We have lots of time for it, if we seize the day. Exercising or sitting at stoplights. Waiting for an Uber or an airplane. In a quiet place like a church, awake in the middle of the night, or the sanctuary of nature. All of these moments are an excellent opportunity for intentional reflection or meditation. Just as fruits and vegetables are good for your diet, quiet time alone to reflect and re-set is good for leadership.
Personal leadership development
One of the most popular personal development tools we use at Good Leadership Enterprises is a 15-question self-assessment called the “Good Leadership Benchmark.” The first half of the questions relate specifically to The Seven Fs, measuring satisfaction on faith, family, finances, fitness, friends, fun, and future. The additional questions measure the degree to which leaders are embracing healthy self-development strategies.
The question that elicits the most group discussion is #12: I regularly make the time for meditation or reflection to stay in tune with my sense of direction. The most frequent question: “What do you mean by meditation or reflection…does that include prayer?” Yes, that includes prayer. It also includes the “quiet mind time” for people who run, bike or swim for exercise. And people who read before bedtime. It’s an important time to settle the mind and soul and to recharge.
Ancient wisdom, always relevant for me
The Egyptians and the Chinese figured out 4000 years ago that good leaders have a connection between mind, body, and soul. The longer I live, the more I understand the importance of that connection. Last week, I flew to Los Angeles and back within 36 hours – a typical trip in my line of work. Specifically, on this trip, I left intending to seize the quiet time to reflect and meditate on my sense of direction. In the Batz family, we have a lot of moving pieces in our personal and professional lives. So, I rejected the lure of my smartphone, ignored the free movies on the airplane, and decided to have dinner by myself.
Today, I’m feeling focused and re-committed. And I realize the more things change, the more time I need to make for reflection and meditation to maintain my sense of direction.
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