Why is knowing your Calling so important? There's an ancient scripture that says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish."
I'm learning that living life well is so much about expectations; and expectations are shaped by how you view life. Your mental picture about what life is and is supposed to be really determines your life experience. If you have a faulty view, you end up with a faulty life. Your experience matches your picture.
I grew up in a fairly traditional religious family. We took life pretty seriously—not in the sense of being morose or pessimistic; I had a very happy and positive childhood—but more in the sense of always wanting to do your best, to try to get and give the best out of life and not just float along.
I was visiting with a leader I had respected from a distance for some time. As we talked, he kept looking at his watch and glancing around at other people. He would grunt a few responses and then glance down at his watch or look around again, making eye contact with someone walking by or nodding his head in acknowledgement to them. It didn't take me long to realize this person was not engaged at all with me. It felt not just disappointing but deeply off-putting--like I didn't count or wasn't important enough to him to pay targeted attention to.
What does it take to be a great leader in an era when the winds of global and local change are blowing in gale force, where the world is so interconnected that when you make a decision someone on the other side of the world is affected? Leadership has never been easy. There have always been challenges. But these days, the difficulties seem to be uniquely immense. Which means leadership isn't for the faint of heart. It's not just about competence and intelligence.
Remember comedienne Lily Tomlin's famous line? “The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” Does your life ever feel like that these days?
We sometimes delude ourselves into thinking that if we just keep on doing something a little bit harder, and a little bit longer, we’ll get the results we’re looking for. Instead of changing strategies by first evaluating our current strategy that clearly isn’t working, we insist on simply doing more of the same thing but with greater energy. Here are five questions to ask yourself to evaluate whether what you’re doing is the most effective current strategy.
Did you know that every day we experience approximately 20,000 moments (according to Nobel-winning scientist Daniel Kahneman)? A moment is defined as a few seconds in which our brain records an experience. So, as Dr. Kahneman discovered, the quality of our days is determined by how our brains recognize and categorize our moments — either as positive, negative or just neutral (although rarely do we remember neutral moments).
There is a lot of conversation these days in the business world that is recognizing the significance of assessing and addressing organizational internal culture. This is long over-due! Because truth is, culture is one of the most important aspects of an organization that drives everything else--from employee engagement, to productivity, to even the bottom line of financial success.
I do a lot of work with organizations and individuals around the importance of knowing your Why. When you can boil down the most basic purpose for something you're wanting to do, it helps bring clarity to the Hows that get you to where you want to go. The Hows are negotiable and dynamic. The Why is solid. And it's the Why that inspires us the most. I realized last week that this same principle should be applied to the spiritual life, too.
When you were a kid, did your parents ever give you time-outs? Did it work for you? Well, I imagine it depends on what I mean by "work." Right? The idea was that a time-out punishment was for the purpose of forcing you to think about your bad behavior--what was wrong about your actions and what you should do differently next time. You were suppose to take this "facilitated" time to learn some lessons.
I joined Lumosity this year--the web site that has exercises and games designed to strengthen your brain (based upon the latest neuroscience research). I'm at the age (and with some family history) where I'm thinking more about how to be intentional about how my brain functions best and how to keep it operating at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. As I perform these exercises regularly, I am actually charting my improvement in memory, problem-solving, speed, attention, flexibility. It's been fun and rewarding.