Avoiding The “Zombie” Life


Have you ever had that scary moment where you have been driving home or to work, and you suddenly realize you don’t remember the last few miles?

This usually happens when your mind is preoccupied with other thoughts, and that little wave of fear hits you because you don’t recall any of the familiar sites, signs, etc. that you always see on this trip.

You’re basically running on autopilot – your body knows where to go but your brain is only somewhat conscious of what’s happening.

Now think about the last ten years of your life and ask yourself, “When was I on auto pilot?  Was I really thinking about what I was doing, or was I just doing things because that’s the habit I had formed and no longer needed to think about it?”

[This word is overused, but I’m going to use it anyway]  Were you being “Intentional” about your thoughts, words, and actions, or just doing what was habitual – or what everybody does?

I remember attending a seminar with world renowned leadership expert, John Maxwell, where he stated “when you get really busy, one of the first things you lose is the ability to just think.  You know, like think about what you are doing, and why you are doing it.”

He then encouraged everyone to take at least 2 hours out of each week to just think about their job/business, instead of doing it.

“When you get really busy, one of the first things
you lose is the ability to just think.
You know, like think about what you are doing,
and why you are doing it.”  –  
John Maxwell

It absolutely applies to parenting, and how we raise our children.
And it made a huge difference in my life when I put this into practice, and I hope you will consider doing the same.

You see, real breakthrough in our lives usually happens when we start assessing “Why” we are doing things.
Friends, words, careers, and all manner of habits – when analyzed – are often changed.
We kick ourselves for not doing it sooner, but we just hadn’t taken the time to think about it.

So here’s a very simple way to get started with your thinking:  make sure you have something to take notes when you do this!

Review your week, and pick a habit – like what you normally do after dinner.

Then, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. What is Good about this?
  2. Is there anything Bad or detrimental about this, or could it lead to a negative consequence?
  3. And now the biggie: Is there a Better Choice I could be making?

I have personally found in asking myself that last question, I have been able to really think about what I’m doing and make changes that have benefited my family, and sometimes my community.

Ask your son:  What would our community be like if everyone took time to ask themselves that question regularly?

So here’s some ways to present this to your son.

  1. Start by finding an example in your past where you have made a change in habit after really thinking about what you were doing. Then, tell him the story.  Describe how your habit was to _______ , but you stopped one day and really thought about what you were doing.  Once you did, you decided that was not consistent with your goals, so you made this change _________.
  1. Now describe the benefits you gained by making that change, and/or what negatives you avoided.
  1. Now let’s ask ourselves the 3 questions:  What’s Good, what’s Bad, is there a Better Choice?
  1. It is helpful if you already have something that you want to change now, and have already committed to a better choice so you can share with him, especially if he comes up with something.  Now you are working together, sharing your journey to make these better choices a reality.
  1. Establish a “check back” time each week to just spend 5 or 10 minutes discussing the better choices each of you are working on, and see how you can help encourage him.

I hope you enjoy the results of this exercise, and sharing this with your sons!

**Remember – the level of your relationship will determine his desire for your leadership.  So build the relationship, and he will seek your leadership

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