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Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.


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Patience – Preparation – Prayer

Leadership 2011 040

At the beginning of the year I posted several posts on vision and my own visioneering project. You may remember I announced my vision right before reading the chapter on not announcing your vision prematurely. Predominantly because the early stage of your vision is when it is most susceptible to ridicule from your peers. Fortunately, none of my friends and family read my blog, so I was safe from that.

Remember, a vision requires patience. It is just important to remember that patience does not equate to standing by idly waiting for God to fulfill your vision. Proper patience involves preparation and prayer.

So I’ve changed my daily habits over the last few months in order to prepare myself. I’ve added several books by John C. Maxwell to my daily reading queue. John Maxwell is the world renowned expert in the field of leadership. When I donate money to charities, Maxwell’s Equip Ministries is one that I wholeheartedly support. Too often, charities waste money on overhead and expenses and not enough toward the cause they supposedly support. Several well-advertised charities employing C-list celebrities sometimes give less than 20 cents out of every dollar towards those starving children or abused puppies. Equip Ministries applies 100% of it’s donated funds toward supplying biblical resources and material to help train leaders worldwide. When he recruited his board of directors, he shared his vision, then told them that they were paying for all the operating expenses for the ministry. Not only do I incredibly respect John’s accomplishments, but I want to learn what he teaches. Because my vision to positively influence one million people is something he accomplishes literally on a monthly basis.

So I recently finished Talent is Never Enough (because to be honest, I think I skated through life relying more on talent than perseverance). Next on my list from John are Developing the Leader Within You and Developing the Leaders Around You. I never thought of myself as a leader in the past. However, one of John’s most repeated quotes is “Leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.” If you want to influence people, you need to be a leader. I think I may have some natural talent in that regard, because most of the jobs I’ve had over the last ten years I’ve been promoted to a lead or management position quickly. But managing a coffee shop is orders of magnitude different from influencing a million people. So to elevate my game, I can’t just rely on talent. (see the strategic path I’m taking with my reading schedule). Also in the queue is Dare to Discipline Yourself by Dale E. Galloway, because I know me and I know I could use more discipline in my life.

So that’s some small changes in my reading habit designed to prepare me to be an influencer. I also plan to start looking for some more venues for public speaking, just because after reviewing my radio interview, I realized I say “uh” a lot more than I would have guessed.

And on the prayer front, I also made a small change before I do any writing for the day. Before I start, I say a short prayer. I ask for the right words to positively impact my readers. Then before I start writing on my subject I first write “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all good things will follow.” Because I want to make sure that my motives remain pure; And God plus me is a much better writer than just me.

Also, if anyone has a recommendation on a great book on the subject of self-discipline, please, shout it out.

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Hurry Up and Wait

hourglassThis may come as a shock, but I am not an expert on everything I write about. When you write a book, there comes along with it the perception of expertise, of mastery, of wisdom. But the fact is I (and most authors) are human; and as humans we are imperfect.

I write about being productive with time, but there are times when I am lazy. I write about taking action immediately, but there are times when I procrastinate. In fact, I used to be an expert at procrastination. Now there is something I could write a book about, but (you know what, insert your own punchline here…).

Today, I thought I’d write on a subject that I am an expert in, and that is: Patience.

Patience has always been one of my strengths; probably because of my quasi-Zen philosophical upbringing and the fact that I don’t have children yet. But I never thought of patience as being something of any particular value until later in life.

1. Patience keeps us focused on the present. We are only impatient because we want something to happen that hasn’t happened yet. The promotion, the traffic light, the bag of popcorn in the microwave. Just realize, that what you are waiting for is going to happen, and very rarely can we do anything to speed up the process. Being anxious or worrying about it will not affect the future, but it will hurt us in the present.

Since worrying about your promotion will not help you, just focus on performing your work right now with excellence and enthusiasm. Let the promotion take care of itself. Since swearing at the red light will not help you get to your destination any faster, why not enjoy the song currently playing on the radio? Since standing next to the microwave staring at it will not make the popcorn pop faster… Actually, that’s a bad example since microwave popcorn requires your attention so you can stop it before it burns. Don’t sweat over your burrito though.

Don’t try to pull the future to you faster.

2. Patience helps provide emotional stability. When we are impatient, we have shorter tempers, we are stressed, we fret. When we are patient, it doesn’t mean that we don’t care about things, just that we have the fortitude to wait. (“Patience is passion tamed.” Lyman Abbott).

Patience eliminates a great deal of stress, which in turn allows the patient person to maintain calm and balance even under stressful circumstances. Just recognize that time will eventually overcome a current problem or hardship. Now, I am not advocating inactivity or passivity. Just realize that all we can do, is all we can do; and once we do all we can do, the rest requires patience.

3. Patience helps to nurture growth. John Maxwell, expert on leadership and personal growth writes that “Leaders develop daily, not in a day.” The mentality of growth by lottery, or sudden inspiration, or through instantaneous quantum leap transformation is a myth not a reality.

To grow mentally, physically or spiritually, requires consistent and persistent activity compounded over time. Impatient people want the results now and maybe they will promise to do the work later. But unfortunately life does not work that way. Patient people recognize the need to put the work in now and reap the results later. This allows them to focus on the immediate work; the process rather than the results.

Those are my thoughts on patience.

“But I never got around to it!” That was the punchline for that sentence. Scroll back up if you don’t remember what I was talking about. Sorry, I couldn’t wait…