Whew! Happy new year, happy new decade! What a whirlwind several months has it been for me. Where to begin…
My last blog in early December announced a foreshadowing of major changes coming into my world. What very few knew at the time was that I had made a court date to legally change my last name. Out with the old, and in with the new!
Shortly after that, through some divine intervention in mid-December, I landed a new opportunity. Jackpot! Someone wants to pay me to learn and help others learn? Yes, please! All day, every day! I have already had the opportunity to become certified to facilitate The 6 Critical Practices of Leading a Team(TM) from Franklin Covey and am enjoying each day. #blessed
January was bittersweet; new beginnings coupled with difficult goodbyes. Anya was a bright spot to so many, the sweetest spirit who was always happy to see you and always wiggling. Only 10 years young. Helping her cross over was the kindest, and hardest, thing we could do. Rest sweetly baby girl.
Now 6 weeks into the new year, I find myself wondering where the time has gone. Where does time go? Are we too busy paying attention to other things, riding the coat tails of life to really be present to each day? Are we missing the moments that count or are we savoring them? Am I the only one who looks at their phone to confirm what day of the week it is?
Doing research for some leadership content I am developing, I ran across The Gift of Struggle: Life Changing Lessons about Leading. The poignancy of the book, especially looking back on 2019, is palpable. The stories highlight small, often seemingly insignificant, moments can create shift for people. Everything is neutral until we assign meaning to it.
Which brings me to the question that stopped me in my tracks. The author argued that the most important question we should be asking ourselves as leaders, the only question that really matters, is this: Who am I becoming? It’s arresting in its simplicity, is it not? Profound.
I found myself ruminating on the question. “Who am I becoming?” Who is Paula Grace?
I am someone at the beginning of a new chapter – in life, in work – and someone who is becoming unapologetically more comfortable with who God made her to be. I am someone becoming more comfortable with the idea of taking up space – figuratively and literally – and not apologizing for it. I am someone more comfortable with knowing that my voice, my talent, and my viewpoint are valuable and need to be heard. I am someone at the beginning of renaissance, who knows her future is bright albeit imperfect.
One of the Critical Practices Franklin Covey teaches is that a leader needs to manage their time and energy first so they can be a better leader for others. You know, the whole “secure your own oxygen mask first” thing. What if every leader – every parent, every politician, every church deacon, every civil servant, every person – took responsibility to occasionally pause their worlds for reflection and asked themselves “Who am I becoming?” What impact would that have on their perception of themselves or their sphere of influence? What if reflection allowed them to course correct before relationships were damaged and trust was broken?
I never used to look at struggle as a gift, and to be honest I’m not sure I do now either, but I have come to view it as a vehicle to better perspective and increased appreciation for what I do have that is good in my life. Struggle will always be a part of our lives. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will come. Acknowledging it alongside our journey, instead of dreading or fighting it, may make it less traumatic when it arrives. It will help make those little moments we take for granted even sweeter when we look back and realize what we went through paved the way to our future.
Use each day wisely. We have 24 hours to create meaning, for ourselves and others. Let today be the day you ask yourself, “Who am I becoming?” and create shift in your own world.
New year. Same you. Different mindset.
QOTD: “Who are you becoming?” ~ Bobby Herrera
Share: Tell me truly, who are you becoming? Do you have the courage to ask yourself that question, and face the answer?