For The Better

Figure Skating Queen Yu-Na KIMphoto © 2010 { QUEEN YUNA } | more info (via: Wylio)I had lunch with a friend the other day. During the course of our time together, she told me about some things that were happening for her professionally and some things that were happening between her and her co-workers. She’s finding that her co-workers are rather rude, are saying some harsh things to her and are not glad about any of her successes. “Jealousy,” I told her. “They’re jealous.”

It was obviously true. She’s hardworking and she knows that to be the best, she has to be the best.

In her profession, success is made through clients and sales. Her co-workers, I think, are missing the point. My friend is setting the bar high–they should be trying to reach it or set it higher. They should let my friend, their co-worker, enrich their experience in the profession. Instead, they are grumbling and turning on her.

I, for one, want to have people in my life who enrich it and cause me to be better and work harder.  I want to cultivate friendships with people who know about different kinds of things and have different skills and talents and encourage me.

I made the move to this new site this weekend. I probably wouldn’t have bothered to learn so much about what that would take and probably wouldn’t have cared except for my friend, Nibby, who pulled me along and encouraged me that my web presence could be different.  Keeping friends in my life who challenge me to go farther and help me do that is vital to me. My life is so much better because of them!

In my youth group, I always have one student (at least) who demands more of me. T’hey aren’t taking a lesson thrown together on Sunday afternoon, they aren’t just playing any stupid game and they aren’t going to ingest theology and ideas that I can’t present well.  Currently, this student is a high school girl. She loves me and she trusts me to lead her–and she demands that I do it well. “Why did you choose this lesson?” she’ll honestly ask. “What do you have planned for Sunday night,” she’ll text on Tuesday. “So…is this all we’re going to do?” she wonder if we’re sitting around the youth room on a Sunday night shooting the breeze. She (and the students with high standards before her) cause me to be a better youth minister.

I participate in planning teams, discussion groups and boards that demand me to be prepared and bring something to the table. If I show up without anything to offer the group or if I am not doing some thinking and planning  and question asking, I’m letting them down. A good example of this is my participation in the #RunRevRun site. Being part of that team demands that I am pulling my weight on the team, reading the instructions and emails that come my way, writing solid posts to contribute and doing my share of advertising and telling people about the site. If I don’t, I’m not fulfilling my responsibility as part of the team. This causes me to be a better writer and get a little bit better at promotion and advertising (I’m still working on that, but friends who are good at it are encouraging me!).

As an extension of that, being part of a community that encourages me to be healthy and get stronger and faster and in better shape has positive outcomes in many areas! I started training with the Couch To 5K Program last week because so many #runrevrun participants were using it and because my friend, Millie at See Millie Tri decided to give it a shot. Do I believe I’ll actually run a 5K one day? Because of these people, I believe it might happen (but let’s not get excited–I’m re-doing week 1 next week just to make sure I’m ready to do this)!

I don’t really feel like I have a lot of competition in my youth ministry job–and that’s probably because I meet, pray and pal around with many of the other youth ministers and leaders in town on a regular basis. Yet, even if it’s not competition, that group encourages me to do my best and challenges me with interesting discussions and ideas.

All this to say: Don’t be afraid of a little competition or to be friends with people who know more or who know about different things. They will make your life so much better and they will cause you to be the best you can be!

Who encourages you to work harder and do more?

5 thoughts on “For The Better”

  1. If this huffy puffer can *attempt* to run, than so can you 🙂 Of course – considering that we have SNOW today and you have Tornados and Thunder Storms, my running is going to have to wait until the days get a bit nicer :-/ But you can do it!!!

  2. Being willing to grow is the first step. Being willing to let others help you is a giant step. Love this column, Becky.

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