For the past several years, I have intentionally worked to document and compile what I have learned over my life journey. This year’s list – includes 67 things that life has taught me. Yes, 67! Whew!
Each year on my birthday, I take some time to reflect and process what I have written, learned. It look at the challenges and frustrating moments. I look at the things that brought success and are worth celebrating. My ultimate goal is to be the best that I can be and help somebody else in the process.
This past year has been amazing, challenging, and insightful! I am more excited about life, God, leadership, and teaching than I ever have before. I am more in love with God than I’ve ever been. I am more passionate about serving my family than I’ve ever been. I’m more driven to live a life that leaves a positive legacy than ever before. I’m more committed to sharpening my life as a leader. My gift has been stirred up and I’ve got a fire in my life that at one point seemed to be going out, but is now brighter than ever! There’s been a lot of growing and stretching. There have been a few bumps and scrapes. I have observed and learned a lot. I’ve read a lot. I’ve met some great people, gotten some great insight and wisdom. I’ve learned from the mistakes of others. I’ve learned from my own mistakes. Some of what I’ve learned, it’s hard to put into words and some of what I’ve learned hasn’t been documented (maybe it’ll be included in another list somewhere…smile!).
The list below is a pretty thorough attempt at looking at some of the things that I have gleaned over the past twelve months. Some of these lessons come directly from my own life (good and not so good). Some of the lessons have come from me personally observing someone else’s life up close. I am always leery of trying to learn heavy lessons from others who I don’t know personally. While, you can learn from others you don’t know personally, sometimes there is another side to the story that we don’t know. Wisdom says, learn the lesson – but be mindful that we don’t know the whole story.
Some items on the list I will expound on and some I won’t. Some on the list are funny and some are extremely serious. There’s really no real science behind it. For those of you that have read any of my other lists, you may see some repeats. Some are lessons I learned all over again OR had to redo!
I have had the privilege to mentor, counsel, and teach lots of people. Sometimes while I’m mentoring, counseling, and teaching them – they are counseling and teaching me. Lord knows, the lessons are endless!
Ok – Here Goes – In no particular order…
- In leadership, the process is just as important as the product. Involving the necessary people, getting ‘buy-in’, sometimes taking a softer approach, sometimes delaying the solution until everyone else begs for it is all apart of leadership and necessary influence.
- God will often challenge us to learn to deal with more diverse kinds of people and these diverse kinds of people will cause you to become a better person. Oftentimes folks who walk with God unnecessarily minimize the impact of those who are not walking with Christ can have on our lives. It’s important to be wise (oil and water can’t mix!), but it doesn’t mean that there is no value or learning to be done from those who do not claim Christ as Lord.
- My wife REALLY loves me and is my best friend! No, like for real! I’ve seen her grow, adjust, smile, cry – but boy, I’ve seen her REALLY upset when someone has upset me. I’m scared to tell her when someone’s offended me…
- There’s a reason the Bible says, “Be swift to hear and slow to speak…” (James 1: 19)
- Auto-correct in text messages can send the wrong message – even if you tried to do spell check (Sorry!)
- How an organization communicates internally is vitally important to the moral, momentum, and make-up of the organization and the people that make the organization work.
- Sometimes you have to talk yourself into a “Smile” until the smile makes you feel better.
- There are times that the people serving in the organization are only waiting for the leader to actually acknowledge the reality that the leader seems to overlook.
- Weight loss truly does start with the right diet and eating habits.
- Systems create behaviors. Period.
- If you’re married, be sure that you are sending the text to your spouse and not someone else. It’ll be pretty embarrassing if you’re sending a private spouse message to someone who isn’t your spouse! (Of course, if you’re not married, you should be refraining from these kinds of messages anyway…)
- Explanations of Vision is where organizations stumble. An undeveloped idea at the top seems like chaos and inconsistency at the bottom.
- Unfortunately, some people will have hidden agenda’s.
- Social media is great, but it’s only a tool. It really reveals who the person is. Nothing more, nothing less.
- If you’re going to have your family pay for your funeral and burial, be sure that its a funeral home that’s going to do a good job. Okay, excuse my ‘realness’ here, but it’s nothing worse than grieving the loss of a loved one and then having to look at the remains and they look nothing like your loved one. I’ve seen this more than 5 times this year! Funerals can be expensive and it just doesn’t make sense to have to deal with this too! If a person is going to RIP, let them do it with dignity.
- Racism is real! The stories over the past year and almost every day speak for themselves. If you need more evidence…I’ve got 4 words for you – 1. Trayvon; 2. Martin; 3. Fruitvale; 4. Station. Listen, we can follow the law and still not have justice. The Pharisees missed it too!
- I feel better when I pay attention to my health. As my wife and I have adjusted our eating and exercise habits, my energy level, focus, and attention have skyrocketed! I feel like a new person!
- Lots of families and marriages are struggling. There could be a lot of reasons that contribute to this, but without long explanations, research, studies, and statistics – families and marriages are in disarray.
- Be sure to check your zippers and buttons twice before you get up in front of a crowd. I have personally learned this one the hard way…(Oops!)
- I’ve fallen in love with the Bible all over again.
- I’ve had more dreams than I can count of me selling out major stadiums because of my singing (not preaching or teaching..) ! Should I get counseling for these dreams, LOL?!?!?!?
- Wal-Mart has a lot of great stuff, but they can’t seem to keep good fruit and produce in any of their stores. I just don’t even expect it anymore.
- I’m wondering if we should replace the word, “Christian” with “disciple”. It seems in today’s culture, you can do anything you want to do and still call yourself a Christian – which is really unfortunate. On the flip side, you couldn’t intentionally call yourself a disciple of Christ and live how ever you want to live.
- Water really does a body good!
- My kids are hilariously funny! Where do such little people get such big personalities from? Am I the only parent who sits in amazement?
Where’s the rest? Check back tomorrow, for more of the 67 things!
What do you think so far? Leave a comment below!