The organizational leaders had come together to discuss the future. The group was the same as had gathered the previous year, except for Amy, the new Vice President of Human Resources. The planning day was normal, with conversations about Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
The answers didn’t surprise the group, they were the same as last year, just worded differently. They all saw it, but the past year was a good one, only they never seemed to make progress toward their goals to take advantage of new opportunities.
Amy had been quiet for the morning because this was new information and as the new person, she was hesitant to speak up. When asked for her input, she first said the sharing had been helpful information. But, and this became a big “but”, she said she had a question for the group.
“What are we willing to give up, or change, to reach our goals?”
You could have heard a pin drop in the room. The big question was out on the table, the one no one wanted to answer. They all squirmed because they were content with their people, processes, and systems. They were comfortable, yet they wanted different results.
That big question applies to each of us in our professional and personal life. Too often, we want something to be different, but we don’t want anything to change. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been in that position. I certainly have, and way too many times for me to count. We cling to what we know and love, we don’t want to let go.
Yet if we don’t give things up, we have no room for anything new. I don’t just mean mentally; I mean physically too.
Over my career I’ve listened to team members voice a concern they didn’t have time for everything they wanted or needed to do. When I pointed out things they were doing that no one asked them to do, or things that added no value, their response was “they” believed they were important. That was code for “I’m comfortable and I want to do it my way”.
The process of renewal starts with cleaning out the past to get ready for the future. For many years, in the month of December my very wise assistant Gloria would leave a large (1/2 cubic yard) trash bin in my office and remind me it was time to purge. I liked to hang onto things, but she knew I had to clean out physically, to make room for whatever new was on the horizon. It worked. The process of a physical renewal of throwing things out, not only freed up needed space for both of us, but I also found that it freed me mentally to begin doing new things.
Whether you’re stuck in something related to your job or personal life, start by inviting God into the process. Then spend some time asking yourself these questions.
- What do I want to accomplish?
- What can I stop doing that isn’t providing value for myself or others that will give me more free time to invest?
- What can I begin to do that will be step forward to reaching my goal?
If you are honest in your answers, it will be clear what steps you need to begin taking.
Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. Colossians 3: 9-10 CSB