The Every Day Leader: Living Like There is NO Tomorrow

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive,,,,,

I won’t take it for granted
I won’t waste another second….

(excerpt from Jason Gray’s “It’s good to be alive”)

I wonder how many times we have heard the phrase “make this day count”…most of us know it.  We may have even tried to apply it to our lives as best as we can – as we navigate through our busy days.

We have such good intentions to live like there is no tomorrow.  To love like we are on borrowed time.  To know it is good to be alive.

All to often we let life get in the way and our words just become lyrics on a page.

We get caught up in the business of the day.  The urgent.  The deadlines.  There are schedules.  There are clients and customers.  There are meetings.  And there are chores. 

But the hard facts remain, we will never live this day again. 

Each day is a gift that has been given to us. 

I long to make every second count.  I don’t want to waste another minute on something that doesn’t matter.

We are all leaders that have the opportunity to live like there is no tomorrow.  To love like we are on borrowed time.  To celebrate the moments of each day. 

We are given a gift each day. What will you do with yours?

Start today.  The past ended a second ago.  Each day is a gift, the new beginning of a brand new day.

Everyday leaders intentional choose how they spend their time. Making a difference on a live of another.

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The Every Day Leader: Speaking Truth

“My best friend is someone who brings out the best in me” – Henry Ford

Have you ever had someone asked your thoughts on something and rather than answer politely you wanted to tell them what you were REALLY feeling? Yet, there is something in us that holds back.

Sometimes we hold back because we are simply reacting without thinking about it and realize it would be a big mistake to blurt out our reaction. Maybe we hold back because we are only filtering it through how it makes us feel. Perhaps we choose not to say anything because we don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings.

I am sure we have all had these experiences at least once in our lives. I would also venture to say that holding back is not always the best thing we can do. I don’t mean we should say whatever is on our mind without regard to the other person. Speaking truth in love is one of the greatest gifts we can give another.

The key is saying it with love. That doesn’t mean we say it nicely, soften it up and water it down, or tip toe around the issue. It means we speak truth to another because we care enough to take the chance. Speaking truth in love means we care enough to thoughtfully respond in love as an act of kindness.

I am a firm believer that being nice and being kind are two different things. The nice person skirts around things, never wanting to upset anyone. The kind person takes the time and invests in another – to challenge, to speak truth, to guide. It is what makes us better people.

It is a gift of a best friend.

It takes building a relationship of mutual trust and respect. It is what sets the every day leader apart. It is someone willing to be kind.

It is about speaking truth in order to make a positive difference – to speak truth because you care.

I long to be that person of trust and influence and am grateful for those who do this for me!

Every day leaders influence those around them. They build a relationship. They are kind and go the extra mile, they speak the truth with love first.

 

 

 

 

The Every Day Leader: Courage

I remember watching the Wizard of Oz as a kid.  I was fascinated with the many different characters and the yellow brick road – the journey to Oz.  No one can forget what each character was in search of. What Dorothy was looking for made perfect sense to me, she simply wanted to go home.  Who wouldn’t want to get home? I can relate with her on most days!

What the others wanted was a little harder for me to grasp at such a young age.  Didn’t everyone have a heart and a brain? As a six-year-old, courage was the one that seemed a little different. I simply thought of it as being something you needed every now and then for the big things you  might face.

As I grew older I found those same things the characters sought are still things that many of us seek today.

 Many of us chase our roots, instead of home, trying to find where we really came from and how we belong.   Everyone has this innate need to feel and be a part of something.  If we don’t have that sense of belonging we continually search to find it.

Like the scarecrow, we know we need a brain and often seek after higher education – many of us becoming eternal students. 

How many of us search diligent trying to fill the emptiness we often find in our hearts?

For many of us we hope we have courage at the exact time we need it!

Courage is not just needed for big things but is really something we need each day!

If you are struggling, it takes courage to keep going

Courage is needed to take the first step

Courage is needed to hear your own voice in the crowd

Courage is needed to take a stand

Courage is needed to think and speak for yourself

Courage is needed to stand up for yourself and not listen to lies

Courage is needed to follow your dreams….

Courage is so much more than something needed in a time of crisis, and is required for more things than I could have ever imagined as a kid.

I now also realize that courage comes with understanding.  It comes with knowing who you are.  There are many times in our lives we have to be intentional to be courageous. 

It takes intentional courage to step our of our comfort zone.  It takes intentional courage to be a catalyst for change.  It is what we, as every day leaders, must be willing to pursue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Every Day Leader: Breaking out of the mold

I once gave a speech in high school that started out with this line…

“The statue of liberty is still standing. Of course everyone expects it to be”.

While I don’t remember the rest of the speech, I remember talking and thinking a great deal about expectations.

That was MANY years ago…Life experiences have taught me much more about expectations since that time. For one, we all have expectations for others, for our country, for our lives. Secondly, we all have expectations we think we need to live up to from others.

Sometimes the expectations are good and spur us on to do better and reach higher. Other times, the expectations we perceive for our lives can bury us, as we struggle to live up to them.

There are times that we may even put ourselves in a mold that we think we should fit into, based on the expectations we or others place on us.

Are you living your life based on the expectations of others? Or, are you living your life in such a way that you are okay to break out of the mold, to live the way you were created to live?

Are you using your gits, talents and passions in such a way to make a difference?

Breaking out of the mold:

takes courage

takes determination

A bold confidence to make a change

Knowing who you are

It means taking a risk

The choice is yours. We can stay in the mold that we are in. We can live a life based on the expectations of others. We can also choose to breakout, take that first step for a bold change, living every day with meaning and purpose.

Every day leaders don’t settle. They are willing to break out of the mold knowing that sometimes we have to step out and make a difference.

The Every Day Leader: Living out LOUD

Sidewalk prophets, a singing group, has a great song that reminds us to live what we believe, recklessly abandoned and never holding back.

Don’t you just love those words? Recklessly abandoned and never holding back.

I really do want to live like that!

This is the reminder that we are more than simply the words we speak; we are the behavior that we model. BEHAVIOR Matters.

Have you ever heard the saying don’t do what I do, do what I say?  It doesn’t have much of a lasting impact, does it?  As people we are not wired to follow hypocrisy but we run hard after authenticity. We will follow leaders whose walk and talk is consistent and who live out their beliefs for all to see, without compromising.

Actions speak louder than words.

 This is true for our employees, our volunteers, it is true for our neighbors, and it is true for our clients or customers.  It is true for anyone we have the opportunity to influence.  

What is the world seeing when they see you?

 Know what you believe, Live it out LOUD.

Everyday leaders live a life that others want to follow.  Being intentional to make a difference

Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets 2012

Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I’m only just a memory
When I’m home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of those
Was my worship more than just a song

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I’ll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Am I proof
That You are who you say You are
That grace can really change a heart
Do I live like Your love is true

The Every Day Leader: Masquerade

Ever wonder how you will make it through the day without anyone know how you really feel?  Perhaps you are dealing with a difficult relationship or family issues that seem never-ending.  Maybe you are wondering how to manage through an unexpected financial situation or you might be dealing with concerns at work or over work, maybe a mistake you made….

Personal stuff.  The stuff you don’t really want everyone to know.

We live in a world today that says to keep our masks on. 

The message we often hear is to save your hurting for when you are alone.  We learn to keep things in, bury them deep.  We learn to wear a mask,  not wanting others to see our fears, our insecurities, or our messy circumstances.

We think we have to be strong.

We tell ourselves we have to keep up the image.

We think it is better to put on a smile instead of letting others see us vulnerable.

We have been experts of masquerading, we know the dance steps well and hold our masks tight.

All of us have things we have to deal with at some point in our lives.  How do you deal with the hard things, the messy things?

Do you put your mask on? 

As every day leaders we don’t have to walk the journey alone, or put on a mask so no one knows when we are hurting. It means we don’t have to be perfect or have perfect lives.  It means we can be honest with others as we walk through the hard times or when we are struggling.  When we are honest and allow others to see us – we show we are authentic and others are more likely to be authentic with us.

By being authentic we are modeling that is okay to be vulnerable and that it is okay to reach out and share with another and help carry each others burdens.

Every day leaders are truthful even in the tough times.  Modeling authenticity and allowing others to walk the journey with us.

The Every Day Leader: PEOPLE over Tasks

I drove down the long dirt road and I looked at the farms along the way, such a peaceful setting, so calming, this will always be home.

To me a farm is the most beautiful setting that I know…yet, I also know that it means chores that have to be done each day, whether you feel good or not or even if you feel like it or not.

I remember the quiet, with an occasional interruption by the sound of the mourning dove singing it’s song. The farm provided such safety to me as a child, what I remember most was that life was simpler back then.

There was work, but there was fun. We also had time for fun when the neighbor stopped by or it was time to gather as a family. As I grew older I learned that sharing and working together was more than just sharing my dolls and playing house. It meant sharing a car, combining trips into town to save on gas, it meant helping out when needed. What I really learned was what mattered most…

people

People matter to every day leaders. They matter more than things or money or our jobs. Today we have many things competing for our attention, many things competing for that first spot of what matters most in our lives.

What are you choosing?

Are you more concerned about what house you live in, what clothes you are wearing, what status you have with your job?

I don’t want to just be busy. I long for the simple life where people are what matters.

Every day leaders intentionally choose. They choose how to spend their time instead of just being busy. They choose people over tasks knowing that life should never be to busy to not invest in another.