Once a year I get the chance to attend something called the Global Leadership Summit (GLS). To me, it’s better than going to Disneyland. The presenters at the Summit are always amazingly talented people. This year they included former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, and producer Mark Burnett, the man behind Survivor, The Voice, and The Bible. There was a man named Bob Goff, who has established Restore International and the Restore Academy, which gives a voice to oppressed children and the poorest of the poor. His book Love Does, speaks of a life lived with great passion and enthusiasm. And trust me, he lives what he writes.
The problem with going to something like GLS is that you sit in a room and listen to people who on a scale of 1-10 are 12+ in just about every area of life. These are people who write lots of very important books. They have talked to presidents and worked with the bigwigs on Wall Street and large Fortune 100 companies. And then there’s me.
I know who the Secretary of State is, I’ve watched The Voice and The Bible, and I’ve read Bob’s book, as well as the books of many of the other presenters. But I will never be a part of the White House staff, or produce an award winning show, or write a book. It would be easy to leave the Summit feeling down and discouraged. With a sense that I’ll never measure up. Instead I leave every year thinking: “Wow. I can hardly wait until next year.”
Why? Because I don’t go to the Summit to be like the people on the stage. I go to learn how to be a better me. I go because these people make me believe that everyone can improve at what they do and how they act and think. And I want to be better.
Every year I ask the Lord to give me just a few little nuggets of truth that I can apply to my life. Here are my takeaways from this year. I want to have the courage to change. I want to find the vision that God has for me in this stage of life. I want to ask more questions and give fewer answers. I want to log and dispute negative thoughts. And, I want to be more like Dr. Brené Brown.
Dr. Brown is a researcher in the areas of shame, worthiness, and courage. She wrote a wonderful book called Daring Greatly. Listening to her made me realize that if I truly wanted to change, find vision, ask more question, and dispute negative thoughts, I was going to have to be vulnerable. To see myself as whole, compete and worthy of love rather than trying to earn it by hiding behind my mask of perfectionism.
So the biggest thing I want to do this year is to learn how to feel free to be me. I want to ask for help rather than thinking I can do it all myself. I want to learn to give freely and to see failure as a natural step towards improvement. I want to show up and live every minute of the life God has given me. Mostly, I want to ask God to help me live open and unafraid. There are risks. Big risks. But I’m worth it. I Corinthians 15:10 says, “by the grace of God I am what I am.” This year I want to live that verse.
What about you? What do you want God to do in your life this year? If you were going back to school this fall and majoring in Life Change, what would be the first class you’d want to take?
Somewhere I read that people won’t change until staying where they are is more painful than the pain of changing. This year I’m willing to endure the pain to make the change. What about you?