Sometimes I think our hopes, dreams and expectations are just too small, lack a sense of wonder and a sense of dreaming. What if we truly wanted to look toward what we could become, what we might be able to become instead of settling for something much less. I have been recently reintroduced to the idea of flourishing. Let me explain.
I was in the middle of a season of discernment, asking questions, learning, trying to capture where a few initiatives were really heading and how I might support them. There was nothing unusual yet, as these are pretty normal activities for me.
But this time, it was so very different. This season became a time of great new learning about what was possible. Specifically, what would be required if I was to truly flourish and how might it unfold? What would be different? What kind of energy could it really bring to my life, my calling, my friends? The entire process took on new life. My standard was not just to get things done. It was not a check off box at the bottom of the form of life. No, the bar was simply higher. The questions were different.
They looked like this: How might I thrive, grow, prosper, blossom and bloom right where God had placed me? How could I take my mind and my focus off the future and the past and just be comfortable and satisfied with the present? How might I become even more thankful for all the blessings of life? As a friend, who in my life really needed a bit of encouragement to begin to flourish? As a leader, how might I help those around me to flourish? What could that look like?
These are propelling questions, the type of questions that truly move you forward into a completely new direction. They are amazingly enjoyable to reflect upon, provide new energy and are filled with possibility. The amazing thing is that they have remained with me and my learning has continued. So, as it might be helpful to you – here is what I have learned so far:
• Flourishing really is possible. Don’t move too fast on this point. Slow down. Do you believe it?
• I need to be overwhelmingly comfortable with just being myself. I am uniquely created. I need to live into that authentic person.
• Embrace my limits. A good friend once reminded me that “God is God and I am not.” I wrote that one down and need it often.
• Learn something new every single day. It’s my fault if I fail in this area–new ideas, new learning are all around us.
• Be present–in what is before me. Focus on the person before me, take time for a story, engage deeply in what is important.
• Living in community matters. We just were not made to live alone, but rather we were made to do life together.
• Stop doing what drains me. Are there things I can do without? Material possessions which require huge investments of time or energy. Am I controlled by poor habits? Am I wrapped up with resentment or hurt that I should let go of? We all know what drains us, now the question is how to stop it.
• Finally, laugh. A lot. Really. It’s great fun.
More to come, I am sure on this list. In the meantime, I am fully engaged, radically energetic, overwhelmingly curious and deeply observing what I will learn next. How about you? Wanna flourish? Go for it. Take the time to reflect, consider and move forward. Go ahead: whatta you waiting for?
Reach out if you want to start a conversation.
Steve Jeffrey is the Co-Founder/Guild Master of ForgeWorks and is passionate about building great foundations in people and non-profit organizations. His work is focused on innovation, strategy, affiliations and cultural alignment.