Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I could sure use a little definition…

…and not just in my muscles. Although that would be good, too.

Last fall I had the opportunity to attend MOPS Convention in Texas. It was my third year going to convention, and every bit as worthwhile as my first two. MOPS International does such a fantastic job of growing great women, mothers, and leaders. It is an amazing experience, and I look forward to heading to Nashville this fall for another great convention experience.

But I digress.

One of the keynote speakers last year was a man named Patrick Lencioni. Mr. Lencioni actually works in the corporate world, "helping organizations, and the people who work within them, become 'healthier' and more effective", according to the "About Us" section of his company's web site. He has quite an impressive resume. Patrick is also a family man. If I remember correctly, he and his wife have 4 or 5 children, and a life every bit as hectic as the rest of us. And somewhere along the line, he realized that a lot of the principles he was teaching to corporations could also be applied to family life as well.

OK, I know what you're thinking, because that's what I thought, too. "Yeah. This guy should meet my husband. Why do men think that families can be run like businesses? That's just not reality!" And no, they can't. But he's not asking us to run our families like a business. He's just trying to help us find some focus.

Now, before I get in trouble for any kind of copyright infringement, let me point you to his book, The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family. You can also download the model that is explained in his book here. If you are going to do that, it may be worthwhile to check out the other links on that page as well—I'm not sure how much sense that model will make without some context. But I do recommend the book and his concepts in general.

Anyway, Jon and I have been talking a lot lately about Mr. Lencioni's system (for lack of a better word) and how it applies to our family. One of the big things that we have been trying to determine is who we are as a family. In other words, what makes our family unique from anyone else? What defines us? And then we even drilled down farther: What defines us as individuals?

So here I am to ask you: How do you want to be defined? When people talk about you, how do you want to be described or remembered? How do you want your family to see you? Your friends? Your children?

And more importantly: Are the things that you want to be your defining characteristics the things that other people currently see?

It was quite eye-opening for me to consider the things that I feel are important for me to live by… and then realize that I'm not sure they are really being demonstrated in my life. So Jon and I both sat down and picked two characteristics/behaviors that we felt were important to us individually. Then we came up with specific goals that will help us to become those people we want to be. And then we agreed to talk about our goals and progress once a week—not any major meeting, just 5-10 minutes of "How's it going?"

And here's the ultimate goal: to not have these characteristics be goals anymore. I want these things to become so second nature that I don't have to put so much thought into them—yes, they may still require intention and effort, but they will just become a part of everyday life… like brushing my teeth.

So I challenge you this week. Take a hard look at who you want to be… and who you are right now. I, of course, think that you are all wonderful. J But I'm guessing that you have one or two things that you would really like to display in your character that you don't feel you're doing right now. Pray about it. Write it down. Set some goals—but limit them to just one or two, so you are not overwhelmed. And become that person that you want others to see.

Have a blessed week.


Cher said...

well said. gotta be the kind of person you want to be around! Stopping by from SITS..have a great day!

Courtney said...

I love this post. It really got me thinking & now I'm gonna have Mike read it later tonight.