant for a long time without growing spiritually. I was just soaking in and not giving back so I really wasn’t experiencing spiritual growth. Changing my thinking in this area changed my relationships and my life.
Many people face similar situations in different areas of life. We have good intentions that never transform into actions. We have gym memberships, but don’t exercise. We have nutrition information, but don’t eat properly. We have savings accounts, but don’t use them.
Growth takes action. What does it look like when you’re growing? Just think about kids, we can often miss how they are changing. But others who don’t see them often say, “Wow, you’ve grown since I last saw you!” Growth is usually gradual when you’re up close and involved, but when you take a step back you can see differences – but the results are because of action!
If you’ve got it flaunt it! That’s the mantra that surrounds much of western society. Whether it is appearance, ability or assets – many people live to flaunt it! Especially when it comes to assets; many people spend more than they should and it costs them. They really don’t have the wealth they need or should have for the long term. So what’s the secret to having wealth? Most people want the short, easy answer. They don’t want to read a book, attend a class, or take the time to learn the power of good habits.
I hope that’s not you! Invest in learning. There is a secret to getting rich. It’s very simple. It’s so simple almost no one does it. It’s also kind of obvious. Chances are you’ve heard the answer before.
Regrets, we all have them. Can you think of someone you wish you hadn’t met? An emotion you wish you’d have controlled? A job you would rather not have taken? A piece of cake, you should have left on the buffet table? Really, regrets are all around us. Some with bigger consequences than others.
Just so you don’t feel alone in any of your regrets, here are some statistics.
Personal fitness: 36% are obese, 33% overweight
Personal finance: 76% are living paycheck to paycheck
Personal relationships: 50% of all marriages end in divorce
The trouble is we only know how big some decisions are in the rearview mirror. In the moment we lack experience, focus, or discernment to really understand the consequences of our decisions. This lack of understanding leads to regrets.
Habits, discipline and results all begin with motivation. It’s widely accepted as the key ingredient for both positive and negative outcomes. Think about an elite athlete or a terrorist, they each have motivation. One for good the other for evil! How to motivate people is often the deciding factor for your success. As a parent, teacher, manager or politician you need to know how to motivate others, otherwise you’ll never experience success. Theories on human behavior and what motivation really is and how it works are unfolding based on new research and science.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink answers the motivation question!
“When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system–which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators–doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way. This new approach has three essential elements:
Sometimes you need to look back to move forward. Looking back in history we uncover how people connected on the basis of their shared values and ideas. When they connected they started communities, companies, revolutions – they made a difference. What about BIG differences today?
Do you want to begin making a difference ?. Someone who has already made a huge difference is Seth Godin. Seth is an entrepreneur and the most popular business blogger in the world. He makes some profound observations about marketing ideas in this digital age. He often tells people “Go make a difference”. I wonder how to make big changes first in myself, then in people around me. All leadership starts with self, then leading others.
There are probably some things you believe in. We all have dreams, passions and desires. But how do you lead others to believe in your hobby, interest, business, or cause? William James said “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
Reading books and listening to inspiring messages is how I bridged the gaps in my life. Now I’m on a quest for ways to help others become the hero of their own story. My desire is to equip others with tools, skills and resources to help them achieve success. Which resources that helped me on my journey are worth recommending?
Socrates said “I cannot teach anyone anything; I can only make them think”. Conversely, as a coach, I’m also reminded that if the student hasn’t learned the teacher hasn’t taught.
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals works! Many people want to achieve goals and as an executive life coach I work alongside them. But success is never an accident. It starts with a goal and it’s only by studying the success of others that this pattern emerged and was crafted. As a homebuilder our company success was based on setting and achieving goals. This strategy worked as the net profitability increased 10 fold.
We thrive when we set and achieve goals. God gave us these desires in the first place and He wants us to take action to achieve His purposes.