Man I love my coffee! Nothing like waking up and pouring that perfect cup to start the day. Following this “Cup of Joe” with great conversation can be the highlight of the morning. This can fill me with goodness and a sense of joy for hours. I am conditioned to fix my coffee the exact same way, but I do realize that how it is surrounded will determine how much can be poured and how long it will stay warm. As simple as opening up the cabinet and choosing a mug in the morning; we open our heart and mind for critical messaging each day. Our daily life and team culture works much the same and our surroundings will effect what is poured. Each day, we must choose our mug wisely and fill the heart carefully…
Fill YOUR Heart… Our minds and hearts have 24 hours a day to be filled with thoughts and relationships. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this darkness…” Everyday we are in battle for our own mind, heart, and purpose. There is a direct connection with how we feel about ourselves and what we listen to. What do we tell ourselves? Who do we listen to? What do I listen to? The coffee fills me with warmth, goodness, and joy. What are you filling your cup with each day? We can become paralyzed when we fill ourselves with the negative through our own thoughts, relationships, social media, etc. Negativity traps you in a world or even a prison cell that says there is no hope, there is nothing good coming, and tries to change your identity. Negativity puts you into a rut of being timid, complacent, unproductive, and a downward spiral mindset.
I have a great question for you… Who or what is telling you the truth in your life? Who or what is telling you the ridiculous and insignificant stuff in your life? The simple identification of the truth people and truth sources will matter big time for your growth. Do not push these people or sources away by being stubborn or prideful. Find a way to meet with core people, find a way to read, find a way to listen to purposeful messaging (podcasts, music, etc)… You need to arm yourself everyday with the truth! The truth that you were born for special things, there is hope for a great future, you are blessed, God has your back, you are loved, you are a difference maker, and people need you. The truth will not imprison you but set you free to maximize your potential and impact this world. The truth doesn’t prevent the storm but it does not lock you in it either. The truth keeps you focused on the light and guides you to the other side. Learn to fill your cup to the top with warmth and goodness, something you can’t wait to drink. The negative will just sit in your cup, stay cold, and mold the bottom. Your life is way too precious and important for all the junk. Use the mug that says, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you’ve imagined.” Have a mug you can refill easily with the truth, not one that you have to scrub all the mildew, junk, and negative out. Check yourself and make sure positive is being poured daily. Your surroundings will determine how much and how long it lasts.
Fill THEIR Heart… What is chosen to surround and fill within our program culture will have a direct correlation to how our team feels, their relationships, functionality, and performance value. Studies even show that school systems are better investing into character development than in reward systems for behavior. People are finding more and more that feeding the heart has the greatest impact. We know that in coaching, that if we feed the heart, we are preparing them for a better life. We find rewards in winning, success, monetary value, prizes, leisure activities, etc… Rewards are a great motivator, however they only affect a momentary behavior in our life. Point being, is that if our culture is only built around rewards, it will only last for the short term. If these rewards are not present, then what do we have? If you only focus on winning and you do not win, then you have nothing… Feeding the heart and building character effects you for the long term. In this world we are constantly seeking rewards (and there is nothing wrong with rewards), but do not let your culture be as concerned with a rewarding behavior as the heart.
I have a great question for you as a leader… What truths are being surrounded and told in your program? What junk or negative do you need to clean out of your program? Arm your people with the truth! The truth that each player was born for special things, there is hope for a great future, they are blessed, God has their back, they are loved, they are a difference maker, and people need them. Focus on building the heart and the behavior and rewards will follow. Remember that when a behavior is negative, it is usually a result of a heart issue. If we are always focused on rewarding behaviors and performance, we may get a conditional response, but the heart may never really change. For example, most players know how to act when the coach is around, but how do they act when the coach is not around? How is your locker room without your reinforcement? When we have the right hearted people in the locker room the desired behavior will follow. If we are a leader of an organization, we have a great responsibility to influence others for a lifelong impact, not just for the momentary good. They need our reinforcement, but they need to become self-sufficient, self-motivators, and selfless people with purpose. Use the mug that says, “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” Have the mug in your culture that everyone wants to use… If you don’t, they may just go find a mug somewhere else. Rewards may not always be there, but the heart always will. Remember when you feed your heart, you are armed to feed their heart. They are waiting to be led and your purpose is bigger that any momentary success. Jeremiah 3:15 says, “Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.” So choose your mug wisely, you are in your position for a reason, it is time to guide with the heart!