New Year, New You!
Happy New Year and New decade Leaders!
One of the nagging things about a new year is this business of New Year Resolutions. We all make them — or at least feel that we should make them.
Have you ever stopped to ponder what really is behind your New Year resolutions? I hear someone saying, “Yeah, twenty kilos!”
No, seriously. When I clean out the underbrush of this resolution thing I find my best New Year resolutions are based on spiritual realisations.
The Realisation That I Fall Short
I want to be a better person, that means I realise that I fall short of being the kind of person I ought to be and should be and want to be. Even though all of us have private areas of our life known only to us and God, we know we fall short even if others don’t know. And with this knowledge comes a sense of guilt. However, there shall therefore be no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Social scientists are saying that our society has lost its sense of guilt. These days tv ads tell you to lay off that housework, prop up your feet and take a break. “You deserve it,” “Treat yourself!” is the theme. “You are worth it; you are the greatest”! No longer is the appeal to guilt and shame, but to ego.
And still, an article talked about how the boomers are searching for God, but for a non-threatening, non-authoritarian God. That very spiritual search is accompanied by a sense of moral failure, by a sense of guilt — no matter how much we deny it or how well we camouflage it. Ever since the fall, humanity has known that we ought to be better people than we are.
I Haven’t The Power To Change
Lay beside these truths — I want to be better than I am, and I know I fall short of what I ought to be — a third truth: Experience teaches me that I don’t have the power to change myself. Oh, I may, through this resolution or that, push the battle lines back here and there in my life. But above the wrecks of countless resolutions there stands the bitter truth that in myself there is not the power to become the person I ought to be and want to be. I need only to read Paul’s struggle with himself in Romans 7 to realise this is a universal human situation.
Becoming a better person
How can you become a better person in 2020? By that I mean how can you become the fulfilled, moral, spiritual person you desire to be? Are there some plain steps to take that bring more power to the struggle than mere resolutions? I am certainly for resolutions, written or unwritten, but can we not find more strength than that?
Let me share a few steps that have helped me become a better person:
A Vision of Christ
The first thing I did to make lasting changes in my life was have a vision of who I wanted to be like – who I wanted to emulate. We all need someone who is better than us to be our role model – someone who we strive to become like. For me, I know it is virtually impossible to get to be who Christ is but I set my sights on the best Leader that ever walked this earth as my role model. Without an idea of who I want to be like, I will surely not know what steps to take. Once I have identified my role model, then my work is to study and master them, I reach out to them personally for help and then practise everything I have learnt. Soon enough, there are parts of me that will start to reflect my role model. As a Leader, who are you role modelling? Do you know who you want to emulate and are you doing the necessary research on that person, reaching out to that person for help and then acting on what you have learnt about them? If you don’t have a role model yet, why not choose Christ? He is a sure deal!
I know that a popular teaching is to practice “visioning” what you want, what kind of person you want to be. And don’t get me wrong – I practise this as well and it has tremendous benefit. However, envisioning yourself rich or famous or happy can only draw on the power within your own flawed life. If the vision you put in your mind and heart is the vision of Christ himself, you draw upon all his power and love to shape your life.
But how can we who believe keep this powerful and power giving vision of Christ before our eyes, in our hearts and minds and daily lives? We can practice the presence of Christ through daily prayer, through Bible and devotional reading and through gathered worship and fellowship with other Christians.
A Better Person Through A Vision of Self
After you establish through your resolutions, through new habits, a fresh vision of Christ, then you are ready to add to this a vision of yourself as God intends you to be. Focus with me for a moment: Think of yourself, your habits, your lifestyle, your values and goals, your personality as you are. Now vision yourself as having the goals, values, personality that God wants you to have. That’s the fulfilled, charming, winsome person God wants you to be. That’s the person who can make a difference in this world. Now go further — with that vision of you as you ought to be, should be, could be if you kept the vision of Christ before you — think about the difference it would make at work, in your home, in your community. My goodness, it is amazing what God is doing with us as we are, broken and rebellious; image what this world would be like and what we would be doing if each of us became the person God wants us to be!
A Better Person Through A Network
We all need people to do life with. We are created for relationships and to connect with each other. We need to build a support network of people (Inner Circle) to encourage us and help us be accountable to the vision. I encourage you to seek out three or four other people on the same journey as you and begin to meet with them on a regular basis to pray together and discuss all matter pertaining to this life.
A Better Person through Coaching.
As I conclude, I believe anyone embarking on a personal journey toward higher achievement and deeper fulfilment needs a strong core, a foundation on which to build their new life. Is your sanity running dangerously low? Senior Executive ~ Are you outwardly exuding confidence along the C-Suite corridors yet internally feel overwhelmed with the responsibility & expectation associated with your position? Are you feeling caught up in the “hustle” with a hazy clarity of the “Why” and “Where” you are headed [destination]? We are here to help.
At T.L.I.O, we believe that people, more so those in Leadership positions possess more capacity than they are currently exemplifying. We think of people in terms of their potential, not their performance. Performance is a factor of how much potential is tapped. Reach out to us and we will be honoured to walk this journey of discovering your unique leadership gifting with you.
We look forward to hearing from you.