Saturday, October 10, 2015

New Post: "Managing Your Days versus Leading Your Life"

Managing Your Days versus Leading Your Life

How do you live each day?

Each day we live is a choice:
for how to spend our money,
for how to use our time,
to what we choose to eat,
where we look for entertainment,
and most important...
what we do to build our 'tomorrow'.

Prison for me was 18-months.
Leading up to prison was 6-months of legal actions.
After prison was 24-months of parole and probation.
Between then and now, there was 36-months where I was unemployed.

What do you suppose I did for all those days?

What would you do?

Most incarcerated prisoners spend their time 'managing their days'.
And it seems natural because, what else are you supposed to do?

Let me ask a question in a few different ways, and then I will suggest something...

Have you worked at the same job for 12-months or more?
Have you been married for more than that?
What do you DO each day while this time period has passed?

And the opposite is true as well, such as:
have you been unemployed for 2-weeks or more?
Relationally - have you been single for more than a month?

Now with those questions still looming, let me suggest something:
Your life one year from now will look primarily the same as it does today.

If you DO the same thing each day, can you expect anything to improve?
If you dont DO anything different from what you already DO, 
how will anything ever change?

Too many of us "manage" our lives with the same inputs,
and somehow we grow in accepting this as the normal way life "Is".

Some examples:
An inmate returns to his cell after "yard-time" to sit on his bed.
You come home from work, and sit on the couch to watch sports.
Your spouse comes home tired, grumpy, and disappointed with life.
And this routine will repeat itself every day, 
until you do something about changing it.

We may have come to believe that this "stage" of existence may be all life has to offer.
It is a slow decline unto death.
The body deteriorates, until back pain gets worse and bellies get bigger.
We eat more 'quick & easy' food because it gives us a momentary fix.
We have another beer because it helps us forget our disappointment in life.
The brains become mush because thinking and learning something new is difficult.
We take pain medication because we believe all pain is bad for us.
The relationships you do have stay right where they are because...
that is all you know how to do.
You can complain, get angry, fight, scream, and yell, but what else?
After all of it, what will you do to make things any better??

And here I make another suggestion:
Make 1-small change today, and begin to change your habits.
The make another small change tomorrow.

  • If you eat one less bag of chips, drink one less beer or soda,
    • will your life be any worse off?
  • But - what if you have a glass of water instead?
  • Talk a walk with a friend or your spouse instead of mindless entertainment?
  • What if you could learn to enjoy the pain of exercise?
  • What if you read a book for 30-minutes each day?
If you began to do any of these, 
do you suppose your life would be better one year from now?

Good leaders know to encourage employees 
by making promises that point forward to a future that has yet to come true.
Managers point out the problems we have now, 
and good ones perhaps look for ways to fix those, but...
how long can that action occur until you have lost momentum?
Great organizations need both Leadership and Management,
and your life is no different.

Do you have a goal to work toward 
that can only be accomplished 1-year from today?
What about 2-years? Or better yet, 5-years??

When I was incarcerated, 
I had a plan for each day for how to improve my life,
so that when I was released, I would have done something - rather than nothing.
Then- when my release came early, I could work on the next part...
building a life so I could come off parole, then off probation.
And after that, a plan to live free from addictions.

Without making a plan to succeed in life,
we slowly decline and are only with a plan to 'lose'.

So the question could be asked:
Will you get busy Living?
Or will you get busy dying?

Dont worry so much about what you should do to make life better,
instead focus on what you can-do to improve!

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