Tuesdays Top 5: Life Challenges


Hello all – its time for another Top 5!  Over the past couple of weeks I have gone about my work, often taking time to think/pray about what should be included in this next Top 5 posting.  After much thought/prayer, I wish to embark on a 6 post series focusing on how we, as youth leaders, model life to those we work with.  That doesn’t sound like too big a topic, does it?  I have broken “life” down into, brace yourselves, 5 points.  This first post will serve to outline the points I wish to focus on over the next 5 postings…

This is by no means intended to be an exhaustive list, by any stretch – the 5 points reflect the challenges I have seen through my practice.  Challenges experienced by youth/adults, parents, families, etc.  My intention is never to over simplify things, yet at the same time I do not wish to overcomplicate – I hope this list comes off somewhere in the middle.  Over the next 5 posts I will take one of the 5 points below, and break it down into 5 further points.  That will be the end of it – there will not be any more breaking down into groups of 5 after that.  So, this concludes the preamble – lets get into this…

1. Media – what media do we submit ourselves to, and what impact does it have on our lives?  If the students/adults you work with were to shadow you over the course of a week, would you change your media consumption?  If the answer is yes, that is a problem…

2. Relationships – do your personal relationships reflect what you preach?  If you are speaking about ideals that you are not able to implement in your own life, there needs to be a rethink…

3. Character – what character traits do you value?  Are these character traits evident in your everyday life, especially your work?  I am not saying we need to advertise how humble we are, just that what we say needs to line up with our actions…

4. Consumption – our country is extremely affluent when compared to much of the world.  It is very easy to get caught up in the chase for the next model of whatever, next new car, bigger home, new clothing, etc.  Are we modelling this type of an attitude to those with whom we work?  Are we inadvertent Apple salespersons, to name one company?

5. Transparency – while this may seem to be the common thread that holds all of what I am saying together, I want to give transparency the space it deserves.  Are you transparent with your modelling?  Unless we are, we are letting people down.  That may sound a little extreme, but leadership positions are just that – we are leading.  This is not a call for perfection – far from it.  Some of the most powerful examples I experienced growing up were given by those in leadership who admitted to their faults, and brought me along for the learning provided by those mistakes.  So, if our example does not match, it may be time to let someone else take the reigns…

As mentioned earlier, each of the above points will be given their own Top 5 treatment over the next 5 posts.  As always, please send any questions you may have about the above.  Take care, all…

Andy Lundy, MA

Andy Lundy is a psychotherapist working in private practice (www.junipertree.ca) in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.  He can be reached via email at andrew.lundy@junipertree.ca.  Please send him your questions…

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