As we do every year this time of year, Letha and I have been talking about next year: how to improve, how to be more effective, how to make sure we are maximizing our opportunities. While prayerfully pondering this, a thought came to me.
The older we get, the harder we have to work if we hope to to improve. When we were younger, maturing and growth allowed us the presumption that we would improve with age, and most of the time we did. Simply living and learning about life allowed us to progress in our effectiveness. But now, improvement comes with a greater cost. Now that I am a more seasoned leader, I can’t just pass time and get better at things, I actually have to be intentional in my growth. What a revelation!
Allow me to explain. I have less energy now than I did when I was forty. So if I want to stay in good shape physically, I have to discipline myself to get off the couch and move (which I do!). Like many my age, my natural tendency may be to go with what is comfortable and familiar. But my comfort zones destroy my productivity! Now that I’m older, I enjoy my old friends. But as important as my old friends are, I need to stretch and grow in relationships, networks and connectivity. I can’t just recline in the “Lazy Boy” of life and expect to advance; I’ve got to be purposeful, intentional and action-oriented.
So if 2022 is going to be a better year than 2021, I have to work harder and think harder and behave harder than I have this year. Slothfulness and resting on my laurels (*info for this reference below) will defeat me. As a leader, the older I get, the more diligent I must become.
I want to improve until the day that I die. I want to be a better Christian, husband, father, Pop (grandfather), friend and leader. That won’t happen organically; I must work to improve.
So look out New Year, I’m coming for ya! I’m excited about 2022!