Some of us are leaders, some of us want to be leaders, and for some, the idea of leading is scary. The truth is, we lead every day with our actions. Leading is not about telling people what to do, it is about people watching and learning the way you process and respond to life, and then deciding to follow suite.
A writer friend of mine once told me to “show not tell,” in my stories. That applies not only to writing but life. What he was saying is don’t just tell the reader about a situation, show them through the character’s actions.
I have been thinking about this a lot in the last few days as I’ve been bombarded by negative news in the media. It would seem the world has gone mad and everyone has a grievance. On a large scale things seem so far from where they should be, and it’s easy to get discouraged. While we may never be able to fix the world or even the city/town we live in, we can each set an example in how we live our life. You can’t give up – you have to keep improving, starting with yourself.
Think about your life, do you talk one way around some people and live another? Start matching your actions with those words. This is why so many people act out, we are told one thing, but what they see being done is something completely different.
Change comes from the those who lead the way. I will share a little bit of what I have learned through my journey of change.
I decided that I need to change my life in 1996. I did not know at that time where the changes ahead would take me, and it’s a journey I’m still on today. It was a daunting task because I had so many areas of my life that I needed to work on. I knew how to see things through on a smaller scale, and I decided to apply that to my life. The first thing I had to do was change my environment.
I started devoting time bettering myself through knowledge and exercise. I made these two things priorities and made pursuing them a habit. I pinned down aspects of my life that I knew were wrong, and I began to work on them one at a time. As soon as I conquered one, I would learn that I had two more to work on.
I learned over time that being strong is not the same thing as being confrontational or aggressive. I had to learn to humble myself and open my mind up to things outside of myself. Finally, I began to treat others the way I wanted to be treated. The biggest moment of change and humility for me was when I realized I was living my life for myself when I should live it for God.
Then one day, for the first time in my life, people started thanking me for being a positive and inspirational person. This had never happened to me before because in the past I was known only for my negativity and the negative things I was capable of doing.
All this time, I’ve been working on change within, and the lessons I’ve learned and lived have had an effect on those around me. I got a text yesterday from a friend and it read, “Dude thank you for inspiring me without being preachy.”
I have a long way to go, and I know I’ll never be perfect. But while I’m on my journey I’m going to shine my light to anyone who is looking encouragement or a push in the direction of positive change.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.