I have always thought and believed that a big portion of leadership is leading your self well.
It is rather easy to start well in school or on a job, get noticed, learn the culture and acceptable language, and then coast. It becomes easy to get distracted and lazy instead of applying yourself in your environment. You find yourself going on cruise control, and it is easier to play the game of fake and fade. You appear to be something you are not.
It is critical to remember that wherever you want to go in life, it will call for discipline. Disciplined thinking and disciplined actions mean the difference between faking it or making it in life. Anyone who is successful will tell you that daily habits and disciplines are the key to getting out of a rut and staying out it.
One habit that can help is journaling, a spiritual discipline that many have found to be beneficial. It offers a chance to track your life through longer arcs, while probing your thoughts and feelings. It allows you to process the seasons of your life in a meaningful manner. It provides a chance to reflect on ups and downs, answers to prayer, obstacles you are facing, giants you have defeated, and lessons from adversity. It opens a chance for God for speak to you through the issues of your heart, soul, and mind. It can help align your life, family, and career path.
Consider the following suggestions as a place to journal as little or as much as you would like. You could journal in any one of these suggested areas, or create what you want to write about:
1. God’s character: write a letter to yourself from God, using Scripture to underscore who you are in relation to Him.
2. Scripture: As you read the Bible, what does God seem to be saying to you? What questions, reactions, and feelings do you have?
3. Hymns and Songs: These can be great sources of inspiration for thoughtful reflection.
4. Other Disciplines: Explore holy habits you may not be familiar with, such as meditation, prayer, fasting, study, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, confession, worship, guidance, celebration, and so on. Pick one for a few weeks to see how it gets worked into your routine.
5. Books you are reading: How is it challenging you? What is God saying to you through it? What questions do you have? What ideas do you want to probe deeper?
6. Growth: Where do you need to grow in the next year? How will you plan for that growth to take place? Are you on a plateau and need a breakthrough? How can God and others help you?
Luke 2:52 says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and men.” I have used this passage for years as an outline of four areas of effort that need my attention. I use these as an annual check-up list: mental (reflection), emotional (passion and choices), physical (take care of yourself), and spiritual (moral center). How have I done and where do I need to grow?
Walk wisely. Plan your growth. Journaling may provide a boost to your self-leadership.
Love is a verb,