October has been a very strange month for me in a lot of ways. On the one hand, I have been furiously trying to get things done for my business: setting up accounts, developing programs, dealing with paperwork, etc. On the other hand I have let things like my weblogs and marketing slide. When you check your statistics and see that you’ve attracted no readers in nearly to weeks, it is pretty easy to be angry and frustrated with yourself. In fact, I went into overdrive, accusing and interrogating myself…
How could I let this slip for nearly two weeks?! What was I thinking?! I have so many ideas I need to develop and enhance before I can afford to rest – was paypal, banking, computer technology, and a silly speech competition really that important?! Because you have goals to meet that aren’t moving!
I am a true master at self-recrimination. I know exactly what to think and what memories to drudge up to make myself feel like hell, and will happily use them mercilessly. The funny thing is that I do and say things to myself that I would never dream of saying or doing to other people. I am generally a kind and gentle man – when it comes to other people.
After a few minutes of self-abuse, I realized just how absurd that is, and it reminded me of some material I was working on earlier, and just couldn’t articulate to my satisfaction about being the Leader in your own life. I started exploring it in my article “Being the Man with the Plan.”
What it boils down to is this: Every Man needs a Leader in his life: someone to motivate and engage him: someone who drives him to do his absolute best – and to make the most out of life.
Sometimes we are lucky, and we find that leader in a loved one, a co-worker, a doctor, a minister, or a friend… but for the most part we live in a leadership vacuum. When no one else steps in to lead, we have a choice of drifting unled, or stepping up and Leading Ourselves.
But being your own leader is not an easy job. You can be the hardest person you will ever be asked to lead. There is an Art to leading yourself that is similar to, but at times very different from leading others. Having worked for myself more often than not over the past 11 years or so, I have tried a lot of things that have worked, kept me moving, and kept me motivated… and twice as many things that have just made me unhappy, diminished my energy, and battered my health and relationships.
What I propose to share over the next few days is a collection of what I consider the core rules and practices in the Art of Leading Yourself in detail. They are:
- Be Kind to Yourself
- Be Respectful of Yourself
- Listen to Yourself
- Value Your Time
- Be Honest with Yourself
- Set Clear Goals for Yourself
- Evaluate Your Habits
- Nurture Yourself
- Motivate Yourself
- Reward Yourself
Of course, I am not just going to share ideas with you: I am going to make a point of challenging you to take immediate action. Stick with me and in 10 days, you’ll thank me for it.