The Every Day Leader: TIME OUT!

 

The empty bench. What stories it could tell.

The bench can symbolize loneliness or time alone, moments of relaxation or contemplation.  Regardless the reason, taking time away  is a powerful tool, one that is almost always needed.  This is true especially when we go through hard times or need time to replenish.

Have you noticed that there seems to always be a bench nearby?  When was the last time you took advantage of a bench and took some time away? The hard times of life that we go through seem to affect us the most.  Those circumstances can have a positive or a negative affect on us, but rarely leaves us untouched.  I have met many people on my journey that have been through hard times and are still positive with an incredibly joyous spirit. 

On the flip side, I have also met many other people who have been through the tough times of life and are still holding on to the hurt, resentment or even bitterness.  Instead of letting the hard times make them stronger they let it define who they are and who they have become.

                      In both situations the hard times have left an impact.

How is it that people are affected so differently? Going through the tough times and coming out better requires us to be intentional in our behavior and attitude.  We must consciously think about how we are and how we will respond.  We can’t just leave it to chance or do nothing.

We must be intentional to decide and to do something.

 Will you respond by being bitter or better? 

This is a phrase many of us have heard before.  The difference between the two is being intentional to choose how we want to live, think and speak.

Oftentimes it means taking the time, time we don’t think we have,  and getting away to reflect.

Taking time alone is vital to who we are as leaders.   Time away to reflect or contemplate renews us.  It is during this time that we think through the circumstances and make conscious choices.  It is also a time that we take care of ourselves. We cannot give to others what you don’t have.

It is only in those quiet alone times that we get renewed. It is making time to sit on that bench for a personal retreat, whether it’s a few hours or a whole day. It is intentionally saying I can only be at my best when I plan to take time away, to surround myself with things that feed my soul and spirit, that energize and inspire me or to make decisions about the things we are facing. We are more creative, more understanding and patient, and are better leaders when we take a time out and invest in ourselves.

 Everyday leaders long to be at their best.  We know that life can be hard and is messy.  We know that life is unpredictable.  Yet, we also know that God has given all of us the ability to choose how we will respond to those circumstances.

Everyday leaders, choosing to be better instead of bitter, even in the tough times.  Intentionally planning personal retreat time and investing in ourselves so that we can be better for others and make a difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Every Day Leader: Your Attitude is Contagious

She sat down next to me on the bench, and out of nowhere began to share her story.  The line that stuck out to me was…“it was a blessing in disguise”.  She had lost everything including her home in a tornado. Yet, she could say it was still a blessing.  She was demonstrating an incredible attitude to me, a stranger.   I was no one she needed to impress, I was not someone in her circle of influence, and I was probably  not going to be someone she ever saw again.

I know her first name and really not much else, but in just those few minutes I spent with her she inspired me.  She was being an every day leader by her contagious attitude about life.  I didn’t know what she did for a living, I didn’t know her family background, her beliefs,  or her history, but what I learned in that short conversation had an impact on me that will last the rest of my life. I was reminded that our attitude is contagious.  She turned a difficult situation into a positive one and shared it with me.   I want to model that attitude.

This encounter was a great reminder to me that our attitudes play a huge role even in the most unexpected places!  I am amazed at the influence we can have on people we don’t even know.  We each have the ability to be someone of influence and that influence can be positive or negative…our attitude can be contagious!

YOU are that every day leader!

How easy is it for us as people to go about our every day lives, doing our own thing, keeping to ourselves  and not even noticing others or taking the time to speak to those around us. How many times have we been at a coffee shop sitting outside and not even say hello to those walking right past us?  Perhaps we never even noticed them. Think about all the opportunities we have each day to influence others – often times it can be as simple as the attitude we demonstrate or in how we react to our own circumstances.

We model to others by how we live our own lives.

What are you modeling?  What are others seeing? Do they see someone who sees the good in life…the blessings in disguise?  Or do they see someone who complains, wonders where the good is and who struggles with life issues?

Modeling a good attitude takes work and LOTS OF PRACTICE.  As every day leaders we must be intentional to model an attitude that is positive and contagious to those around us.  Doing this does not come naturally! 

Your attitude does impact those around you…even a stranger. 

Just like Diane sharing her story reminding me about blessings in disguise, I want to  be intentional in my attitude, making a difference in the lives of others.

An Every Day Leader, Living an intentional life.  Making a difference with my attitude.