Let’s face it, in our personal and professional lives, we want to feel fulfilled and successful in terms of who we are and what we do. For many people, we are full of zeal in our 20’s and early 30’s, and then something happens. Our perceptions change. The way we think and the way we act changes. Ultimately, our behaviours change. We accept an attitude that everything is “good enough.” We convince ourselves (lie to ourselves) that our lives are acceptable and that “comfortable” is a great place to live. But for many people, after a while, their lives start to slowly spin out of control and with it comes many years of accumulated stress. Stress is a major reason for hormone imbalance, changes in the amounts of neurochemicals in the brain, and overall fatigue. Many individuals want to be productive and don’t know where to start. Taking care of balancing the bodies stress level and hormones is one thing, but it must be paralleled and enhanced with being able to lead oneself.

The hardest person to lead is yourself! I have talked and worked with numerous people who are not happy and want to lead themselves more successfully, but struggle with lifestyle management, specifically establishing priorities. When people reflect on their life, a common statement that arises is, “I wish I had more time” or “I don’t know where to begin.” In fact, when people are asked what they would like most in their life, “time” is ranked in the top 3 of all responses. Why do we struggle with this problem? The answer is found in our lifestyle choices. We are living in a culture of rapid change, largely due to technology, and we are inundated with busyness and noise. Consequently, we live our lives on autopilot instead of leading ourselves. We become walking stress hormones. As a result, we are feeling overwhelmed with trying to accommodate for this busyness while “trying” to balance our work, family, commitments, relationships, and health. Unfortunately, something has to give and usually that means our health (due to poor nutrition and high stress levels) and our ability to see clearly (leading ourselves). A major reason why so many people struggle with leading themselves is because they fail to clearly see where they are going (lack clarity) and do not face the roadblocks within them which leads to the inability to direct themselves accordingly. Lack of clarity can lead to a feeling of out of control and a sense of “spinning your wheels.”

I have concluded that over 95% of all people who claim they have no time indeed have more than enough time to manage and lead their life. They fail due to inadequately allocating their time. It is a matter of priorities. Doing first things first may sound easy, but in fact it is a major reason why some people rise to success and others flounder. When working with clients, whether individuals or businesses, I always teach them how to apply the foundational 80/20 Principle. Vilfredo Pareto observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people. Upon further research, he noticed a similar pattern elsewhere. For instance:

• 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your
• 80% of the results are produced by 20% of the time
• 80% of the profits come from 20% of the products.
• 80% of job satisfaction comes from 20% of the work.
• 80% of the decisions in a workplace come from 20% of
the people.
• 80% of donations (charitable organizations) come
from 20% of the people.

Being able to master this principle on a consistent basis is the difference between success and failure. Every person needs to understand the Pareto Principle, not only in leadership, but in life management as well. Everyone wants to change something in their lives. Many people do not how to do this. And if a person does not know how to change, success and clarity will never materialize.

Every day leadership is an essential part of every person’s life, but unfortunately it is seldom taught. You just don’t see high schools and University classes with the title, “Lifestyle Leadership.” Yet, it is one of the most essential aspects of a human being. Being able to balance your physical, social, emotional, and mental well being can all be enhanced greatly by being able to lead your life with clarity and direction.

Justin A. Flunder

Author's Bio: 

Justin A. Flunder is a passionate Change Agent Leader and founder of Change Agent Leadership™. Justin is an educator that is dedicated to leading Next Generation Leaders with the necessary skills and tools to lead themsleves and others through service.

Justin is the Change Agent Leader of the Flundonian Group (Flun-doan-ian), the Change Agent Company that specializes in the areas of personal and professional leadership and organizational change. Justin's faith has inspired him to study all aspects of leadership applying timeless leadership principles to both secular and Christian audiences. Justin has learned from the best, personally being mentored by leadership expert John Maxwell. Justin teaches John Maxwell programs to organizations and churches teaching people how to connect with their inner leader creating positive results throughout the individual, team, and organization.

Justin's educational background consists of teaching (B. of Ed) and instructing as a Master teacher (Masters of Leaderhship). He has delivered curriculum, workshops and seminars for professionals over the past ten years and he is currently working on his PH. D in Christian Leadership. Justin has hosted his own Talk Radio Show called "The Change Agent" where he has applied his knowledge and experience to people around the globe. Justin's extensive experience with developing educational programs, as a result of working with under performing individuals, has lead him to construct his new and relevant ways to inspire and teach others. "I observed myself, friends, colleagues, and organizations struggle with the inability to lead themselves which resulted in a lack of fulfillment and aided in a dysfunctional culture."