Posts Tagged ‘Grounding’

My 3 WordsAt the start of last year I decided to pick three words that would be my mental framework for how I shape my days.  After much thought, I decided to choose Ground, Stretch and Reflect as my three words.  As I wrote then, “A conceptual framework isn’t a goal or a detailed plan. It’s more like a mental structure by which you bring order and organization.”

Having lived by the framework for 2012, I decided that it fits me really well and that there is no need to be creative or different and come up with a new set of words for 2013.  So I share with you again my three words, this time with a year’s experience behind the framework.

The Ground word means that I will spend time daily grounding myself in that which is most important and foundational to me.  Since that is my Christian faith, it requires me to spend time in basic Christian disciplines such as Bible study, memorization, and prayer.  Ideally, I would get up early and do this before the rest of my day, but the truth is that I’ve always been more of a night person than a morning person, so it’s just easier for me to take some evening time to do this.  My periodic attempts to set the alarm back an hour just don’t seem to last for too many weeks.  The danger in waiting until evening is that I get involved with other things and don’t get it done.  If it’s important to me, though, I will find the time.

Stretch means that I will try to excel at what I do throughout the day – not just get by with the minimum expectations that others may have for me or that I may have for myself.  If I have talents and passions, they ought to be stretched to the max – no excuses – be they work related or personal endeavors.

To Reflect means that I will also take time at the end of each day to ponder what has happened and try to make sense of it all.  It meant last year that I wrote a daily lesson learned, and I will continue that in many of my every-other-day blog posts here for 2013.  But even on days when I don’t write about it, I need to do it.  Asking questions like the following helps:  What happened today that taught me something?  What did I do well that I’m proud of?  What did I drop the ball on?  Did I make a positive difference in someone else’s life today?  Did I treat others around me the way I want them to treat me?  Was I someone to whom my Lord would say “Well done, my good and faithful servant”?

The framework of Ground, Stretch, Reflect works for me, so I’m staying with it.  Do you have such a framework yourself?  If so, what is it?  If not, think about it.

How do you stay grounded?  I just conducted a Google search on “staying grounded” that returned over 4.7 million results.  I suspect the phrase means wildly different things to different people, depending on the context.

For me, being grounded refers to first knowing who I am at my core – knowing what is most important to me – and then doing things that reinforce that foundation.  It is that second part of reinforcing that helps remind me of the knowing.

In one of my earliest lessons learned this year, I shared my framework for each day – the three words “ground,” stretch,” and “reflect.”  The idea is to begin each day grounded in who I am, stretch myself to excel beyond what is needed just to get by, and then reflect on the day’s experience by capturing a lesson learned for this blog.

While taking a week off work this week to stay home and read and write, I thought it was time for more intentional grounding.  To that end, several hours per day this week are devoted to reading various books of the Bible along with the study notes accompanying them in the ESV Study Bible.  If I consider my Christian faith to be the most important grounding aspect of my life, then it’s important that I spend some extended time – not just occasional, brief moments – in that which defines what it means to be Christian.

Last night I just finished reading the Gospel of Luke.  For the Christian, nothing grounds one more than being reminded of the full account of the life, death and resurrection of Christ as told by eyewitnesses and others from that day.  It has a way of cutting through the extraneous frill that so easily clutters our lives, and it drives home the basics of who we are, who God is, and what He has done for us that we could not do for ourselves.  It challenges us to put aside distractions that take us away from our life’s purpose.

I don’t know what you consider your core foundation or grounding to be, but whatever it is, I hope you take the time to regularly reinforce it.

Leap year lesson #254 is Stay grounded.