Woody Allen quipped, “80% of success is just showing up.” Unfortunately, many leaders are showing up exhausted and tired of being extremely busy, without a clear sense of values and mission to hold it all together. There is always more to do than there is time to do it-with the kids, in business, in ministry and the list goes on. We begin to feel like Samuel Butler who said, “Life is one long process of getting tired”.
Identifying core values and personal mission is a step off of the treadmill. Taking time to think prayerfully and keeping life simple also help with the drain. Too often we buy into the lie of the culture that deceives us with “Who says you can’t have it all?” Or, “Who says you can’t do everything?” Actually, nobody can! I have found it to be extremely helpful to take time alone or as a couple to think about core values and personal mission.
As a leader or parent I have sometimes felt that taking time to think was a luxury when there are so many urgent needs screaming for my attention. However, consider what King Solomon, one of the wisest leaders of all time, had to say,
“If the ax is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.”
Taking time to think through my values and personal mission is like sharpening a dull ax and helps me win. Here are 5 ideas that have helped me run to win:
1. Picture yourself looking in on your own funeral. Your spouse, your children, best friend and coworker get up one by one to talk about your life and the kind of person you were. What would you want them to say about you?
2. What do I value? What is important to me? If you are married, compare your answers with your spouses. You may be surprised.
3. Develop a personal mission statement. A meaningful one contains two basic elements: a) Contribution-what you want to do or accomplish and b) Character– what you want to be, what character strengths you want to have and what qualities you want to develop.
4. What roles do I have? How would I like to be described in each?
5. Share what you learned with another person (your mate, close friend, coach); then implement any changes you need to make into your schedule.
Did you know that in ancient Greece, the runner who won the marathon was not necessarily the first person to cross the finish line, but the first person to cross it with his torch still burning? Let’s run not without aim, but in such a way that we may win! (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
What has helped you lead with purpose in your business or family, and not get so exhausted?