Very few people know how to lead.
Can you identify my understanding of leadership in this story?
“Stressed-out Susan, lived in the big city and had never experienced the woods, camping or fishing. She desperately wanted to give her two children Sour Sally, and Bully Benny, some memories. So her and husband, Clueless Clive packed up their mini van and took the children out to the nearest National Forest looking for adventure.
On the way there, teenager, Sour Sally complained about the drive. Susie, wanting to please her traded her front seat for the back. Sally complained about the temperature of the car, that she was bored and that little Bully Benny was touching her hair.
Bully Benny wanted to stop at every restaurant they passed and get something to eat and screamed until Clive pulled over. Stressed-out Susie decided to give them their medication (Ridalin and anti-depressants) and cross her fingers. Maybe that would calm them down.
They finally stopped at their rustic campsite and pulled out the tents. Then the, slightly more mellow, children began chanting in unison, “Take us home, take us home, take us home!” Susie finally had enough and screamed at them, “Shut up. Shut up! This is a special place, your going to scare the animals!”
Clive and Susie argued through the entire tent setting process, until the sun went down and finally gave up and started the fire. Susie told the kids they should eat, they didn’t. She told them to turn off their video games and enjoy nature, they didn’t. But they did, however, lock themselves in the van after stealing the keys.
Stressed-Out Susie cried, Clueless Clive glared at the kids because this was all their fault.”
DOES this sound like fun?
Stressed-Out Susie looks like she has her hands full. But does she really?
Let me explain.
Susie wants control of the situation and the other people in her family. When they don’t feel, act or say what she thinks they should, she stresses out. Where is she getting her perceptions about what the perfect family should look like? From her favorite Mom magazine, from her favorite sit com, and from the hundreds of other media outlets subliminally mentoring her in her “Mom/Wife Roles”. In fact, her mental circuits are so jammed with unhealthy expectations, she has had to start on new blood pressure pills.
Here comes the million dollar question.
Who is the only person Susie can control?
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5
This is our mission, to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (Christ as you know is that anointing, or mark of the Christian. It is the gift God gave when we became born-again.)
I hear all the time, and thought myself, “WHAT! That’s impossible! EVERY THOUGHT! Do you know how many thoughts run through my mind a day?”
Let’s think of it this way, if it says it in the Word of God, it must be available. God is good, His commandments are not “barys” (Greek) meaning, hard to do.
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (barys, hard to do).” 1 John 5:3
That is a promise. Anytime God makes a promise He makes it with your blessing and protection in mind. But we can’t do it all by ourselves. We have to depend that God will help us. God cannot steer a parked car. The moment you get moving and take action, things will begin to change.
So, our first leadership lesson for leaders around the world starts by leading ourselves.
Here’s an old adage I’ve heard. People who try to control your life, 99 times out of 100, do so because they cannot control their own. Control and leadership is an inside job. It starts with simple exercises like this one.
Have you ever played “Freeze Tag” with your kids. Well this is very similar, but with your mind. Your mind is a muscle. It will race, or stop racing, at your freewill decision. You always have a choice. So try this exercise I like to call “FREEZE”. Sit down in a quiet place and “FREEZE” your thoughts. Have a clock nearby so you can time yourself. Try to “not think” for thirty whole seconds. When you break the freeze, start over until you’ve done it for thirty seconds. This is like mental push ups because your mind isn’t used to freezing on command, but it will get used to it. Remember YOU are the boss of your own mind. Try to FREEZE get up to five minutes at a time.
What will this do for you? Strengthen your will, and your mind. It will also build confidence. Your mind is a logic receptacle. It reasons out sensory facts and details received by your five senses. It is a database that reacts to what is put in it or to memories of past experiences. But your “will” should be the one that decides the next step. Our “will” takes information from your heart and from God.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
The FREEZE exercise is a way to “stay your mind”. BUT a mind cannot operate in a vacuum. That’s why the freeze exercise is simply that, an excercise. There is a next step, and it is vitally important!
I know this seems hard, but trust God in this. Practice the “FREEZE” game four times a day. See how long you can go. Lead your mind and strengthen it. In the next post, we’ll go over the next powerful step to Leadership 101.
God Bless You today!
Leadership Rocks 101 is in a series of posts. Catch up by clicking the link below.