Over the past year, God has humbled me and revealed many weaknesses that I need to improve upon so I can be a more effective leader. I will not bore you with the entire list for the sake of time, but one of these areas was my thoughts. I had noticed a pattern developing in my own mind; if something did not go as planned or was more stressful than I thought, my attitude and drive would crumble. I was not handling adversity as I use to. I saw it with my relationships, with my work, coaching, everything. God allowed me to be humbled, but He likewise (and graciously) revealed the solution. I must surrender my thoughts to Him. Now that is definitely over simplified, but our thoughts/responses not the events in our lives are what drag us down. Here are the nuggets that God revealed to me over the last year:
The Bible: Philippians 4:4-13, Proverbs 23:7, Romans 12:2
-To summarize, these verses talk about focusing our thoughts on things above that are good, as we think in our heart so we are, and the importance of renewing our mind. If we want to have good thoughts, we must surrender our thoughts to God. I encourage you to look them up for yourself and read them at https://www.biblegateway.com/ .
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
-James Allen hits on many of the same thoughts as I mentioned in the verses above. Our attitude is determined by our thoughts. It is a choice and we hold the keys. Here’s a link to the audio book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn_eg3xDp8s
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so shall he be. A man is literally what he thinks” –James Allen
“Man is made or unmade by himself. By the right choice, he ascends. As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and the lord of his own thoughts, he holds the key to every situation.” –James Allen
Grit by Angela Duckworth
-Angela Duckworth discusses the importance of Grit in her recent book. She explains that we must know what we want and then focus all our thoughts on going after that goal. Those who have Grit are those who have mastered the battle in their mind and persevere to reach their goals. Here’s an intro to her book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWctLEdIgi4
“In sum, no matter the domain, the highly successful had a kind of ferocious determination that played out in two ways. Firstly these, exmplars were unusually resilient and hard working. Second, they knew in a very, very deep way what it was they wanted. They not only had determination, they had direction. It was this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special. In a word, they had grit.” –Angela Duckworth on Grit
E+R=O/Event+Response=Outcome by Focus 3’s Tim & Brian Kight/Urban Meyer
-We cannot control events in our lives, but we can control our responses, which leads to our outcomes. We must train our minds to respond to events “above the line” and rise to events so we do not fall when adversity strikes. Urban Meyer’s book “Above the Line” hits on this formula more and so does this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn7iKNVwVto
John C Maxwell and other Leaders
-Over this last year I have read two of John’s books 21 Laws of Leadership and the 5 Levels of Leadership. Both have helped me improve my mindset as a leader. Along with those two books, I have also enjoyed many of his sermons and lessons on leadership. Others Leaders I would include are Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Simon Sinek, Brendon Burchard, and many more so check them out on youtube. One lesson that hits on the topic of this blog post is his sermon on The Attitude of a Leader by John Maxwell. Here’s the link if you would like to listen to the sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BzXvIZDy6E&t=1055s
-Celebrities, motivational speakers, and athletes all believe in the power of their thoughts/responses and how it leads to results. Here is just a sample of what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ4NjopCA00
Over this last year, I wondered why God kept reminding me of the importance of my thoughts and attitude. I can now look back and see what He was/is doing in me. I hope that you find these nuggets encouraging and challenging too. God Bless!