“Ten years from now, you’ll be the same person you are today, except for the people you meet, the books you read, the places you go, and the things you memorize.” -Jay Strack
There’s so much truth in the simplicity of this quote. I have been continually challenged by this idea as a leader. I am who I am, but certain things in my life will change. These changes come as a result of decisions that I make, and these four ways are huge impact areas that make a difference, especially in the life of a leader.
- The people you meet – As a leader, you are constantly meeting new people. Some of these people are going to be in your life for a short time, and others will stick around for the long haul. You never know who you’ll meet that might just change your life or your perspective.
- The books you read – This is one of my favorite parts of this quote. I love to read, and books are not only for education or spiritual growth, but they can be an escape to another time or place. They can open your eyes to new scenarios and places, and there’s so much you can learn and be challenged by through reading books. One book that has really challenged me in the last couple of months is The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.
- The places you go – I absolutely love to travel. My experiences traveling domestically as well as internationally have broadened my perspective, caused me to look at my life and the world differently, and opened my eyes to other cultures. Whether it be backpacking in Europe, serving children in a slum in Kenya, or sitting at the beach with my family, my travel experiences have been life-changing. My pastor often says, “make sure you have your passport ready – you never know when God might call you to go!” Such truth. Be ready!
- The things you memorize – One of my friends was telling me today that her kids are like sponges – they can memorize anything! The more that we put to memory, whether it be Scripture, information, history, or facts, the more knowledgeable we are and the more we’re able to share with others. Memorizing doesn’t get any easier as time passes, but it’s important that we work at it! This year, I’m working to memorize at least 2 passages of Scripture each month.
What are some ways that these four aspects have changed your life as a leader? What people have made an impact? What books have challenged you? What places would you recommend that others go? What have you memorized that has strengthened you as a leader?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Mary Margaret is an Event Project Coordinator on the Church Education Ministry team at LifeWay. She works alongside Chris Adams and coordinates training events for women’s ministry leaders like YOU Lead and the Women’s Ministry Forum. Mary Margaret has served several churches in the area of Girls Ministry and she recently completed a Master of Arts in Christian Education at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In her spare time, she writes for Story of My Life - her personal blog.