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Drift occurs when we have too much to do, and paralysis sets in.

There comes a time when you realize that, as your day comes to an end, more things remain undone than done. You only hope that you left undone the right things.

This daily challenge takes its toll, leave behind a “numbing” effect. Did we just live this past day only reacting to all the demands, or did we really live.

As this continues, we confront a new reality that we are doing more and more, and getting less and less done.  And we carry the emotional weight and weariness of all that is “not happening vs. happening” into the next day.  What often begins to occur in my own journey, and those I coach, is emotional fatigue.  I have given a label for spiral of events; I call it “DRIFT.”

DRIFT is real.

DRIFT starts subtly, but does just what the word implies; it moves us gradual, off-course, leaving us dead-in-water far from our intended destination. Our caring for all the good things has robbed us of the best. Trying to address all the right things has actually caused us to veer away from life’s intended direction.

Maybe it’s time to step back and deconstruct the whole process.

Here are FIVE WAYS I have used in my leadership to break me free, shake myself out of the funk of DRIFT, and begin to move/live again. Here are FIVE Ways to help get you and I back on track.

1. Invest in you, and your renewal.

For me this is a “biggie.” My barometer of whether I have drifted into “DRIFT” is to honestly look at how much time I give to me, my development, and my time with the Lord. Renewal costs. I do not have the time. And, I do not plan those times into my schedule. But you are the resource. Our King thinks time with you and Him is worth it.

2. Find your way to see life from above.

I do a lot of flying. Sometime in my flight weariness I just look out the window of the airplane and remind myself how big our world is, and how small are my problems. DRIFT can be disrupted by regaining the “big-picture.” To live more sovereignly then situationally.  I have a tool that can help called the “Every Strategy.” (It’s Free)

3. Resist the feeling to having to locked things in.

Your development is not static, its a dynamic. Resist the culture and pressure that states you are supposed to have your future all figured out! You don’t!  The issue is alignment to how God is already at work. Ask God how is He at work, and how you can join Him in that work; “What’s your best understanding TO DATE.”

4. No one gets to clarity alone.

We have been wired to go together. Courage  (I believe) comes as a result of discovery in the context of community. We know in our “heads” that iron-sharpens-iron (Prov. 27:17), but many of us still fly solo. Each of us needs coaches and mentors who can help draw insights out, and place new truth within.

5. Become an expert learner.

To lead well means that you and I must learn well. There is now so much information and opportunity around to learn that it comes down to whether we really are committed to learn, or just tell. Learners grow, tellers seek to control and convince. More and more, people want to be with learners as opposed to tellers.

These are FIVE practical ways I use to counteract the DRIFT that I have seen creeping into my own life and leadership. They are sourced in the behaviors of leaders who have gone before us and finished well. (Research: Dr. J. Robert Clinton)

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Love to hear what you think.

© Terry Walling 2013