Think of your age right now and take off ten years. Perhaps stop for just a few seconds and say it out loud.
Feels great doesn’t it!
Consider the changes you have navigated in that time. The adjustments you have made to your personal life, your career, your most personal relationships and your family (we had no children ten years ago, now we have two). Think about the things you have seen and experienced. Who you have met, where you have been and what you have learnt. Consider what has happened, has happened globally, politically and the ever increasing pace of technological change. SO much has happened in the last ten years and every time I ask people to consider that time, they tell me it feels like time has passed fast and slow all at the same time.
Now humour me. No, really humour me.
Add ten years to your age. Say out loud the age you will be ten years from now. This time, say it with enthusiasm, real energy and real commitment!
Are we still friends?
I know, I know. It HURTS to say that number. Most people I do this exercise with hate the idea of saying that number out loud. The thought of being that age is something we dare not entertain. And yet, every day you wake up you’re on a relentless march to that number. It’s coming, ready or not.
I’d rather be ready. Ancient wisdom says, “Teach us to number our days so we can walk in wisdom.” On that basis, we have 3650 days to steward just before that number turns up. That number you just declared will turn up that’s for certain. The critical question that I posed last week is ‘who would you like to BE and what would you have liked to have DONE to be delighted to meet yourself.’
This week the bottom line is, That age WILL turn up, the question is who will you BE when it does and how will you get THERE?
I sat down in April 2005 and began to dream about who I would be in 2015. What was I good at? What did others affirm in me? What do I naturally gravitate towards and whom? It seemed so far away, at times I questioned whether it was worth actually spending the time on this exercise. Now, just one year away from the completion of that decade I am ever so grateful for the clarity and the planning that has gone into nine of the last ten years. My purpose is clearer, my confidence greater, my resolve deeper and my energy higher. Fundamentally because I know where I’m going and what steps I must take to get there.
Ten years ago I decided that my top priority would be ‘working with people and developing their capability and effectiveness.’ That’s exactly what I’m doing. I do this as a pastor, I do this as a speaker and mentor, and I do it in my corporate thought leadership practice. At one level it’s all the same thing. Working with people that defined and directed my last decade. It has also served my last decade as it shaped what I did and what I didn’t do.
Rick Warren is famously quoted as saying “You can do less in one year than you think you can and more in ten years than you think you can.” Rick is right.
There are four steps to ensuring your next decade is your best ever. Just four. Direction, collaboration, responsibility and progress. Next week these will be unpacked and applied to your next (and best) decade.
#leadsmall – because when you do, big things can happen.