When you’re confident it’s the right thing to do, what keeps you from doing it? Your answer will give you an unsettling gut check about your risk for the future.
I sat across the table from a very successful business leader at a casual lunch. He…
Can you say, “I’m making the difference I want in my world?”
This post will be somewhat personal for me, so hang on. (Would you rather listen to this post? Click here to access our podcast channel.)
Times like these prompts and gives time for reflection on more significant life issues. My reflection typically turns to how well I am using the energy and time I have, resources for which I am responsible.
I want to consistently focus my energies to make the most significant difference in my world I can. My greatest rewards are making a lasting difference in the lives of people and the “aha” moments my clients experience as they discover answers for themselves.
But things can get in the way of this happening the way I want. Time is short. Energy is limited. Keeping bread on the table can be demanding. The workplace can be demanding. Things change. The economy goes crazy. The world is complicated and can be confusing. It’s easy to lose sight of the most important, and it’s easy to get discouraged.
Sometimes such limitations, difficulties, and confusion are hard to admit. Interestingly, I heard a friend say from the pulpit recently, “We don’t want to admit our weakness. And this is especially true for me. Men are isolated, well-defended, don’t want to expose their weakness. It’s a product of unhealthy pride.”
I must consistently monitor my resources for focus. My commitment as a Christ-follower informs this. I also want to invest my energies in ways that utilize my uniquenesses – personality, strengths, talents, gifts, experiences, as well as my education and training – toward making the very best contributions possible. Read more about this in Without Regret.
I’m well aware of how messed up our thinking can get when we don’t invite outside input. We all have cognitive biases, cognitive distortions, and stories we tell ourselves that are mostly inaccurate.
I have blind spots, and I need to hear from others who know me well and have experienced my life. Caution: You want to be careful who you enlist to do this. Be sure they are safe, have your best interest in mind, won’t judge you, and won’t try to fix you.
Last month, I asked a friend who is also a client to help me with sharpening my focus. I asked him, “What do you believe needs to be my focus? What do I do well that only I can do?”
Here are his thoughts (and a couple of admonishments to me, which I welcome):
In 2019, I engaged an independent survey to investigate my effectiveness with my clients. The interviewer asked each person three questions: Regarding your experience of coaching with True Course: 1) What did/do you love?; 2) What did/do you hate?; and 3) What would you like to see done differently? The most significant finding from the survey was that clients were very satisfied overall with their experience but did want services in addition to coaching from me, such as mentoring, resourcing, the benefit of my experience, and training.
There were three big “aha” items from this.
All of this feedback helped me sharpen my focus and be more committed to it than ever. My methods are different.
I challenge you to invite this kind of feedback around your vocation, career, family, and your time and energy use. It’s a little scary, but the focus and peace are worth it.
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