There’s a principle to live by. You’re intelligent and you’ve been around the block a time or two. I’m sure you know it well. If you’re a person of faith, you might call it the law of sowing and reaping. If not, you might call it karma. Whatever you name it, the behavior of the principle remains true. Where you focus most of your energy is where you’ll see most of your return. “Learn to sow where you want to go”, a friend and mentor of mine used to say. There may be no truer arena for this principle to take hold than that of whom we choose to associate with and whom we do not. The simple fact is, more than any other single factor, the people you choose to spend most of your time with will affect your current and future success or lack thereof.
You’re a leader. You’re a dreamer. You’ve got a picture, in your mind’s eye, of a preferred future. So, that leaves you with a big decision to make. Who are the people you will invite into your life and who are the people you may need to give limited access to? But, wait. We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before we start deciding whom we may want in our lives and whom we may need to find a way to pull away from, there’s an even more fundamental question to answer. What are my personal desires?
What are your personal desires? Ask yourself this question and spend plenty of time there to make sure you are clear. You may know right off the top of your head or you may need to take some extended time to consider this question. Either way, it’s the baseline question to answer before you consider which relationships are going to be key for you to cultivate and which ones will not be.
To get ultra-practical, if your greatest personal desire is to take your organization to the next level, you’ll want to spend time with those who have done just that. Just because your best friend from college is a great guy and you have years of history together does not mean he or she is going to help you see your personal desires come to pass. Am I saying you need to shut down all your relationships with all your old friends? Certainly not. What I am saying is that until you are very clear about your personal desires, you will have no idea what type of people to be around. Jim Rohn has said, famously, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Don’t you think you should know what kind of people you want to be with before you start giving away the most precious resource you possess?
Some time ago, I got very clear about my personal desire to help organizations, especially churches, in the area of strategic planning. It was this clarity of desire that informed my decision about some new relationships to begin. We’ll talk more about how to choose the right current and future relationships in the next couple posts, but it’s worth saying my clarity of desire back then brought me to many of the relationships I enjoy today.
It’s your life. It’s your dream. It’s your time. Don’t you think you should get clear about your personal desires before you give yourself away to people who may not get you any closer to them? If you’re not sure about your personal desires or you don’t know how to get started, I know one of our excellent coaches can help you get started on that journey.