As you take a break from your role at work, you do not take a break from your role as a leader. Leadership starts in yourself. That’s the key to letting your light shine.
We live in a time when many attempt to bring darkness into the world. Don’t focus on that. Focus, instead, on what YOU can bring.
As you become a beacon of light, your family and community are better for it. Start with your family. How can you replace judgment with tolerance? How can you choose compassion over cold-heartedness? How can you exercise forgiveness over blame?
In other words, how can you let your light shine?
This is where you lead yourself. Leading yourself means you are influencing your beliefs and behavior. This starts with self-awareness which leads to the regulation of yourself and your environment. It must be intentional.
Allow me to explain using a metaphor. You are either a thermostat or a thermometer. A thermometer simply reflects the temperature. A thermostat regulates the temperature. If the atmosphere is hot or cold, the thermometer is good at reflecting that.
On the other hand, the thermostat is always regulating – always monitoring the temperature and decides how best to correct the situation.
When tension in groups or families increases, a lot of folks get edgy. People can lose their cool. Things can be blurted out that are hurtful or harmful. Often this reaction escalates. Demands are made. Comments become critical. People become irritated. Others are impatient. Some resign themselves to a polite, but cold demeanor.
These are thermometer people who simply reflect the atmosphere, often contributing to the erosion of trust.
A thermostat person is aware of the stress, anxiety, hurt feelings, misunderstandings and critical atmosphere. They sense the temperature is hot and take steps to cool down the environment. It might be in the form of listening and understanding. It often entails self-control. It might come in the form of a behavior that is service-oriented. They insert light and lightheartedness at the appropriate time.
Thermostat people lift other’s expectations to the true importance of their time together. They bring attention to the bigger picture in their attitude and actions. They build perspective – along with trust and appreciation while lowering suspicion and relational erosion.
When you let your light shine, you are metaphorically a thermostat. It starts on the inside and shines on those around you. It impacts others – one conversation at a time.
The result? Your interactions will
- calm others,
- affirm others,
- encourage others,
- change others and
- inspire others.
However, your ability to regulate your environment will only be as strong as your ability to regulate yourself. Your light will only be as strong as your inner light. You can’t give what you don’t have. You can’t regulate what you don’t see. It starts with knowing what’s truly important.
Make plans now to look back over the holidays and be able to say you made a difference. You made a difference in your friend’s lives. You made a difference in your family’s lives. You made a difference in that person’s life that needed it the most.
They got the best part of you because you let the best part of you make a difference.
It’s the quality of your life more than the price of the gift that unleashes your light.
That makes you a thermostat – not a thermometer.
Wishing you and your family a blessed Holiday Season! Let Your Light Shine!