I have nothing to bring to the world other than who I am. My greatest contribution will come not through the things I do, but through the kind of person I become as I pursue those things that make me unique. I will be ruthlessly dedicated to finding those things and staying true to them. I will neither take too much credit for my strengths, nor heap too much blame upon myself for my flaws, for I have chosen neither and am responsible only for developing the former and doing thebest I can to eradicate and/or live with the latter.
The things in life I enjoy the most, and that matter most to me, are:
- Family – Spending time with my wife and children
- Speaking – Teaching and preaching
- Mentoring – Adding value to the lives of others and preparing people to carry on my legacy after I am gone
- Music – Listening to it, writing it, performing it
- Spiritual pursuit – Prayer, Bible study, spiritual reading, pursuit of other disciplines
- Leadership – Building my church into a strong, dynamic organization that changes lives forever
- Fitness – Keeping my body healthy so I can be productive for as long as possible
Since these things are what matter most to me, I will be intentional about doing them as often/well as I can, prioritizing them in my planning. I will see life as a process and remind myself constantly that joy in life is to be derived more from that process than from the end result.
I will provide strong leadership, love, and encouragement to my wife and children through:
- Availability – Allowing them to help me create my calendar, and being home when I need to be.
- Flexibility – Responding to their needs first.
- Stability – Being the person I want my children to emulate and my wife to respect.
- Responsibility – Constantly striving to achieve balance between home-related tasks and actual time with family.
- Humility – Serving in love.
- Dependability – Keeping my word; fulfilling my marriage vows not just in letter but in spirit; honoring my commitments, implicit and explicit, to my children.
I will be a lifelong learner. I will never stop seeking out books, conferences, and relationships that will contribute to learning. I will respect knowledge and will never use it to demean, devalue, or dehumanize others. I will teach with enthusiasm, and preach with conviction. I will bring courage and integrity to bear on what I know, saying what I believe I must say regardless of the potential cost to myself. I will read as though my life depends on it. Because it does.
I will pour my life into other people, investing in them to help them see their own potential. I will avoid the temptation to manipulate them, but will approach mentoring unselfishly, accepting and loving mentorees without reservation and without condition.
I will write, play, and listen to music with all my heart, recognizing that it is not only a source of great joy but also a main channel through which God beckons me, whispers his love to me, and shows me the beauty of what he has made. I will take every opportunity to listen to music, to play it for others, and to write the most honest songs I can.
I will view my spirituality as a means of growing closer to God and knowing His heart over a lifetime. I will remember that God loves me, even when I am finding it hard to love myself. I will seek God consistently through the practice of spiritual disciplines. I will find and walk on my unique spiritual pathway. I will neither exalt myself above others, nor demean myself below them.
I will lead others with the integrity that comes from self-leadership. I will lead by example, and hold others accountable to do the same. My leadership will spring from my convictions that people 1) need leadership; and 2) deserve honest, capable leaders who love them. I will never expect my organization to take any hill that I am not willing to charge first.
I will keep my body healthy and strong because it is key to making sure I am able to do almost everything else that matters to me. I will follow the advice of my doctors. I will maintain a proper diet. I will get regular physicals. I will not allow fear of bad news to keep me from seeking treatment when I need it.
I will appreciate and experience life in all its fullness. I will admit feelings of fear, but will act with courage. I will not run from my demons, but will not dine with them either. I will accept myself for who I am. I will tap my potential to its fullest extent. I will write, and ask others to read; speak, and ask others to listen; lead, and ask others to follow. I will never give up the challenge of finding out what it means to be me, to live and serve with the gifts I have been given, to suffer with dignity, and to live every moment of my life for the One who gave it to me.