We’re constantly surrounded by noise.
News media, business and world leaders, acquaintances, family, friends...all telling us what we should think and what we should do. It’s an unending barrage of cluttered comments that strives to fully captivate our every thought. Some of these comments are gentle, kind, compassionate, loving, motivational, encouraging, and inspiring. Unfortunately, I believe we can all agree, the vast majority are angry, disrespectful, demeaning, divisive, deflating, demoralizing and destructive.
There is a misconception that just because we have the ability say something means we should say something. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
We all need to know how our thoughts and words are impacting others and ourselves. We need to be always on guard with what we are allowing into our minds, what we’re pondering, and how those thoughts are guiding our actions. As leaders we have an even greater responsibility to provide guidance and direction in a way that builds character, inspires growth, fosters relationships, brings positive results, and allows for a clear and compelling vision for the future. That is the hallmark of true leadership.
Psalm 1 from the Bible gives great wisdom on who we should and shouldn’t listen to. “Happy are those who don’t listen to the wicked, who don’t go where sinners go, who don’t do what evil people do. They love the LORD’s teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night. They are strong, like a tree planted by a river. The tree produces fruit in season, and its leaves don’t die. Everything they do will succeed.”Psalms 1:1-3 NCV
The brilliant first psalm contrasts the righteous and the wicked. As leaders, we need to take note because the differences between the two seems to be where they get their counsel! Look at how a foolish leader can be led astray by a corrupt inner circle:
The leader begins to browse for the wrong counsel
The leader begins to listen to the wrong voices
The leader joins the wrong inner circle.
A wise leader meditates on God’s Word day and night. Note the results of receiving counsel from the right inner circle:
Inward nourishment and refreshment
Fruitfulness and productivity
Strength and durability
Several years ago, I made the decision to take control of the counsel I was receiving and be the author of my life, not a victim. I essentially stopped watching the news and television. I became very intentional with the types of books and publications I was reading. I stopped “surfing” the web and just letting the browser take me where it wanted me to go. I pursued relationships with high-impact leaders in their families, organizations, and communities and let go of relationships that were negative or toxic.
Now, I know some may say that I’m foolish for not being “up to date” on the latest “goings-on”. But, I believe that while there are certainly consequences for the decisions made by those who have been selected to lead us, I am ultimately the captain of my ship and my results are based on the decisions I make, the actions I take, and the relationships I build. I choose to focus on what is “Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good and right. As it says in Proverbs, “Be careful what you do, and always do what is right. Don’t turn off the road of goodness; keep away from evil paths.” Proverbs 4:25-27 NCV.
In a world filled with negativity, back-biting, controversy, scandal, betrayal, worry and fear...I choose peace, kindness, mercy, forgiveness, patience, goodness, help, service, support, encouragement, inspiration, hope, healing.
For me, making a conscious choice every day to turn off the negative and instead fill my mind with the positive has made all the difference. What about you?
Live. Love. Lead. Leave a Legacy!