ImageI am on an early flight this morning headed to Phoenix, AZ for a job interview on Wednesday. I am excited for this opportunity (I’m thinking positive) to work for Mountain Vista Medical Center in east Mesa, as their Volunteer Coordinator.  Personally, I think this job has my name all over it!

However, as exciting as this opportunity is, it is not the focus of my reflections as I turn 46 today. This morning, as I ponder my ‘race’; my journey I’ve traveled so far and the possibilities that lie ahead, three specific learned life lessons come to mind:

1. Balance

I am like a 3 cylinder car engine; each cylinder representing my body, my mind and my spirit. I need to feed each one with healthy fuel and with a proper balance in order for that engine (me) to operate the most efficiently and effectively as possible. Just like an engine needs all the cylinders to be functioning properly and working together for maximum performance, to get the most out of the life God intended for me, my mind, my body and my spirit need to also be healthy and working together.

 2. Excellence

I’ve had the blessing of being able to watch and be mentored by some amazing leaders who have modeled superb leadership. I have learned that in all areas of my life, in some fashion, I am a leader – whether it’s a given title/position or more of a ‘silent’ role of just being a good example to those around me. Either way, I have come to understand the importance of excellence in all I do. I cannot expect someone else to do something I am not willing to do and model myself.

In addition, years of research and studies have shown that the most successful leaders in every area of our society have two distinct characteristics that show up repeatedly in their character profile. Those traits are Humility (putting others before themselves) and Purpose/Determination (minimizing distractions and focusing and the goal).

3. Relationships

I’ll admit that over my life, there have been people who have really annoyed me, gotten on my nerves and have been generally a ‘thorn’. Many times, it has been those people I’ve gone out of my way to avoid and try to distance myself from. But as of recent, my thought process has changed a bit on this. I’ve become less concerned with the ‘odd’ nuances and personal lifestyle choices of others and increasingly focused more on building healthy relationships. Why? Life is about relationships.  It’s just the way we were made. We inherently desire the company of others, so when we choose to distance ourselves, we suffer.

But what about the ‘bad’ behavior, you might ask? Well, I refer back to #1 and #2. If I am healthy and modeling excellence (humility and purpose), my focus will be more on love, care and compassion and less on those things that might get on my nerves. And if I do want to see change in others, I first have to model that ‘change’ within myself and then be determined to build those relationships that will provide the opportunity to set the good example. Like the saying goes – we have to be the change we want to see in the world around us.

This doesn’t mean that all relationships will last, but what it does mean is that I choose to put myself in the category of running to people instead of running away from them.

__________________________________________

I hope these insights into my life’s journey at my young age of 46 have been an encouragement you today.

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