Making a (different) list…

I’m in a season of re-reading books that have inspired me.  I blogged about Po Bronson’s book over at What She Read.  I’m halfway through this book about Zappos.  And next in line is Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.

One new take-home for me from the Zappos book is a way to discern what I value.  The author,Tony Hsieh, suggests an exercise:

Think about the people you admire…and the people you don’t. Write down the qualities that stand out in both categories, he says, and this will give you a sense of what matters most to you…and what you want to steer clear of.  I love a good exercise, so I tried it.  The results were spot-on, and I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have this in a concise list.

Here is a sample.  It’s a fun reminder of my friends’ best qualities…and the ways I’m asking God to make me more like them.  They are:

1. Enthusiastically Jesus-ey.

2. Light and humor-filled in their approach to life.

3. Risk-takers.  They might be scared, but they do it anyway.

4. Unembarrassed by how God blesses them.

5.  Champions of high expectations.

6. Encouraging.  They truly believe that what is impossible with man is possible with God.

7.  Resilient, with a proven ability to bounce back and thrive.

8.  Discerning and Brave. They have the courage and faith to leave bad situations.

9.  Confident, embracing who they are.

10.  Wise.  They use resources & opportunities optimally.

There are a few more, but you get the idea.  I’m surprised by how clearly recognizing the best in others helps me reach for the best in myself.  (Nicely played, God!)

I’ve always believed that we have to take extra care in choosing the people we follow, because we will end up where they are.  This was a fun reminder that this can be an encouragement, not just a warning.

What are the best qualities in the people you admire?  Where are the places you don’t want to end up?  As we approach Christmas, and all that Jesus offers, this is a good time to ask God to help you make a list…and check it twice :)


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