Obligation or Opportunity

I am reading a small but powerful book called “You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader” by Mark Sanborn. That title says a lot, and I have always believed that, but I have not always lived it out. I grew up in the corporate world of banking and consulting and titles were very important. What level of Vice President you were gave you status and power. My goal was to become President and CEO. Great titles, right, but those titles didn’t make you a good leader, it just shows who is in charge.

Some of the best leaders I have seen were not the CEO or President. Great leaders don’t wait on a title to start leading. They take initiative and help get things done. They look for ways to make a difference and improve things. They make suggestions and give their opinion. They don’t back down when confronted, but take a stand for what they believe in. They persevere and are patient when they have to. They are humble and yet persistent. They get things done and work well with other people. They encourage team members and are willing to do the dirty work.

In Sanborn’s book he talks about opportunity versus obligation. This is what he writes “How do you live your life? As an obligation, or as an opportunity? Those who see life as an obligation want the task at hand to be done with as quickly as possible, with little regard to the outcome. The people who change the world around them-for themselves, their companies, communities, and families – rarely act from a sense of obligation. In fact, the people who act as leaders almost always act from a sense of incredible opportunity. They don’t interact with the world around them because they have to. They do so because they want to.”

So how are you viewing your circumstances, your job, your marriage, your church, your community, your school? Are these obligations or opportunities? When the phone rings do you respond to each call as an opportunity to impact someones life or an obligation to answer a question. The busier you get, the more pressure you are under, the more you tend to view things as an obligation and you miss many opportunities. As you feel the pressure and the stress your motivation goes down and your sense of obligation goes up.

To change your perspective maybe you need to simplify your life. Maybe you need to narrow your focus and re-evaluate your priorities. Viewing life as an opportunity to do your part in God’s bigger story will increase your motivation and drive. You see, God has a plan for your life and my life. Every day God gives us opportunities to make a difference, to be a miracle for someone, to be a light, to be an encouragement. Begin to look for opportunities to make a difference and pray for the courage to dive into God’s story.

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