Accountability & Blogging
If you're new to this blog, you may not have noticed, but I post my thoughts about a work/home/play topic every day. That's a LOT of days. Some days the musings are short; other times I develop a bigger point. More than one person has asked me how I come up with my topics. There's not a super simple answer, but there is ONE principle I follow that's worth mentioning. I didn't make up the principle, but I use it as if it's my own. The idea is this:
Write from your weaknesses.
I learned this principle from Billy's boss (Andy Stanley), and he says that if you teach from your weaknesses, you never run out of material. Well, I've found that to be true in writing as well. Most days I write about things I'm not doing well, think about the advice I should be listening to, and write accordingly. When I work through the topic, I find that my exercise in "self talk" frequently lands with others AND it makes me feel more accountable for following through on my own advice .
For example, on Monday I gave three ideas on how to make the day happy. The post was, more than anything, an exercise in telling myself to get over my Sunday night doldrums and enjoy the new week. I got some nice text messages and emails from people saying they appreciated the encouragement, and soon I was feeling "on the hook" to keep a positive attitude.
Funny how that post turned into a little circle. I wrote - you responded - I had to follow through. That's called accountability, and the process is very healthy for me. Truthfully, the advice was almost derailed on Wednesday with a 16-hour travel day that made me cranky (layovers, weather, rerouted/refueled, no gate, etc.), but then I remembered giving advice about how to redeem a "bad day," so I tried a dose of my own medicine. Here's what I learned:
1. Looking out the window really does help. I think it's about perspective. The world doesn't revolve around me, so I need to adjust my expectations. (Self-talk, remember?) This is what I saw when we we circling our unscheduled stop in Nashville. Nothing like experiencing a beautiful sunset to be reminded that God is bigger than my fatigue.
2. Spending time with great colleagues is worth the effort. I finally got to hear Bab's story about learning to make cowboy boots, I learned new things about Jen B & Michael K, PLUS I met a new Canadian, Jennifer, whom I might make a "partner in crime." Being with any ONE of those guys is worth the effort, so what's a few delays among friends?3.Detours bring surprising benefits. Because my flight was rerouted, I was able to ichat with the kids before bedtime. When you've been on the road for three days, a little face time is HUGE. Sure, I was tired and ready to be back in Atlanta, but I was surprisingly grateful for the extra connection (and technology!). Seeing the kids, even from a tarmac in Tennessee, was better than not seeing them at all. The detour was redeemed with a "win" for the family.
If you're like me, it's tempting to keep your weaknesses to yourself. My intuition tells me to write from a position of expertise. However, if I do that, I'm not challenging myself to grow.
Plus, I risk running out of material!