Last month I had an opportunity to speak at TEDxDetroit 2012. I was humbled to be asked to close out this TEDx event with my talk ‘The 16th Letter’.
One of the common mistakes we make as adults is to throw all of our efforts into organizing the things in our lives. With so many demands on our time, skills, and resources, we often fall victim to the competing voices in our head to organize everything. The moment we have things just about right, something else is thrown our way, and we find ourselves organizing that right into the middle of what we’ve just organized. This leads to chaos, not clarity. What we should focus on is aligning our lives, not organizing them.
When we align things properly in our lives, we can give the highest level of attention and energy to those things which are consistent with our God-given purpose. We can go from trying to balance our lives, to being okay with our lives being imbalanced, but focused on our strengths. We must reach a point in ourselves where we are okay without being able to do any and everything. Lasting impact comes from aligning our lives, not organizing them.
As one author expresses, attempting to organize things is really no different from being a juggler, and juggling. When we think about it, the core skill of juggling is throwing, not catching. If we spend our lives this way, we’ll never have an opportunity to hold onto anything useful, and we’ll just wonder our way through life. Purposelessly! This isn’t good. This is a great way to exist, but not live.
Aligning your life is way better than organizing it, and you’ll have more fun. – McGhee’s Manifesto
© David McGhee
Recently I was interviewed by the Flint Club. Flint Club is a local organization in my hometown that focuses on promoting Flint through positive stories, community programs and new opportunities. Their overall mission is to attract and retain committed, talented people who make Flint a flourishing place to live, work and play.
Flint isn’t simply a City. It’s much deeper than that. -David McGhee
Too often we believe that leadership is only reserved for those who hold public office, or are in senior management positions. We also make the mistake believing that leadership is some secret place for those of us with extensive resumes, or the church pastor with the largest congregation. Not true! Anyone can be a leader, and a great leader at that.
The fact is, Real Leadership extends beyond a “position” and stretches far and wide into a place where our passions and purpose take the driver’s seat. Below are 3 things (among many) that Real Leaders tend to have in common:
1. Real Leaders Focus On Service First
Service is the essence of leadership. This decision to serve first will indirectly bring one to leading. By being a leader who is a servant first, you ensure the needs of others are met. Putting the needs of others first and working toward the common good becomes a priority. This leader doesn’t focus on making headlines, they just make headway.
2. Real Leaders See What They Look At
There is a difference between looking at something, and seeing it. The decision to truly see what you look at is important. This leader doesn’t simply look at something, or someone for that matter. They see, observe, perceive, distinguish, and witness potential. This leader can look at what everyone else looks at, and see something totally different.
3. Real Leaders Don’t Follow People
Great leaders don’t just follow people. Following people only, believe it or not, doesn’t lead to success. In addition to having great mentors, knowing who to follow, and when to follow, this leader also has a firm set of principles to follow – that never waver. This leader knows what he/she stands for because the principles are clear up front and they aren’t determined by someone else.
© David McGhee
Each and every day there are opportunities for you to learn, no matter what your circumstances are. I know you are facing many challenges, and at times school may not seem interesting to you. But anything is interesting if you are interested.
The 2012-2013 school year is now upon us, and I have a question for you: Do you have a hunger to learn? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term learn in this way: To gain knowledge or understanding…
Regardless of your circumstances, there are times when problems will arise. No matter what, when problems come your way, remember this; you must succeed! Why? Because if you fail – others fail also! Continue reading »
Today, more so than ever, many Americans are in situations where they feel stuck. Too often we operate with the mindset, “Oh well, this is just what it’s going to be.” When we do this, however, we run the risk of never moving forward and thus we believe that our state is indeed our fate. Big mistake! Regardless of our current condition, to accept things as they are creates a stagnant mindset which prevents us from growing.
There is a difference between state and fate. A state is a condition or mode of being, as with regard to circumstances. Fate, however, is the supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events. Fate is the inevitable, final result; the undeniable destiny of what must be.
When we accept our state as our fate, and fall victim to our circumstances, we are lying to ourselves. There is a season for everything, which means that no matter what, our current situation will come to pass. Furthermore, there are times when we must endure the “bad” to position ourselves for the good.
A colleague of mine reminded me of the obvious; a sunrise comes after every sunset, and many rainbows appear after rainfalls. In other words, even if we have yet to see the true fruits of our labor – we will in due time. Continue reading »
You don’t need a set of business cards, or a certain type of clothing to start making a huge impact. Jesus didn’t have a business card, or a decorated wardrobe. Yet and still, He is without question the most influential person to ever walk the earth. He saw a void and He filled it. He saw a need, and He met it. He sacrificed His life for the well-being of others.
You too have a void in your life that you can fill, or perhaps the life of someone else. You too know a need that needs to be met. You too can do something for the well-being of others. Big or small, we all can do something. Continue reading »