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: Finding Meaning

Work. We all have to do it; in fact most of us will spend 35-40% of our day working. I recently read a quote that read: “life without meaningful work is meaningless”. I have been thinking about this quote all week, it has made a huge impact on me.

Are you just going through the motions each day?

So many people work at jobs that they are not passionate about. Can it still be meaningful? Can any job be meaningful?

No matter where we are or what we are doing we can intentionally choose to find meaning. As we do this we are not only impacting those around us as an every day leader, but we are also enhancing our own lives! We begin to embrace every moment that has been given to us. Our lives take on a new meaning because we know we are being used to make a difference. This happens in our jobs, at home, wherever we are.

As every day leaders I believe that when we are intentional we begin to think differently. Our eyes are opened to the many places and ways that God can use us to make a difference.

It starts with us.

It starts with a willing heart and an attitude of wanting to make a difference, to make our lives count, to have purpose in each day.

The Every day leader chooses to find meaning in their work and have purpose in their lives. Living differently, seeing life differently, choosing to make a difference.

The Every Day Leader: Who Is Shadowing You?

There is always at least one person that is in my life that I know God has placed there for a reason.  The timing may not always be convenient, it may not always be in my plans, but somehow it always works out.  Somehow God knows just what I need, just what they need.  And always, when I take the time to invest in that person, I get out of it way more than I put into it. 

                                       Happens every time.

Investing in the life of another takes time, effort and a huge part of me and it won’t happen unless I take the time to do it.  It means I have to be willing to sacrifice, I have to be vulnerable, and transparent to share my life with another…my whole life.  There are parts of my life that I am not so proud of, there are times of my life I had to learn lessons the hard way.  When I invest in the life of another, it means sharing those times too. It is truly sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, because lessons can be learned from every area and all of our life experiences.

The funny thing about investing… those relationships you put your heart and soul into mentoring, they are the ones that never fail to teach me something new about me.  Of course, I sharpen my skills and learn patience and understanding as I learn to work with someone new.  But it is so much more than that.  True mentoring makes me take a hard look at me.  As I teach and share, I also have to evaluate, I have to intentionally seek to understand myself better.  I learn the why’s of the past and begin to  see things from a different perspective.

Most of all, I am taking the time to think things through instead of plowing ahead with the business of life. 

If someone is following in my shadow,  I need to look at the person they are following.  How am I really?  Am I doing all the things I say?  Do I practice what I preach?  Do I lead others in such a way that I am worthy for another to want to be my shadow? Am I patient in answering questions?

Have you ever tried to copy someone’s shadow and anticipate their moves exactly?  It is almost impossible.  It is a pretty big bill to fill to have someone look up to you and want to be mentored by you. You have to be selfless, patient, and giving, even when you are tired or busy.

I look at those who have and who are mentoring me.  I am so thankful for them, for the time they have taken to invest in me and to make me a better person.  They have modeled for me the importance to do the same for another.

Who has God put in your life?  Is it someone who has never had a mother?  A Father?  Someone who needs to learn how to run a business?  Someone you are teaching spiritual principles to? Or maybe it is just someone who seems to be always clamoring for your attention by asking questions about everything you do and have done. They seem to be so eager to learn and soak up like a sponge anything you share.

Mentoring does not have to be lengthy and involved. Do you have an hour a week, twice a month, or a month? Scheduled times of mentoring help focus but there are also many informal times that conversations are had and lessons are imparted.

There are endless ways we can mentor another and endless opportunities to do so. Don’t miss a  chance to invest in another, you just may be surprised at how valuable they are to you!

The Everyday Leader.  Living a life of intention.  Mentoring another, always investing in those around you.

The Every Day Leader: Thinking of Others

She pulled at my hand begging me to come out to the porch.  As we walked outside my sweet little four-year granddaughter had given me a gift.  Not just any gift, but a gift of her expression of love.  She had picked some flowers from the garden and carefully lined them up on the porch to look “beautiful” for me. 

This was a simple expression of thoughtfulness and love through the eyes of a four-year old.

 

I smile as I think of that gift. I smile because it was done in love. I smile because she was thinking of me and I smile because I felt loved.

Each of us needs those kind of gifts.  Each of us have the ability to give those kinds of gifts to others.  These are simple expressions that show we care about those around us.  They don’t have to cost us much, sometimes just time and effort and making the choice to do it.

Thoughtfulness takes time.  It starts with getting to know those around you.  Each of us have someone in our life that we, as everyday leaders, have been entrusted to influence.

Whose life are you influencing right now?

Have you taken the time to get to know those people, not just on a name basis, but really know them?  If we take the time to learn about those around us, we gain new insights into them and their lives. We hear what they are dreaming about, we hear what they struggling with, sometimes we simply offer the gift of much-needed laughter.  If we are intentional we have the opportunity to learn so much more than just a simple good morning and how are you!  Even in our personal lives with our own family members, how often do we get so busy that we don’t know what is really going with them or what they are thinking?

What about those that you work with or that work for you?  How much do  you know about them?  How about our neighbors?

When was the last time you took time for a cup of coffee to check on a friend?  Are you the leader of a group?  How much more would those who work for you thrive if you took time to invest in them?

Simple ways to express you care and show others that you value them:

  •  A simple  phone call
  • Send a card
  • Meet for coffee
  • Schedule a lunch
  • Help them accomplish a dream
  • Surprise them with something they would never do for themselves but would love to do
  • Practice active listening

For those who are team leaders or managers, here are some ways to show you value those who work for you:

  • Keep an open door so people know you are approachable
  • Take time to say hello to each person in the morning
  • Surprise them with them with something thoughtful
  • Write a thank you card and express your gratitude for their hard work

We all need to know that others care about us.

Today, think of those in your life that you touch.  Maybe there is someone you have meant to reach out to but simply haven’t taken the time.  Don’t let another day pass, take the time today to do something thoughtful.

Be thoughtful.  Value another.  It is an intentional way of life that can truly make a difference!

Everyday leaders.  Living a Life of Intention.  Giving the gift of thoughtfulness.

The Every Day Leader: Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day.  For some of us this is a great day that reminds us of the incredible love we have had from our mother.  It may also remind us of the gift of our own children. 

Yet for some, this day may bring memories of sadness due to a loss of their mother or child. It may be sadness for not having a relationship at all or even having a strained one with their child or mother.  Maybe it’s a hurt from having an estranged child.  Whatever the reason, Mother’s Day can be a day that reminds us of a heartache that is all too real and testifies to the messiness of life.

My mother gave me an amazing gift… unconditional love. The gift of having someone love you and invest in your life in a way far beyond what I could have ever imagined. I think back and I never doubted the love of my mother, no matter what, her love was there for me regardless of what I did.  She modeled before me what true love was.  It was through that example that I was able to model this  to my own children.

I have met many who never grew up with the kind of love that I had from my mother, yet God has blessed their lives by giving them this incredible gift of love by another.  A person who was willing to invest in them, love them, teach them, train them, hold them accountable, pray for them, listen to them, encourage them, spend time with them, and be there no matter what.

These individuals are our every day leaders. They have chosen to invest in the lives of another and make a difference where they can, instead of selfishly holding back.

How about you? Is there someone in your life you can invest in? Someone, who would benefit greatly by your time, guidance, and wisdom? Each day God gives us opportunities all around us to be used to make a difference. Imagine the impact you could have on just one life if you lived intentionally, willing to pour yourself into another.

Investments take time, it could be just one hour a month or an hour a week, but the rewards are eternal.  The time you take can change a life forever.  Is this not what we are put on this earth for?  God calls us to connect with others, to walk with them on their journey of life – no matter what that journey holds.

Making an investment in the life of another will come at a cost.  It will cost you to be vulnerable to another, real and authentic. It may mean having to confront in love when misunderstandings happen.  But in the end, it will be a cost well spent. You will not be disappointed.

 I challenge and encourage you today to seek out that person to invest in.  Your investment could be life changing!

I want to be that person. I want to be the one that intentionally seeks out someone to pour my life into knowing that the gain is far greater than any loss.