I sat in an empty parking lot this morning as I dialed into my weekly Leadershift phone call. With tea in one hand, computer in my lap, and phone put on speaker, I began engaging in a dialog with others scattered across the country. Mike always begins our calls asking each participant the same question- “What did you learn and how did you apply it?” If we didn’t learn anything, we have to explain why not. This keeps me on my toes because I’m not going to come up empty handed once called upon. Before hopping on the call this week, I went back and re-read the lesson from the week before, refreshing my memory. I have the privilege of serving as Mike Davidson's Executive Assistant for Leadershift, but I am truly growing and benefiting from this position far beyond what I expected when I said yes to his offer to come work with him back in April.
Leadershift has truly inspired and motived me in a way that I haven’t experienced before. I’m asked tough questions, I’m told hard truths, and I’m encouraged to dig deeper. I find myself striving to be more intentional throughout my every day. I went out and bought a daily planner and each morning I write out a checklist of basic things I need to accomplish that day. Typically, the same tasks are consistently listed. For example, I list today just four things: Read 15 minutes in "Truths We Confess," Practice American Sign Language for 30 minutes, have my Bible Study, and go to the gym. I found my motivation to do this through Leadershift, and I’ve stuck fairly well to my checklist ever since.
I’m reading a massive 700+-page book right now called Truths We Confess by R. C. Sproul. It is the systematic exposition on the Westminster Confession of Faith. In the past, I never would have even attempted to read a book that long, but I realized if I committed to 15 minutes a day, sooner or later, I would complete the book. With American Sign Language- I had been thinking about learning for years, but never took the plunge. After getting off a Leadershift call 2 weeks ago, I immediately found online content to learn ASL, I attended a free Sign Language class that very evening, and now I’m enrolled to take a beginner’s course at the Arkansas School for the Deaf this coming fall.
Mike asked a question the other week on our morning call. He asked, “When can you start doing what you’d like to do?” While I’m still trying to figure out how to answer that question in regard to bigger life aspirations I have, I realized there was no one but myself holding me back from starting right then with the little things. I was my own biggest set-back. I’ve started dreaming again. I’ve allowed my mind to wander outside of what’s right in front of me and contemplate ideas I’ve had in my mind that I never thought were good enough to pursue. Talking about it is one of the first steps, so I’ve started those conversations with a friend and my spouse.
It's the little things that make all the difference. Through my day in and day out commitment to check off these boxes on my to-do list, I’m beginning to develop a greater confidence in myself. I’m starting to believe in myself more. Today Mike said, “Low self-esteem puts a ceiling on our potential” and I couldn’t agree more. When I don’t believe I’m worth investing in- when I don’t think I have anything to add or contribute to a situation, I’m stunting my growth. I stop trying because I figure, "eh, what's the point?" I lose focus, I lose confidence, my motivation plummets, and I'm back to where I started, but feeling even more defeated than before. Daily little habits, whether its a check list that keeps you accountable, a trusted person who checks in with you, practicing self-discipline (Lord knows I need more of that!) -however you do it- starting with the little things will always set you up for big things in the future. It reminds me of that verse in Scripture, Luke 16:10. "One who is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in very little is also dishonest in much." This verse convicts me to live and work to the best of my ability- not just in the big lofty goals I have or even the tasks that are noticeable to others- but also in the mundane, day to day tasks that will strengthen me, honor God, and shape me into the leader I know I can be in the situations God calls me to step up.
My wheels keep spinning because Mike has really given me a lot to think about today. I might not be in the automotive industry, which is what Leadershift was originally designed for, but that's okay, because the lessons that I'm learning each week here at Leadershift are life lessons that are changing how I do things...and that's exciting stuff!
So here's to growth. Our Growth.