I just celebrated the 45th anniversary of meeting Jesus and being born again. And, as I thought about al the changes and challenges of the past 45 years I am so thankful for the guidance of the Holy Spirit who lives in me. There has been much that has changed over the last four and a half decades – changes in the culture, the church, the Kingdom, and especially in me.
As a leader and a preacher / teacher of the Word I realized many years ago that today’s best will not meet tomorrow’s challenges. That as a believer and a leader I needed to understand that tomorrow’s challenges will not be won with today’s abilities.
Here is my strategy for changes, growing, and getting better. I learned it from a mentor I had many years ago. My goal at the end of each day is to feel satisfied because I gave my very best, but my goal at the beginning of each day is to be dissatisfied enough to try to improve on yesterday. This interplay of dissatisfaction and satisfaction creates a tension that makes me want to improve.
As I approach a new day, I try to be my best. That will make tomorrow better. The best way to have good choices tomorrow is the make the right choices today. The best way to realize the changes we want tomorrow is tp make the needed changes today. The best way to meet the challenges of tomorrow is to do our best in the challenges of today. I can’t skip today and hope tomorrow is better. So every day I ask myself, “Is this the best I can do today?” In this way, I’m following the advice of my mentor.
At the same time, I don’t rest on my best. You might have heard that good is the enemy of great, but best is the enemy of better. I have to cultivate the dissatisfaction required to get better. I purposely create that tension every day. The question: “Is this the best I can do today?” Helps me to make the most of today. The question, “Am I getting better?” Spurs me on to change. I want to grow into tomorrow’s challenges,, not just go into them. If I keep getting better, I can lead better tomorrow. Yesterday’s best is the foundation for tomorrow’s improvements.
If you want to keep getting better so that you can become a better person, believer, teacher, leader, then:
- LEARN SOMETHING NEW – Ask yourself, “When’s the last time I learned something for the first time?”
- TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT – Ask yourself, “When’s the last time I did something for the first time?”
- FIND SOMETHING BETTER – Ask yourself “When’s the last time I found something better for the first time?”
- SEE SOMETHING BIGGER – Ask yourself, “When’s the last time I saw something bigger for the first time?”
Keep in mind: everyone can improve and everything can be improved. Every day has improvement possibilities.
Now you understand the framework for changing and growing:
- Continually learn, unlearn, and relearn
- Value yesterday but live in today
- Rely on speed but thrive on timing
- See the big picture as the picture keeps getting bigger
- Live in today but think about tomorrow
- Move forward courageously in the midst of uncertainty
- Realize today’s best will not meet tomorrow’s challenges
Remember, even a small shift or change can make a big difference in your life and in your ministry or chosen profession.
And note: the changes you need to make and the personal growth you need to accomplish will be unique to your journey with Jesus.
Also note: Every advance you make as a leader will require a shift that changes the way you think, act, and lead.
It is important to understand: If you try to learn and grow every day – making a small change in the way you think, work, relate – you can and will reach your potential and fulfill God’s destiny and plan for your life.