the meeting you can't afford to miss
I keep a busy schedule. On average, my cell phone receives 100+ calls, 80 texts, and several dozen emails every day. The incoming calls, texts, and emails represent all of the information, questions, and decisions that come with being responsible for and involved with multiple personal and professional ventures.
“How do you handle it all?” is one of the questions I get all the time. My answer:
I serve in a leadership role with more than 10 organizations, so I’ve been in more meetings than one could imagine. I know—it’s a lot! I could talk all day long about what makes a meeting effective, but there’s one thing I want to hone in on with this: Your most important meeting. No matter what work you do, there is one meeting that is more vital than all your other weekly meetings combined, and it's really about the person you’re meeting with—they’re very strategic to your success.
I’ve met some important people. I met Amy on the playground in 6th grade; we’re married now. I met one of our Presidents at the White House several years ago. I’ve also met multiple athletes, artists, and actors. However, this person and this meeting is more important than all the others, especially when considering my future.
the meeting of meetings
The meeting of all meetings is the meeting you make and keep with yourself. There is not another meeting that is more important than this one, no matter what. If you don’t have a meeting(s) with yourself every week, you’re almost guaranteed to be inefficient and ineffective.
My meeting includes the following...
- Prayer and meditation
- A quiet place
- Lasts at least 45 minutes
- Includes an effective planner and schedule
- It's on my “scheduled schedule”
- Defining, setting, and reviewing weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals
This is a principle that one of my business coaches & mentors has been emphasizing all year. Oftentimes, I will stumble into my weekly meeting with him, only to divulge that I’ve missed one or two meetings with myself.
“Why?” is typically his next question.
“Because I must believe other things and other people are more important than me.”
It makes sense! How am I going to know about or be responsible for what’s going on in my world if I do not take the time to get alone and meet with myself? It’s so easy to see (in hindsight). How can anything or anyone be more important? If I’m not leading myself then who’s going to?
take it seriously
Take this meeting seriously. Treat it like a major job opportunity or a meeting with a super important person. Come prepared...
- Think of questions you need to ask or have answered
- Identify areas in which you need direction
- Lay out opportunities and obstacles that need prayer
- Have an idea of what you’d like to accomplish during this meeting with yourself
Now that I have been doing this for months, I’m a believer. The temptation to reschedule or schedule someone else in my place forces me to confront an inherent sense of shame or an inaccurate (low) sense of my self-worth that, left alone, suppresses if not strangles my future opportunities.
So, get going! Look at your schedule. See where you need to schedule the one meeting you cannot afford to miss—the meeting with yourself. You won’t regret it.