Greetings from Guru Manor:
Most of us have two agendas that compete with each other for time and resources: one for a business life, and the other for our personal life.
It seems in today’s business world virtually everyone has an agenda. Some are transparent: they want to make a deal, gain new business, help someone with a need, or add a service or plan that will help a group or an industry. Yet others hide their true agenda in the shadows, or worse, in plain sight. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, they may say and do the right things, yet they are simply waiting for the opportunity to sabotage a deal in order to serve self-interest. By its very nature, if an agenda must be hidden, then it must naturally conflict with your own vision and core belief, or that of your group.
It is difficult to determine what is more repulsive, the egregious acts of a two-faced manipulator, or the disturbing propensity for good and honest souls to open themselves to sophisticated hucksters. God blesses us with a will that craves the satisfaction of bonding with our fellow man for the greater good, yet that same altruistic instinct can be the fodder that fuels the dubious processes of anyone with a hidden agenda.
For me, life is pretty simple: in business I want to be the best. I wake up each day and work as hard as I can at my craft, with my goal to be a little bit better at my job than I was the day before. I want to make one new contact, learn something new…anything that can take me one more step down my path.
In my personal life I want to work just as hard; I want to be a better husband to my wife of 26 years, Page, and a better father to our kids, Wade and Savanna. Most importantly I want to get just one step closer to my Lord, as he is my hero.
But what happens when these two agendas take different paths? The long hours at work take you away from that precious family, or you spend so much time with the family that you neglect the necessary development of your profession. The answer seems simple: we need balance in life. There is a saying I recently heard that I will apply to life starting today, “Many of us work all year long to be able to escape life for a week or two. Why not build a life you need not escape from?”
We must begin by weeding out the hidden agendas that invade our lives. We all make contacts and alliances in business. Many times on face value you have the same goals and common interests, and you quickly become friends. The reality is often that the relationship is one-sided, and in the end the alliances divide or fracture other facets of your life. The same can happen to us in our personal lives. That new friend or confidant may have a hidden agenda. Take time to foster and develop your own agenda, nurturing only those relationships that truly reflect the values, needs and goals that populate your own agenda.
In-fighting has brought down great castles, empires and civilizations throughout the history of our world. I am reminded of one of my favorite television shows: Survivor. The game revolves around the success or failure of each player to build an unshakable alliance. We cringe as we are made privy to the behind-the-scenes duplicity exhibited by those who outwardly pledge their allegiance. The loser’s fire is literally and figuratively extinguished while the poor sap stands there in the dark with that deer-in-the-headlights look on his face, wondering what just happened. It’s a punch-to-the-gut kind of feeling that we can all relate to, because usually to a much less dramatic extent, unfaithfulness has invaded many of our own relationships at one time or another.
This week I was reminded of a lesson I have been teaching my son since he was knee high: “You are Known by Who You Hang With.” Take a closer look at your own life and consider what hidden agendas might be holding you back!
Until Next Time… Change is Coming!
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