How long can you avoid the smell of putrefying potatoes? Until my son Josh bravely did the detective work, asking himself, "Where is that stench coming from?" the rest of us just went on with business as usual. I just figured the smell was in my own head... and didn't even stop to do anything. My wife emptied the trash. My other sons made comments. How long could I ignore and pretend the stink @ home wasn't real? Could I go about my business and pretend it didn't affect me or others?
Whether we're aware of it or not, the truth is that "stink @ home" follows each of us into our workplace... into leading others, into our ability to turn dream into reality. It's not as if you can show up to work, turn off the argument with the "honey," the challenge with the money or the relationships with the kids that are crummy. You bring YOU into your calling, your dreams and your leadership roles. Stink left unaddressed for a long time just doesn't go away! Someone must be willing to actively search for the root of the problem - then address it... leaking brownish potato "juice" and all!
While a pastor in Boston, I once showed up to teach a message to our church on "love and community" after having a "wonderful" "discussion" with my beloved wife. (OK, so it bordered on an altercation!) Guess, what? IT WAS REALLY HARD TO TEACH OTHERS HOW TO LOVE THAT DAY! I had ten fingers on each hand pointing back at me... YOU UH HYPOCRITE, DUDE!
Having been up close and personal to many people, I have come to see that I'm not the only one: leaving stink @ home unaddressed really affect their work, their peace of mind and their souls. It's just hard to bifurcate ("divide into two parts) life that way. YOU BRING YOU TO WHAT YOU DO. SORRY! (Me too!) And when we first bring peace and address the stench @ home, we do everyone a favor... most of all you!
So how to get the stink out... before it's too late? Here are some ideas:
Do something special with your family this weekend... including having a "real" talk.
Bring up and talk about the "rotten potatoes" issue you've been avoiding rather than pretending no one else smells it.
Realize that others have "rotten potatoes @ home" too and take comfort that you're not alone.
Plan a date with your spouse.. your child... your parent...
Pray about the stink. Seek God's guidance on how to get it out of your home.
Meet with a counselor or coach to address your "stinkin" issues.
Join a group of other leaders who even talk about their stink in real ways.
Proactively keep stink out by educating yourself on family and relationship issues. (Read a book, go to a conference, read about it online)
Read Gregg Stutt's post (republished on this site) on the "45 ways to slowly kill your marriage." Then pick one or two to focus on.
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