What you and I should bring to the table every day is our best.
There are some people who can solve a crisis in a moment that others couldn’t solve in a millennium. There are some people who are constantly learning, growing, adding skills and efficiencies to their repertoire. There are some people who make others better by simply being around. There are some people who are determined to solve a problem no matter what; even if they can’t solve the problem, it wasn’t for lack of trying.
There are some people who cultivate wisdom that makes everything they contribute to better. I have seen this present in 25 year olds and absent in 45 year olds – age is not the key determinant in wisdom. If you can bring this to the table on the majority of your days, you will bring more than most people. In fact, according to Seth Godin, you will become indispensable. In his words, you become a “linchpin” and your value goes up.
The only way I can live in this space regularly is by managing my energy, not just my time. Everyone gets the same amount of time in a day, but not everybody brings the same amount of energy to a day. For me, at this stage in my life and work, here’s what I recommend to bring your best energy:
- Get enough sleep (7-8 hours a night)
- Eat reasonably healthily
- Start the day with the Bible and prayer… and cultivate a closeness with God that is with you throughout the day
- Have some fun (for me, biking, taking pictures, watching movies and hanging out with friends and family)
- Write and Blog (this blog is a place where you can say whatever is on your mind)
- Do more than one thing (being a full-time pastor and writing and speaking is like cross-disciplinary training for me)
- Get around people smarter and wiser than yourself
- Have white space in your calendar with nothing to do but think and work “on it” not “in it”
- Start your day early and get your best work in before 10:00 am
- Cultivate life-giving friendships with churched and non-churched people
I have a lot to learn, but I do know this: when these twelve things are present in my life, I bring much better energy to whatever I’m doing. Figure out what fuels your energy and write your own list!
Carey has been serving in ministry since 1995. He is the founding and teaching pastor of Connexus Community Church. In 2015, he transitioned from Lead Pastor to his current role, which focuses on expanding Connexus’ broader ministry.
He is the author of several books, including Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow, and he writes one of today’s most widely read church leadership blogs at www.CareyNieuwhof.com. He also hosts the top-rated Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast, where he interviews some of today’s best leaders.
Carey and his wife, Toni, live north of Barrie, Ontario, with their two sons.
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