The Every Day Leader: Simply Be Who You Are

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Remember the days of playing as a kid?

I love watching my grandkids play dress up.  There is no limit to their imagination!  If they choose to put five pony tails in their hair, add a pink hat and wear a red dress they do.  They can sing and dance and be the star.

They don’t worry about who is watching.

They don’t worry if things aren’t just right.

It doesn’t matter if the clothes don’t match.

They are not worried about who is watching and what they might think.

They are simply  enjoying the day.  Enjoying the time.  Enjoying who they are and how God made them.

When was the last time that you could simply enjoy being that person?

The person that doesn’t have to worry about if things are just right.

The person that doesn’t have to worry if your clothes are matching or the latest style.

The person that doesn’t have to worry if you measure up.

Or, if you have done all the right things.

Or  maybe, who is watching.

When was the last time you could just be yourself, relax, smile and embrace the moments?

Everyday leaders recognize that to influence those around us, we must embrace who we are and how God made.  We begin to understand that we don’t have to spend our time trying to measure up, to be someone we are not, rather we are better when are  who we are ourselves.

It is who we are that really matters!  Not what others think or expect!

Take some time.  Know who you are and embrace it.  Allow others to see the REAL you.  Knowing that as you do, as you are intentionally living an authentic life without pretense, you are modeling this to others.  You are making a difference in the lives of others around you!

Simply Be Who You Are!

The Every Day Leader: Time Out

I spent a couple of days at the beach not long ago.  There is just nothing quite like the sound of the waves, the sand between your toes and the peace I feel when I look at across the water.

As I walked along the beach noticing the shells scattered on the sand I walked by several shells that seemed to be all “stuck” together.  You may have noticed them too, but most likely walked right by them.

I finally stopped and picked one up.

The clump wasn’t all that pretty.

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The individual shells were so much nicer.

Yet, as I looked at the clump of shells there was something about it that made me think about us as people.

I was at the beach to take a little time away.   I had  been feeling the weight of life issues, family changes, and the pressures of work all weighing me down.

I realized that my life was beginning to look like that clump of shells.  I was carrying around the weight of  all kinds of things and letting it weigh me down.

As much as I thought I was managing….

The deadlines from work stuck with me when I came home.

 

The concerns for my kids and aging parents were big.

 

The struggles of relationships were wearing me down.

 

The crisis from the families I work with were hard to forget.

 

Trying to be there for everyone added another shell that stuck with me.

Turns out, I wasn’t really managing all that well.

I needed some time.

What about you?  What is your life looking look like these days?  Do you have all kinds of things stacking up on you that feel heavy?  Maybe some things you aren’t even aware of?

Are you needing some time for you?

Everyday leaders have to be aware of when we need time away.  Then we must  intentionally choose to take that time away, knowing when we do we are working to be our best selves to make the greatest difference in the lives of those around us. It is all about choosing to be our best selves, to make a difference.

Everyday leaders  work hard to take the time BEFORE the shells before to stack up and weigh you down – choosing to be our best selves!

The Every Day Leader: Walking With Confidence

IMG_2110Growing up in the middle of  rural Nebraska the view often looked like this.  Regardless of which direction you looked,  there wasn’t much to see but roads that appeared to have no end, with no houses in sight.

As a kid, I longed to live in town and be closer to other kids and stores and swimming pools.   Now as an adult,  I realize just how good I had it growing up in the carefree world of the country.  I love the wide-open spaces and would jump at the chance to back there.  When I return now and see the never-ending roads, I am reminded of the roads we travel in our lives…..and the perspectives we have when we are traveling.

There are times when it seems like the journey we are on is so terribly long and lonely that we are tempted to look for a short cut or maybe to quit altogether.  I think these are the times we forget to reach out to others and ask for help or encouragement along the way.  We somehow think we need to carry our load alone.

When was the last time you asked for help from a friend?

Other times, we simply haven’t prepared well for the journey.

Have we taken the time to care for ourselves?  Are we in shape physically?  Have we eaten well?  When was the last time you slept a good eight hours?  What about our family relationships?  How about spiritually?  Even financially?  Taking care of us, means EVERY area of our lives. It means being our best selves to walk our journey and not having to worry.

Maybe, we simply get discouraged because we have forgotten how to be thankful for all that we have along the way – we even forget to look out the window and see the beautiful view.  I am amazed at how different I am when I take the time to be grateful for all that God has done in my life!

What are you thankful for today?  List them!  Do this everyday.

What is going on in your life right now?  Are you on a journey that is exhausting?  Are you stuck somewhere and not even moving?

Everyday leaders choose to take time each day to reflect, making sure we walk the journey with confidence – knowing we are given a gift to influence the lives of others each day along the  way!

The Every Day Leader: Getting Back Up

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Remember what it was like learning to ride a bike?  You would fall over again and again.  Yet somehow, you managed to dust yourself off, bandage the knee if necessary and get back on the bicycle.

Until one day….

It worked and you got it!

Our lives are a little bit like riding a bike.

There are certainly times in my life that I have felt like I was never going to make it through what I needed to, or learn all that I should.

The task seemed too great. 

The situation seemed too hard.

The boss was simply too difficult. 

There wasn’t enough time.

Yet, somehow it all worked.  The task got done.  There was enough time.  I managed to make it through a boss that was difficult or a situation that seemed all to hard to master.

I made it through. One step at a time.  One day at a time.

Are you in one of those situations now?  Does it feel overwhelming?  Do you wonder if you will make it?

You will.  Don’t lose courage.

It’s what everyday leaders do.  We do it because we know that as we walk the journey that God has set before us; making it through matters not just to us – but to those around us.  God has given us our circle of influence; no matter how big or how small, it is still our circle to touch.

Go on.  Persevere.  Keep going.  Stand strong.  Get back on the bicycle.  Knowing that as you do, you are modeling for those around you to do the same.

Every day leaders-making a difference in the lives of those around us by getting back up even when it seems too hard!

 

The Every Day Leader: Renewal

re·new·al   [ri-noouhl, –nyoo-] noun

1.  the act of renewing.

2.  the state of being renewed.

3.  an instance of this.

Spring is a time of renewal…the grass is turning green, the trees and flowers are beginning to bloom, the world around us is changing.  When the heat of summer comes, does that mean that the renewal is over?   I never thought so.

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Renewal is one of those words that seems like it should be a verb…more of a process than an end result.  It is as if one may be in the midst of renewal, but not really ever fully achieves being fully renewed or fully changed. 

There is always more.

In our lives it is true.  Renewal requires continual growth and change. 

It means that as every day leaders we are intentionally mindful of the process of growing and renewing ourselves.  We know that in this process of growth and change we have greater opportunities to influence the lives of others.

It mean being willing to  learn.

It means being willing to accept change. 

It means stepping out.

It can mean being creative.

It means being intentional.

It can be uncomfortable and stretch us.

It means never being willing to settle or get stagnate.

It means thinking differently to make the most of the gifts and talents and opportunities we have been given to make a difference. 

It’s the process of renewal that matters.

It’s what everyday leaders do.  Live each day to be our best selves!

 

The Every Day Leader: Anyway

I listened to her share her story.  It was almost as if I could see the heartache. I heard the desperation in her voice.  I saw the hurt in her eyes.  As she finished she trailed off with the word…

anyway.

It was as if she was ended it with:  “it  is what it is” and none of it really matters in the end.  The anyway implied that perhaps there was nothing that could be done about it, and even if there was something that could be done with it, she felt powerless to be the one to do it.  It was the hopelessness in her voice that I picked up on.

The anyway spoke volumes.

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Are you at a place in your life that feels like one of those anyway places?  A place where you are tired, a place that feels hopeless, a place that feels that you must simply stuff it all down and keep going, because that is what you have always done.  Perhaps it is what you sense everyone expects you to do or to be.

Maybe you just feel too busy to take the time to even know where you are.

As everyday leaders we begin to understand the opportunities that we have within the spheres of influence that God has placed us.  We not only begin to understand our roles, we also begin to more aware of how we are too.  We know that if we are going to be people of influence we need to be emotionally and spiritually healthy ourselves.

Everyday leaders intentionally choose to be the best that we can be in order to leave the greatest impact in the every day moments that God has given us.

The Every Day Leader: BE BOLD… Walk through the OPEN Door

Months ago I wrote about the cardinal that was pecking at the window of our dining room begging to get in. I was reminded then how we as people can act similiarly…we do the same thing over and over thinking it will yield the result we want.  I also noted that if he would step back look at it from a different angle he might see the door was a better way to get in.

He has now taken up his pecking to the window above the door.  He pecks almost everyday.  It is as if he knows that the door is the way to get in, but he doesn’t quite have the nerve to actually go through with it.  He wants to take the next step, but just can’t quite seem to make himself do it.

Aren’t we just a little bit like that too?  We know what we want to do.  Maybe it is a dream to pursue, maybe it is making a career change, or any bold step of change in our life…but, like the cardinal, we just can’t quite get the nerve to do it.

Taking the first step…TODAY

The first step is always the hardest.

Instead of taking the first step, we keep playing it in our mind and we stay at the same place.  We wonder about the what ifs, we wonder if we have the courage to do it, we wonder what others would say, we wonder if we can do it, and we wonder if it will fail.

We have all heard the stories of those who have experienced failures – many failures before they found the success.  We all know of Thomas Edison, Colonel Sanders, Warren Buffet, and Trump and we know that failure could happen. 

One of the greatest lessons as leaders is to learn from your failures.  In fact, I would go as far to say that failing at times is really part of the success.  It is what we take away from that failure that prepares us for the next step.

Go ahead…

Be BOLD

Don’t stay pecking at the glass above the door – GO THROUGH IT!

Every day leaders know that by taking that first step, by walking through the door, by leaving the safety net and being bold they become better people. They succeed far greater than they could have imagined and they make a difference in the lives of others.

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