Lead your own life well

I was talking to someone recently who’s finding her boss a bit challenging.  He’s a lovely guy, but so busy and disorganised in his own life and work, there’s not a chance he will be able to be a good manager for her.

A friend of mine also has issues with leading himself. He’s popular and sociable, with a demanding job, and just seems unable to plan ahead, consider his commitments and say no to some of them.

Bill Hybels, in his book Courageous Leadership talks about the importance for leaders of being able to lead themselves, but I think it’s good advice for anyone at any stage of life.

I used to be pretty haphazard with finances. thankfully, I never got into any serious trouble, but going unexpectedly overdrawn one time was enough to scare me into putting my house in order (at least in that area).  I got a friend to help me draw up a reasonable budget and, because a big part of the problem had been spending on my debit card and not keeping track of what was left in the bank, I decided to go to the bank every payday, withdraw the amount I had designated for my needs, and divide the cash into different envelopes. One envelope was for food and household supplies, one was for crafts and clothes, one for gifts and one for entertainment.  The rest stayed in the account to go on rent and bills, into savings and for emergencies.

It revolutionised my life! All of a sudden I was in complete control of my spending.  If the ‘clothes’ envelope was empty, there was simply no point going shopping. If I wanted to go to the cinema, I just had to check the relevant envelope and see whether or not I could afford it.

The same principle works for managing your time – work out how much discretionary time you’ve got available, and decide what your priorities are for how you are going to spend it.

Alternatively, if you’re wondering where all your time goes, think about what an average week looks like (or the last week, if you never have an average one!). What have you spent your time on?  How closely do the proportions tally with your life goals or priorities?  What do you need to change?  How can you do it?

You can’t expect to be a good leader of others if you can’t even lead yourself – do you want to be the sort of person of whom it is said ‘he couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag’?  Keeping a million balls in the air isn’t heroic, it isn’t marvellous, it isn’t laudable, it just means that you haven’t taken the time to decide which balls are important, which only you can keep in the air, and which can be dropped, passed on to someone else, or put aside for later.

It’s a satisfying and empowering feeling to get control of an area of your life that was causing problems, and it’s not as hard as you think.

4 Comments On This Topic
  1. Lorraine
    on Aug 5th at 6:58 pm

    Love this! I’ve found in my own life that I often am applauded for juggling many balls at one time (wearing many hats at once). This used to be something that built me up and I do honestly enjoy the praise. BUT more importantly, when I was recently asked what I’m passionate about, I couldn’t find an answer. I’m still pondering this question. Soon I will be leaving my current job for a part-time one. Where do I go? What do I do? I’ve always done many things well, but not 1 thing GREAT. How do I choose a part-time job if I don’t know what I’m passionate about because I’ve never had to choose that 1 thing? Again, I’m still pondering and trying to get to that place of doing 1 thing GREAT. Where will the accumulation of my past & present experiences bring me? 1 thing I know confidently is that God has put me in all those places with all those experiences and now He can talk all of that and lead me to the 1 thing that will use it all for His glory.

    • newsong40
      on Aug 5th at 10:53 pm

      Lorraine! Wonderful to hear from you. Thanks for sharing your heart.

      Yes, you’ve got loads of amazing gifts, talents and abilities, and I pray that God will show you the common core that links them all and lead you to a role where you can really operate out of a place of passion and purpose.

      Don’t rush to find it (if you can afford not to), but withdraw to your quiet place and let the Lord speak. Looking forward to seeing what He has next for you.
      Love you loads, and miss you LOTS!


  2. Peter P
    on Aug 6th at 7:56 pm

    Looks like the Apostle Paul jumped the gun on this one and wrote about it before you.

    I think he copied your genius insight though!

  3. newsong40
    on Aug 9th at 9:08 am

    Thanks Pete!
    Any genius insight is just listening to various Godly people who I respect and squishing all their ideas together.
    So I guess the same God who inspired Paul also inspired Bill Hybels, David Stroud and the other people who I’ve drawn on without knowing it in here, and inspired me to draw the conclusion I did.
    Thanks for the encoragement, though!


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