When looking to a leader for guidance, what gives you life? What traits do you see in that person that are worth looking up to? How does this person exemplify their leadership and what kind of change are they making in their lives and in their communities? These are all questions that we can ask in what we want to see in our leaders and in ourselves.
Growing up in the small town of Salina, KS I had many great examples to look up to. My father would lead our family in establishing values of responsibility, courage, hard work, and being on time. My mother would instill values of care, love, and service to others. Whether my siblings knew it or not, we were actively adopting those traits by our parents’ example. It is amazing how much we glean from the actions of the people we surround ourselves with. We develop ways of thinking that may be completely opposite of someone living across the street, across the town, or even across the country. Our surroundings or our “inner circle”, the closest people we surround ourselves with, have a major impact on the values that we create in the lives that we live. Maybe you have been living off bad examples or maybe you have been living off good examples. Being surrounded by good and bad examples has a large effect on our lives, but it is not the only thing that determines our destiny. Yes, our surroundings, our experiences, and our circumstances can determine who we are or what trajectory we go down in life, but we also have the ability to create our own destiny. All we have to do is design the life we want to live.
I do not know what you have been through or what made you who you are today. I do know that you can make choices in your life that will get you where you have always dreamed of. What goals do you have for yourself? What direction are you currently heading towards? What example do you want to live out for others for them to be positively influenced by the life you live? In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “Life isn’t about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself.” You are capable, you have the courage, and you have all the knowledge you need within you. Go out there and get it! Be the example that you want others to follow to live a more positive, impactful, and authentic life!
Lead your life,
Carl currently resides in Wichita, KS where he coaches and consults businesses, community groups, and individuals with Exemplify.