“Have To” or “Get To”

(Adapted from Jon Gordon article)

Who knew that two simple words could change one’s mindset, perspective and approach to work and life? Just two words have the potential to enhance joy, productivity, performance and change a complaining voice to an appreciative heart.

So often we say things like, “I have to take the kids to practice.” “I have to go to this meeting.” “I have to finish this project.” “I have to have the conversation to clear things up with them.” “I have to go to work today.” “I have to take care of this customer.” “I have to share these new ideas of change with my team.”

We act as if we don’t have a choice. As if we are imprisoned by life, maybe a paycheck and the expectations of a world that forces us to do things we don’t want to do. But in reality we do have a choice. We can choose our attitude and our actions. We can choose how we view our life and work. We can realize that every day is a gift. It’s not about what we have to do. It’s about what we get to do.

We get to live this life, right now, today, while so many have left this world seemingly far too early. We get to drive in traffic while so many do not own or are too sick to drive a car. We get to go to a job while so many are unemployed. We get to raise our children even if they drive us nuts at times.

We get to breathe the oxygen which has been provided for us and we get to experience the sustaining, life-giving qualities of the sun that never forgets to shine and keeps everything alive.

We get to interact with our employees and customers and make a difference in their lives. We get to use our gifts and talents to make a product or provide a service. We get to eat three meals (or more) a day while millions of people are striving to eat just one meal a day. We get to work on projects, answer phone calls, serve customers and work together as a team. We get to participate in meetings, design, create, share, sell, lead and suit up every day for the game of life.

Yes there will be challenges and life isn’t easy but each day we wake up we get another opportunity to make today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. We get to uplift, inspire, encourage, and impact others. This life is a privilege. Let’s make the most of it by remembering that life is a gift, not an obligation…and that we actually “get to” live it!

List several things you “get to” do today and let it change your perspective.                                                   

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From One Generation to Another

As apostles of Christ…we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us….For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, 11-12

“YOU CAN DO IT! KEEP GOING, GIRLS. WE’LL BE UP THIS HILL IN NO TIME. THIS IS WHY WE RUN- IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS!” Sweat dripping down my face and short of breath, I focused on putting one foot in front of the other as I ran up the steep hill in my first official race. The shouts of encouragement came from a woman running behind me, directed at several young ladies running ahead. Unbeknownst to this woman, her optimism was helping all those in earshot including myself. As she passed me, I expressed to her my gratitude for her help. She smiled, spoke more words of support and with strength and perseverance conquered the hill and ran on ahead.

After running several miles, I knew the finish line lay just ahead. A young lady I had never met was running in front of me. Like me, she appeared tired and ready to cross the finish line. As we climbed our last hill, I passed her and out of my mouth came the words, “You can do it. We’re almost there- just over the hill.” At that moment, I saw her torso perk up a bit and her head lift. She responded, “Ok, keep going. I’m right behind you.” We crested the hill and as she fell in step beside me, I tried to encourage us both, “Great job. We’re almost there! We’re gonna do this together.” As we crossed the finish line my eyes rested on the older woman who had encouraged me earlier in the race. She had run the race and true to character, was waiting for her younger friends at the finish line. She provided vital support when I needed it and little did she know her example had been caught and passed on. While I was processing what had happened, the young lady I ran with approached me and said, “Thanks for your encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you.” We exchanged a hug and a smile and she was gone. Reaching my goal of finishing the race was a highlight, but encouraging another one to finish made the run far sweeter.

In the same way, we are running the race of life growing in our love relationship with Jesus. We’re all scattered between the starting point and the finish line. There are those who are running ahead – perhaps older, wiser, a rock-hard faith shaped by the perils of trial, in love with Jesus and knowing what’s truly important in life. Some are just starting the race, experiencing new sights and trying to find their pace. Some are climbing hills of hardship trying to keep their focus and stamina, while others are slowing to rest, drink in refreshment, and refuel. Wherever we are in the race, there are some in front of us and some behind. As men and women who follow Jesus, we have a high calling to reach out to the next generation and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through our words, our actions, our love, our very lives. Sometimes we’re in someone’s life for years, perhaps a season, maybe just a moment. But in that moment, God’s Spirit can speak through us and give another exactly what is needed to finish the race. After all, “this is why we run – it’s all about Jesus.”

Look around and pray – who are those younger in your life? Who needs love, support, truth, hope and encouragement? Whom can you begin to invest in? Look around at those older in your life who love the Lord and whom you respect. Will you take a step of faith asking them for wisdom so you can continue to learn and grow?

 

The Encouraging Environment

So much of who we become and how we behave as persons has to do with the environment we’re raised in. Over the years, we’ve observed that our first 10-12 years of life consistently serve as the foundation upon which the rest of our lives are built and established. In “The Encouraging Environment,” Bruce talks about how to intentionally create a climate in our home, life and workplace which builds, lifts up and provides the best conditions for healthy growth to occur.

Servant Leadership: The Upside of Down

servant leadershipServant leadership is both a leadership philosophy and a set of leadership practices. Unlike traditional leadership styles which come from the “top of the pyramid,” the servant-leader models humility by putting the needs of others first and helping people develop and perform to their maximum potential. In this keynote address, Bruce shares illustrations, stories and real-life examples of what servant leadership looks like both at work and in all of life.