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A Cruise Control Life Can Hurt You

Updated: May 28

When we live for the wrong priorities; this produces a life on cruise control. You are happy that your car is speeding down the road, but, in reality, you don't know where that road leads.

A mentor in my life led a multi-billion-dollar bank. He had grown it from a hometown bank to a super-regional multi-billion dollar enterprise and a global financial services powerhouse. He was at the helm when a few wrong decisions brought it all tumbling down. They had a blip; a stumble, and then a horrible crash.

This was a wake-up call. My mentor began to examine the priorities in his life. What he learned was that many of his priorities had contributed to the organization's downfall. After a season of prayer and introspection, he determined he had been living his life by a wrong set of values. His life was on cruise control, but he had not clearly defined his destination ahead of time.

My mentor re-centered his life around different values. His pursuit of God, marriage, and health became primary.

What does this story have to do with starting, growing, or transitioning a business for impact?

When you live your life around the wrong priorities, you will live a life void of energy, purpose, and passion.

You have all you can do in your business, and it consumes you. You profess to have higher priorities, but you don't live by them. Eventually, you become estranged from the relationships that should give you the most purpose, energy, and passion. Legally, you are married, but practically you are single. Parenting becomes merely paying the bills instead of deep and meaningful relationships with your children.

The relationships that should give you energy, purpose, and passion become superficial.

At this point, your life becomes a series of surface relationships. These relationships are plastic, empty, and shallow. In the eyes of the world, everything appears grand, but something is wrong.

This cruise-control life produces loneliness; it is the daily grind.

Having no passion for giving yourself away and mentoring others is not a part of your life.

When you give yourself away, you get the benefit. But having nothing to share, investing in others is not an option.

Because it is not a priority, you have no mentoring relationships speaking into your own life. The mentoring relationships you should have been cultivating don't exist.

Every day, you just do what you need to do. This is life on cruise control. But where is your destination? You may be unpleasantly surprised when you arrive.

I know this is true. At one time in my life, I lived TOTALLY for my business. Working sixteen hours a day was common, and at one point I was even working twenty hours a day and sleeping four (but not for long). It was all a frantic attempt to get to the top of the ladder. The day I realized the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall was a sad day.

My world crashed in on me.

When my world came crashing down, I finally took the time to examine the priorities I should have been living by. Looking back at my life from the perspective of my death bed gave me some clarity.

Business wasn't supposed to be THE most important thing, but in reality, it had become just that. Getting up and going to work every day was a cruise control response. I had to take a good look at myself, turn off the cruise control, and re-align with the values I aspired to.

What about you? What are the actual values that rule you? Will they bring you to your desired destination?

Interact with me on LinkedIn and let me know.

I really want to know.

Harry T. Jones

P.S. Connect with me on LinkedIn,CLICK HERE

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