Archives For Leadership

Waves Of Life

zechariahnewman —  May 20, 2013 — 3 Comments

I’m sitting at the beach right now watching the waves come in. Wave after wave. Big and small, listening to the rhythm of the waves. Have you ever fallen down and had the waves pound on you while you try to get your breath? It can be scary and panic can come in. This reminds me of the waves of life. Sometimes the waves crash against us harmlessly and other times the waves come with such a force that it feels like we will die. The way to get through those waves is what surfers call a duck dive. You push the front of your board down, go into and under the wave. It allows you to go under the force of the top of the wave. It is the same way we should face the waves of life. Here are 4 ways to duck dive the waves of life.

Photo By: K RouzaudPhotography

“God never gives strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute.”  ~ Oswald Chambers

1. Push into God. When the going gets tough the tough get on their knees. A personal growing relationship with Jesus Christ makes some waves that use to seem huge, small and harmless. He gives us the strength to push through the wave. So press into God and He will sustain you through the pounding wave.
 
2. Push into Family. When a big wave hits you gather around the ones you love and that love you. Draw close to them. Pray with them, cry with them and laugh with them. A lot of times your family will give you insight. You need people you trust in vulnerable times. You need to feel safe to be open and honest as this will help you get under the wave.
 
“Accountability breeds response-ability.” ~Stephen R. Covey
 
3. Push into an Accountability Partner. We all need someone outside of our family. Build a relationship with someone and get to know them. Meet at least weekly. When the wave of strife and trouble arise you may be tempted to hide. That is the last thing you should do. Have someone close enough that you can bear your soul to. That you can admit heartache, failure, or disappointment. Someone that will ask you the hard questions and give difficult answers. Not always fun, but accountability is worth the sacrifice.
 
“Haters never bother people who are ordinary, but the extraordinary are magnets for rocks. Keep going.” ~ Jon Acuff
 
4. Push away naysayers. In good times and bad it is important to push away naysayers outside of your iner-circle. We don’t need people pulling us down like an under current; making the pounding waves more ferocious, whispering in your ear that you have failed and are unworthy. I don’t have time to listen to the haters and neither do you.
 
So let’s take advice from surfers and press our boards down to go under waves, thus reducing the brunt force pressure on us making the waves roll over instead of crash against us. The key to most succesful things is time. Build these into your life now. The more time you put in to these four things, the smaller the waves become. 
 
What are ways in which you survive and thrive the waves of life?

I love road trips. It is not just the destination but the whole process. Seeing new things such as mountain peeks, rivers and strange places that I would never visit if I were not just passing through. Stopping to take pictures, what fun to take it all in. The hours go by quickly while I’m still so excited for the destination. These 4 things help me to enjoy the trip.

1. Focus on today. Life should be this way. The ride should be fun, thus enjoying the moment while you continue your personal journey toward your destination. When my wife and I were dating we thought, “Can’t wait until we can be married and start our life together.” Then it was, “Can’t wait until we have a house, a child, another child and then for them to be a little older.” Now we are wanting a bigger house. You see the wants never stop if we don’t relax and enjoy the things that today brings we will never really live.

2. List what you enjoy today; that may not be that way forever. With our house it is small so it’s easy to clean, you can see the kids everywhere they go, we are always together, and there is less to heat and cool. Lastly, a lot of people don’t own a house. How fortunate are we? These are just a few things I remember when I start to gripe.

3. Good road trip music. Put on some uplifting music. Music is part of the enjoyment in a road trip. Nothing depressing, rather songs that will lift your spirit. Play something that tells you the sun will rise in the morning.

4. Bring along friends or family. We all need relationships. Don’t be a loner when you are feeling low. Get around positive and encouraging people. Talk and enjoy fellowship with one another.

Return peace to the journey. The bumps, wrong turns, and side streets are part of the journey. We never arrive.  The destination is always changing. So we will be miserable or we can put on the shades, turn up the music, roll down the windows, and feel the sun. Road trip anyone?

Loosing weight, paying off debt, better marriage, proper parenting; all of these things are not as much information as revelation. There are books every where on any subject we can literally study anything that we want to. It is not what we know but more will we sacrifice are immediate gratification for long-term payoff? We as humans over compensate what we can do in the short-run and discount the long-term act of compounding! In Darren Hardy’s book, The Compounding Effect he says, “We’re a “rational” species at least that’s what we tell ourselves. So why are we so irrationally enslaved by so many bad habits? It’s because of our need for immediate gratification can turn us into the most reactive, non-thinking animals around.”  I’m 100% convinced that we, in the moment, don’t fully count the cost of our actions. These 5 things will help us to remember the cost.

Pause and think: I posted on this in The Art of TIVO. It’s extremely important to pause at certain points in the day. Don’t fall into the trap of rushing into a decision; life can wait. Jesus did not rush anywhere. We should take a good look at that and pause and think. Especially as Americans we tend to rush everything instead of analyzing decisions and counting the full cost. Everything costs something or it is worthless.

Pray: God will open any door that needs to be open. He will also shut any door that needs to be shut. Ask God for an eternal mindset. The creator will be faithful to do so.

Ask the right question: We often get stuck on surface questions instead of asking the correct question. The book, QBQ! by John G. Miller is a great book that discusses this in further detail. Spend the time to come up with the right question.

Get good counsel: Get good counsel from people who achieve in the area you are about to make a decision in. Don’t take advice from your broke friends about money. Find someone with good character achieving in that area and ask them. Have questions written out, ask, listen and avoid the mistake of talking too much.

Journal daily: Again I blogged on this in Life In Color. Journal the Bible. The Bible has answers to all of life’s questions. It reveals what we need when we need it. God is faithful every morning to meet me in the still and quiet and give me what I need. Transforming me from glory to glory.

These 5 things will help us to count the cost and live a life that reaches our full potential. Remember how life compounds! Few things happen quickly, but everything happens in God’s perfect timing.

What helps you to count the actual cost?

Beep! Beep! Beep! Wham! I rollover and hit snooze. It’s 6am and time to start another day. My little girl wakes up at 7:30 am and my wife and son get up around then also. It is at this moment at 6am my flesh is already fighting, “Just one more press of the snooze and then I will get up.” This moment in time will set the tone for my entire day. Will I ignore my body and get up or press snooze a million times? I would like to say I wake up every morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed but that would be a lie. These 5 steps help me to get that peace and still every morning; a time to be alone with my thoughts and God.

1. Go to sleep: If I don’t get to sleep at a decent time, “6am me” wants to back hand “last night me.” I need 8 hours of sleep so I need to be in bed by at least 10pm. Simple, yet hard. I need boundaries like it doesn’t matter what happens on American Idol and the world does not revolve around Swamp People. Really the things I sacrifice for a good night’s sleep are pretty hilarious or sad; not sure which.

2. Have a reading program: Having a structured reading program takes the thinking out of it. I read through the Bible in a year with a Life Journal. It’s a simple 20 min. read for the day. In my Life Journal I write a scripture, observation of the scripture, application to my life, and a prayer. Knowing I have this to do gets me up. There will be men in my small group asking me if I read this week and what I got. I know if I don’t do it first thing in the morning, my chances of reading drop dramatically.

3. Coffee: I love coffee. Knowing I have a warm cup helps me get out of bed. You could put the coffee on a timer to wake you up. It does not have to be coffee, it could be breakfast, tea, a fire, etc. Have something you enjoy that brings something extra to the relaxation of being alone.

4. Note pad: I don’t do this like I should. A pad of paper by your bed will allow your mind to completely shut down. If something jumps in your mind put it on paper then let it go and deal with it in the morning. Some of my best ideas come to me when I am laying in bed at night or in the morning.

5. Heat on a timer: Wish I could do this, but we have wall heat. If you have central heating and air why wouldn’t you? Getting out of bed when it is freezing is not fun.

If you try these things, I guarantee you will have more energy for the day. Waking up before the household will make you much more productive. Spend time refueling yourself by getting alone with God. It will take you to a whole new level of freedom and productivity.

What are ways in which you carve out time to be alone with God and your thoughts?