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.

photo[5] copy 6

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!

Advertisements

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.