Apr 28, 2011
neil

How do you live the life you want to live and what’s stopping you?

At the exponential conference I attended a workshop this afternoon led by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay of Adullam in Denver.

They like to ask this question ‘How do I want to live?’ It’s a great question. It’s an obvious question. It’s a necessary question. It’s necessary because so many leaders find themselves pulled in all sorts of directions and as a result probably not living life in any kind of balance and not living the life that they think they should live as leaders of God’s people.

Too many meetings, too many e-mails, too much management and not enough life-on-life change.

So how can we be more intentional in our discipleship decisions? How do we live the life that we want to live?

Our biggest problem is probably not laziness but lack of focus. For many of us what is stopping us is that we have never really decided what we need to stop doing as well as what we ought to start doing.

In the book Deliberate Simplicity Dave Browning observes that there is a need to make deliberate decisions to stop doing worthwhile things to focus on better things.

Here’s Jim Collins, author of Good to Great;

Most of us lead busy but undisciplined lives. We have ever-expanding ‘to do’ lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing – and doing more. And it rarely works. Those who built the good-to-great companies, however, made as much use of the ‘stop doing’ list as ‘to do’ lists. They displayed a remarkable discipline to unplug all sorts of extraneous junk.

Leaders who succeed make deliberate decisions to stop doing things.

It’s as simple as this when it comes to living the life you want to live. Browning points us to the words of Al Ries and his book Focal Point;

There are only four things you can do to improve the quality of your life and work:

1) You can do more of certain things. You can do more of the things that are of greater value to you and bring you greater rewards and satisfaction.

2) You can do less of certain things. You can deliberately decide to reduce activities or behaviors that are not as helpful as other activities.

3) You can start to do things that you are not doing at all today. You can make new choices, learn new skills, begin new projects or activities, or change the entire focus of your work or personal life.

4) You can stop doing certain things altogether. You can stand back and evaluate your life with new eyes. You can then decide to discontinue activities and behaviours that are no longer consistent with what you want and where you want to go.

The answer to Hugh Halter’s question is to stop focusing only on 1) and 3) and to give equal time to 2) and 4).

Browning sums it up like this:

By doing less of certain things, and stopping doing other things altogether, energy and resources can be reinvested in the few things really worth doing. By not being so broad, we can go deeper.

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