ba·rom·e·ter  (bə-rŏm′ĭ-tər)

1. An instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure, used especially in weather forecasting.
2. Something that registers or responds to fluctuations; an indicator.

When I did a Lifeplan retreat seven years ago, it clearly indicated that the life God was intending for me was supposed to be focused more on working with individuals leaders and their teams.  It was clear that making a ridiculously big pile of money into more money, as important and formative as that was to my employer’s financial viability, was not my appointed task.

One of the confirmations of that was the initiation I had received into working with individual leaders over the prior few years.  My vocational life primarily consisted of sitting, headset on, in front of a bank of screens from market open to market close.  A few years before Lifeplan, however, my calendar started to fill with breakfast, lunch, evening, and weekend one-on-one meetings.

During that season, I was regularly meeting with 5-10 people a week.  300 or so meetings a year.  Those meetings were the stuff of initiation and invitation.  I felt more alive in those conversations than even the most successful trade ever felt…even though those trades or programs sometimes were in the billions of dollars.

I felt clear, focused, and powerful in those meetings.  I felt the manifestation of God’s intention for my life and His power flowing through me.  When you offer in His strength and under His direction, really powerful things can happen in even a simple conversation.  I love working with teams, helping them define a powerful future, and creating a strategic plan to help them get there,

but if my calendar doesn’t have a regular diet of
one-on-one meetings, I am not at my best.
It has become a barometer for me.

The honor and privilege of hearing someone’s story, getting to the bottom of an issue, challenging a position, and asking the right question (one that will produce real and measurable change), is one of the most invigorating things I have ever known.

We are all better at doing all the other stuff, when we spend regular time doing the things we were most created to do.  There is a clarity and confidence that rises in me when I am regularly doing the things that make me feel most alive.  (This is another post for another day, but this is actually the place where God is most glorified through your life as well.)

Another barometer for me, is writing these posts.  They have been posted weekly for over five years and twice-weekly for almost one.  I am often weeks or even months ahead.  So many complete in excess of the posting schedule, that I often can’t remember what a particular post was about when someone references a “current” one that I actually wrote weeks before.

But when I checked the gauge on this barometer this morning, I didn’t like the reading I found.  Not only was I out of posts, the last time I had written anything was a week and a half ago.  

Time to practice what I preach and not only honor the time in my weekly calendar for one-on-one meetings, but for writing as well.  

Time to honor the “ideal week” I challenge so many others to practice.

Time to carve out space for the necessary things that makes everything else make sense.

  • What makes your heart come alive?
  • What do you do where you feel the most power or impact from your life?
  • What is the thing you must have time for in your schedule that makes all the other things make sense?
  • When is the last time you spent time doing that?  What does the barometer reading look like?
  • Don’t have good answers to any of those questions?  Join us for our next Lifeplan retreat in May.