Feeling like a hypocrite

Well… three weeks into my renewed blogging rhythm, focusing primarily on unhurried living… and I can’t keep up! Or – better said – I didn’t slow down enough to do what I said I would do. I was too busy, not sleeping enough, and too tired to sit and reflect and clearly express my thoughts.

Ever feel like a failure? Ever feel like a hypocrite?

My guess is that your answer is a resounding “YES!”

The truth is that none of us is perfect, and we often set unrealistic goals for ourselves and leave no margin for unexpected interruptions or changes of plans. Learning to live unhurried continues to be a work in progress for me – it will be for you too.

One strong motivator for me to continue on this journey is recognizing the impact of my choices – not just for me, but also for the others connected to me.

Mark Buchanan says, “My biggest regret in life… being in a hurry… getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all that rushing.”

When I am doing well with unhurried living – or any other positive life choice, my attitude, energy, and interactions with others benefit also. I feel better about myself, and that improves the optimism, motivation, patience, and hope that I have and I reflect to others.

When I am not doing as well, I am typically more discouraged, frustrated, irritated, and ashamed. These attitudes inevitably get projected onto others through my critical spirit, impatience, withdrawal, and distracted interactions. I do not live in a bubble, and when I am not rested, refreshed, and at peace… others pay the price.

So, I am getting back on track today and looking forward to my reading time tomorrow. I’ll leave you with a great quote from a new book I started last Monday called “The Sacred Slow” by Alicia Britt Chole. I’ve just started it, but I liked it quite a bit already!

Ours is a hurried age in which speed is deified and waiting is demonized. 

Ours is a cluttered age in which noise is the norm and images constantly clamor for our attention. 

And in our hurried, cluttered age, faster has become synonymous with better, and experience has become a substitute for relationship.

The problem, however, is that faster experiences do not produce better relationships with people or with God.

How do you overcome feeling like a hypocrite and get back on track with your good goals?

What choices can you make today so that others benefit from your unhurried life?

follow the leader is no game

The last few years, I have been in many positions of leadership. At the same time, I have always had a boss, a director or a leader over me.  I have heard seminars, been to trainings and read books about leading… I have never received input about following well.

In the New Testament, Jesus spoke of following much more often than He did of leading. It is clear that following is a choice – following Him or following the enemy. Thinking about it, I realize that being a good follower is really important. As I follow others, I reflect how well I follow Jesus.  I want to be a good follower.

What does being a good follower mean? I’ve grouped some of my first thoughts into three simple categories so I can easily evaluate how I am doing…

ATTITUDES: Heart attitude is the first place for me to look.

  • Do I pray for my leader? I mean do I really pray regularly, specifically, taking the initiative to ask about their needs? During my years as a national leader, I could count on one hand the people who asked me how they could pray for me. That was hard – I often felt alone.  I want my leaders to know that they can count on me to pray for them.
  • Do I believe the best of them?  No leader is perfect – far from it. I know I forgot to say thank you, arrived late, planned poorly, lacked vision, acted selfishly, and criticized others at times… but it was never because I woke up in the morning and decided, “I am going to intentionally be a bad leader and do harm to some people today.” Do I believe my leaders want to do their best? Do I give them grace to fail? Am I patient before passing judgement?

WORDS: Do my words indicate that I am a good follower?

  • Do I tell my leader “thank you” when I see them work hard, when they do something well, when they invest in my development? How do I speak about my leader to others? Do I express respect for their position and them personally? Do I encourage others to do the same?
  • If I don’t agree with something, do I go directly to them to clarify and understand the issue? When I led, I was so grateful for those who came and spoke to me directly – even if they were frustrated or angry with me. Those difficult conversations ultimately strengthened our relationship. Unfortunately, they were few. More often gossip, behind the back criticism, and mutiny damaged relationships. I have committed to speak directly with my leader if I am unsure of something, if I don’t agree, or if I am hurt. No excuses.

ACTIONS: Do I support my leader/boss/director with my actions?

  • Do I bring a positive attitude, a servant spirit, and a learner mindset to the job each day? Or do I act entitled? Demand perks? Have a victim mindset?
  • Do I do the best work that I can for my leader? Do I work hard my full hours, take the initiative to offer suggestions, do a quality job? Do I do what I am asked? Am I honest, responsible and trustworthy? Is my leader more effective because I have his/her back?

It is worth asking, “Would I want me as a follower?”

Help me learn… What do you look for in a good follower?  What do you think is important for someone to follow well?