Leaders are people who see ahead. The good ones are praised for being visionary, and taking action before others even see problems on the horizon. But, like every other gift, your strength can become your weakness when it is taken to the extreme. This is readily apparent in the area of vision. To have vision you need a rich interior life. You need an active imagination. You need curiosity that leads to information gathering. In normal times these traits are helpful to every leader, but in times of unprecedented crisis like we face with the coronavirus, they can lead to depression, discouragement, and mental fatigue. This is because we sometimes misuse our gift of imagination and let it run away with our minds creating catastrophic fears that paralyze us. We see worldwide collapse when the truth is we are only facing a temporary crisis.
Here’s what I do when my imagination tries to push me down a path of fear. I ask myself three questions to bring my mind under control.
- What do I actually know for certain? Versus what am I imagining.
- What is actually happening right now in my life? Versus what I fear may be coming.
- What can I actually do right now? Versus what do I want to do?
The key word is actually. It is the time-tested strategy of remaining in the present.
- You must discipline yourself to only think about what you know to be true in the moment, not what you fear will appear.
- Jesus Christ said that we must live in the present day, that its troubles were enough to deal with.
So lead with what you know, not what you fear. When we stay with what we know, it’s almost always manageable.
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