LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“Plan for Great Days”
by Tom Goodman
August 4, 2005

“How we live our days is how we live our lives.”
— Annie Dillard

In his TIPS newsletter of June 26, Philip Humbert reflected on that Dillard quote and wrote, “I've often joked that while I may not know how to live a great life, I can (usually) create a good day, and if I just put a few thousand good days back to back, that may come close enough to a great life.  So the question is not how to have a great life over 80 years, but how to have a few thousand good-enough days, back to back.”

Humbert laid out the following suggestions:

Plan each day.  “After coaching hundreds of high achievers, I am convinced most of us do not put nearly enough time into deciding exactly how we want to live each day.  We don't choose our priorities, affirm our values, and make hard choices about how we will—and will not—use our time.  I use a 3x5 card to list my priorities each morning.  I think it helps.”

Surround yourself with great people.  “There's an old proverb that says, 'Show me the five people you spend the most time with, and I'll show you your future.'  To some degree, of course, we are all surrounded by people we did not choose.  But we also have the responsibility to choose our friends and to associate with the best, most inspiring people we can find.  Choose wisely.”

Write your biography in advance.  “We tend to live our lives in accordance with a myth or story we tell ourselves, so why not tell yourself a GREAT story?  Write the 'script' for your own life, and read it often.  Think about it and re-read it daily.  Where are you going?  What will your legacy be?  Too often we get caught in the busy-ness of daily living and it pays to review and affirm your dreams every single day.”

Read and learn from the great people in history.  “It may be true that 'experience is the best teacher' but I've noticed that it also charges the highest tuition.  Life is short and we simply don't have time to make (and recover from) all the mistakes in life, so learn from smart people who have gone ahead and left a trail for us to follow.”

Share the dream.  “Tell your loved ones, your best friends and trusted associates where you're going in life so they can support you.  We all need cheerleaders in life, and the people around you will usually (not always—choose wisely!) offer help and encouragement if they know what you're trying to accomplish.  FDR had his 'brain trust.'  Most successful people have had a 'master-mind group.'  Every sports team has cheerleaders and so should you.”

I like his suggestions.  In your role as a business or church leader, take a moment today to review your life against his five insights.  What kind of days are you stringing together?  How we live our days is how we live our lives.


Philip Humbert’s website is at: www.philiphumbert.com.

Identity: Who Are You?  As a Hillcrest leader, plan now to attend all five sessions of our spiritual growth conference August 14-17 (10:45 a.m. Sunday morning, and then 7:00 p.m. each night Monday through Wednesday).  Tierce Green returns to Hillcrest with his excellent music and excellent messages.  We’ll focus on who we are in Christ.  Remember: You have to make time for spiritual renewal because you’ll never have time.  So carve out time for this important back-to-school event!

Discipleship Fair.  Sunday night, August 21, in the MPC.  We want to introduce you our first set of classes in the Hillcrest Institute of Lifelong Learning (“The H.I.L.L.”).  Come meet the teachers, thumb through the workbooks, and register for a class.  Most classes have limited enrollment, so don’t miss your chance to enroll!

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