Serving to Lead or Leading to Serve – The One Thing Everyone Needs

Recently, through my own personal study and reading, as well as my involvement with charitable and philanthropic organizations I have been studying the concept and principles of Servant Leadership. The good news for you and me is that nothing has changed here. The same principles that applied through generations of different leaders are still true today.

What is new to me, as I relearn these principles, is how appropriate and time-tested they truly are. Moreover, the one major component of developing, building, and maintaining servant leadership that is so needed in our world today is one simple, yet elusive characteristic. When you read it, your tendency will be to roll your eyes or scoff and move on to the next thing. But, I challenge you to hang in with me to the end of this post. If you’re like me, you will derive great value from reengaging with this quality.

Review Your Yesterdays to Motivate Your Tomorrows – Which Makes Every Day a Winner

Depending on when you are reading this, I am writing it as another year comes to a close and a New Year dawns. I tend to get very reflective at the end of the year. Perhaps even a bit melancholy. When I think about 2021, however, I am primarily happy and satisfied. Why? Because I see the growth I have experienced in myself by pushing myself to become better in just about every area of my life. 

Let me issue a caveat and a word of warning straight away. This growth was not automatic, instant, or easy. In fact, if I were to go back and relive some of the days, weeks, and months, they were harder than heck and there were plenty of times I was ready to quit. I’m so glad I didn’t. Because while doing what was hard, I discovered what was possible. I can do a lot more than I give myself credit for. And so can you.

Thriving in the Eye of the Storm – Where Peace and Tranquility Rule

I am quite sure that I do not need to persuade you with this post that storms are brewing all around you. Most of us are well aware of the multiple storms we face in every facet of our lives every day. If you don’t have enough that are affecting you personally, you can certainly find plenty to worry about by consulting almost any form of media or communication. It is true that if it bleeds, it leads, and there is plenty of bloodletting to go around these days.

It is also true that as we have all lived through the past couple of years of societal unrest topped off with a worldwide pandemic, we have all become more stressed, anxious, and unsettled in our lives and minds. The subject of mental health is thankfully being addressed publicly now when for years it was hidden and regarded as something to be avoided and discussed only in private. As with each of my weekly posts, however, I want to give you hope and light on how to combat all of this.

Increase Your Influence and Results with Integrity

Integrity is one of those words that many, or most, people use, but they don’t fully understand its meaning or impact on others. Yes, it is a word that many groups, companies, and individuals use to make it sound like they stand for the right things, but their aspirations often do not align with their actions. Similar words get spoken but often don’t measure up as well, such as quality, truth, and best.

Scanning the definitions of integrity on my Dictionary app on my phone, I pick up the following words and phrases to describe integrity: “Adherence to moral and ethical principles, soundness of moral character, honesty, whole, entire, undiminished, unimpaired, and perfect condition.” Again, these words are easy to say and espouse to be our goals, missions, and values; however, they are not easy to implement in practice. 

Your Next Fitness Goal? Train Eight of the Smallest Muscles in Your Body

I learned something recently that, if I ever knew before, I had conveniently forgotten. Let me test your knowledge. Does the tongue contain any muscles? If you think the answer is yes, how many? Well, my title has likely given away the answer at this point, but I learned that, in fact, the tongue is made up of eight tiny muscles.

You likely have heard it said, as have I, that the tongue is the strongest muscle in the body, but that is inaccurate. While it might not qualify for the strongest, we can certainly say that it is one of the hardest to train. As I continue to train myself and write and coach to help others become more adept at improving their lives by improving themselves, I want to challenge and encourage you this week to consider what you say and how you say it. 

Freedom Thoughts: Accepting, Living, and Embracing It Every Day

This weekend as the United States celebrated its 245th birthday, I was struck by and seemingly surrounded by thoughts and messages of freedom. I confess to being a sentimental patriot. On Saturday I participated as a walking marshall in a local 4th of July parade. As we approached the end of the route, the crowd swelled significantly. , The patriotic music from my Rotary Club’s float that I was walking beside started playing The Battle Hymn of the Republic. And I became misty-eyed.

So many thoughts were racing through my head at once that I was incredibly grateful for. First and foremost, how wonderful it was to be able to even be out in public at a 4th of July celebration after nearly 18 months of quarantining and sheltering at home. The joy on the faces of everyone – from young children to senior citizens was just beautiful to me at that moment. And with the Hymn playing in the background, I found myself thanking God for the freedoms I and that we all enjoy.

Do Your Dreams and Goals Drive Your Success or Drive You Crazy?

Recently, I got into a discussion with one of my coaching clients about the importance of setting goals. Or lack thereof. I will admit, and if you read any of my work, this will come as no surprise that I am a freak about setting goals. And time management. And time blocking. And to-do lists. You get the picture.

However, my client made a salient point, and one of my goals for this year (I’m not even kidding) is to become a better listener and be open to new perspectives. So, I listened. And I considered this new information. And then, I decided to write this blog post to determine who is right. I plan to let you know by the time you and I finish this article.

Catch and Release: A Powerful Mindset to Employ in Every Role of Your Life

My dad was an avid fisherman. As many times as I tried, I could not develop his passion for fishing. He was able to pass his passion on to me for the game of golf. In fact, the older I get, the more I appreciate the sport and every chance I get to play it. I used to say that I didn’t have the patience to fish. The truth was, I never enjoyed getting my hands dirty to bait a hook and take a fish off once caught.

The other thing that made no sense to me with fishing was catch and release. Perhaps it is my competitive nature and my desire always to know what the score is, no matter what I’m doing. Whatever the reason, I never understood the fun of working for hours to land that one big fish, only to hold it up long enough to admire it before tossing it back into the water. To me, that’s like a game-winning pass, basket, or goal being called back or reversed by a penalty. You work the whole time to win the game at the end, but then you don’t.

The Most Incredible Spring Break Ever I Spent With Time, Alone

I begin today’s post with a confession. I invested the previous two weeks in restoring my mental, emotional, and spiritual sanity. I decided several weeks ago that after seven months of not venturing more than a few miles from my home, I needed a respite and a retreat. I didn’t have to think long to determine my destination – a beach community in Northwest Florida that my family and I have been going to for over twenty years.

I drove down myself and drove home alone as well, which with eleven and a half hours of windshield time one way is a fair amount of alone time anyway. I also had a few days at the beginning and end of my time there when my wife joined me to spend time alone and rejuvenate. I tell you all of this not to brag about my beach and golfing exploits, nor to brag about my beautiful golfer’s tan. I brought back several thoughts with me from my time that I think you will enjoy reading about.  

The Untold Benefits of Embracing your Right to Write

Earlier this year, I decided to up my game when it comes to coaching other people. I have had an extraordinary time investing in the people I have been fortunate enough to work with over the last year. I decided that since I am asking other people to invest their time and resources with me, it was time for me to invest in myself by hiring my own coach. 

This is the best decision I have made all year. Not just because I hired a great coach, but because I am learning so much each week for and about myself that I then get to share with others. This week, I want to encourage you, no, I want to implore you to do something that my coach did with me just last week. The results in my life and my mindset in just a week have been seriously life-changing for me.

Now, I know that not everyone is wired like I am, so allow me to briefly set the stage for what I am suggesting you adopt as your next great habit. Thanks to working with my coach and studying the Enneagram, I have learned a lot about myself. For most of my adult life, I have shied away from personality assessments and psychographic evaluations. I say this only to amplify that this is all part of the journey I am on this year to become more authentic.

So, what I have learned about myself is I am a deep thinker. My mind is always jumping to ideas, thoughts, conversations, tasks, upcoming events, etc. In and of itself, this is not a bad thing. So long as I don’t allow my thoughts to prevent me from taking action. In other words, as I have heard it said many times to me over the years, I need to live less in my head and more in my heart. 

This is not to say I am not an emotional, caring, and loving person. I truly believe I am and further conclude that my family and friends would agree. However, my thinking can indeed, at times, lead me to unproductive actions. As simply as I can explain it, oftentimes, my thoughts capture so much of my attention that I feel like doing “something” or “anything” is productive. That can be true, but it isn’t always.

So, I wonder if you are like me – a thinker. Allow me to conclude this setup before moving on to say that the world needs people like us. I am not in any way saying that thinking and even planning in your mind is a bad thing. What I want to suggest to you next is a suggestion I took to heart that has not only helped me free up my mind, but it has set my ability to act every day productively since I started employing it.

My friend, I want to encourage you to start journaling, writing, putting thoughts together. You can call me old-fashioned, but I’m going to suggest using a pen and a journal or notebook. Now, my initial reaction was likely similar to yours, “Ugh, I don’t want to take time to write.” My friend, I want you to commit with me that you will try it for seven days. 

When you commit to seven days, please comment on this post or send me a message on social media and let me know the results. I predict they will shock you. If you’re not yet convinced, let me tell you I am not looking to add one more thing to your “To-Do” list. Just sit down in a fairly quiet place where you will not be disturbed and start writing. There is no magic formula, and there is no agenda. Just start with whatever comes to mind, and even if you only commit to five minutes to start, that’s fine. Many days I have started writing something and have ended up somewhere totally different than where I started. And, as I have already said, the results for me have been life-changing.

No matter where I end up, I gain at least three benefits from writing every morning. First, I have incredible clarity about what is important that I need to focus on that day. It might be a task, or it might be an emotion, but clarity comes. Second, I feel a sense of freedom for getting some of the ideas in my head onto paper. My mind is much less cluttered. And finally, I approach each day with a better mindset and a better attitude. 

So, in closing, my friend, I want to encourage you to start your day right by starting to write. Seven days is all I’m asking. I would love to hear your results, and I am willing to bet it may soon become your new favorite habit that you get better at each day.

Did you enjoy this article? If you haven’t already, please be sure to subscribe to this blog, where I post every Tuesday. You can also get additional free content by subscribing to my YouTube channel or following me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

I also invite you to review my coaching page on my website here. I have only a couple of spots left in my Personal Development Coaching Practice. Each week I offer two free strategy sessions on a first-come, first-served basis to people interested in exploring how to become a person who pursues their goals and dreams. These special hour-long sessions prove again and again to be invaluable to those who participate. You can book these directly on my coaching page – I look forward to serving you.