1. See the big picture.
Its very easy to get caught up in the urgent details of everyday life, in fact most of my time is consumed with these types of demands. I was reminded that you need to create space for yourself to step back from the demands of everyday life and survey the whole landscape of your life.
Action: Schedule a day out of the office once a month for personal reflection and evaluation. Create a list of your life priorities (God, Spouse, Family, Career, Ministry etc) and describe your current reality, the good and the bad. Grade yourself on each priority (A-F). Finally create 2-3 actions you intended to take next month to address what is lacking. Review your progress next month and repeat.
2. Change your perspective.
I often get frustrated when I can’t figure out how to solve a particular problem right away. Often it will lead to feelings of despair or lack of control because I can’t imagine the actions I need to take to bring about the change I want. I’ve found that a change in perspective is necessary in order to figure out how to move forward. Sometimes you need to see the problem from the perspective of a customer, your spouse, your boss, your employee and most importantly – God.
Action: I can’t encourage you enough to spend daily time (20-30 minutes) with God by reading the Bible and journaling. Read until something jumps out at you or catches your attention, record the verses in your journal and then begin writing about what jumped out to you and why you think it did. Is there something you need to understand about God from the passage? Is there an example of someone you should imitate or a truth you need embrace to help you through a difficult time?
It has been during these daily times that God gives me the perspective I need to figure out what actions I should take or if I should take any action at all. There is a great sense of peace you can experience from getting God’s perspective on your circumstances and to work with Him to bring about the best possible solution to your problem.
3. You didn’t get where you are on your own.
No one achieves anything in this life on their own, we are all incredibly dependent on others for our growth and success. There have been times when I’ve been far too concerned with getting credit for what I’ve contributed and often failed to be intentional in thanking those who have been generous towards me with their council, advice or ideas. I’ve learned that if you are generous with others, they will return that generosity 10 fold. I’ve been blessed to have great mentors, friends and colleagues invest in me throughout my life and its incredibly important to thank them for their generous contribution to your life.
Action: Make a list of your closest relationships, both personal and professional. Then beside each name list out one thing they have done to encourage, bless, or help you along the way. Then add a note as to how you can recognize their contribution, this could be public or private, spoken or written and then attach due dates to each.
Try this for 3 months and see how it feels to encourage someone else and see how it changes how others relate to you.
P.S. Special thank to @Joe_Henegan for the group photo above.