A few days before my 40th birthday I was thinking about a quote that's been guiding my life for the last 25 years. I read somewhere that I can't remember the idea that:

In the first half of your life,

the opportunity of every situation

is found more in what you learn

than in what you give.

Hmmmm...what does that mean now that the first half of my life is over?

For some reason, I take comfort (maybe too much comfort) in the fact that I still get to learn more than I give. It throws me back to understanding my life as a stewardship. The next thought that crossed my mind, was "What are the other ideas that have guided my life and work the most." In 90 minutes I had written about 70.

I was surprised that I could list that many, so I boiled it down to 40 and thought it might be fun to tweet them throughout the day. I figure the rest of the twitterville could put up with my extra tweets for one day! You can see the tweets and people's ERS (emotional resonance spectrum) by searching #40at40. Also thanks to Brock Sawyer for typing them up on his blog here. Here are the top six:

  1. Clarity isn’t everything but it changes everything.
  2. Jesus was totally clear about his origin, his mission, and his destiny.
  3. In the first half of your life, the opportunity of every situation is found more in what you learn than in what you give.
  4. The rest of your life will be in the future, so prepare for it now.
  5. The most important question I have ever discovered is, “What is God up to?”
  6. Imagination is more important than knowledge – Einstein
  7. My personal calling is to serve God and others by helping people “apply essence."
  8. The height of your clarity is related to the depth of your humility.
  9. Because God’s creative genius is endless, our genius is the ability to scrutinize the obvious.
  10. Clarity brings fresh meaning to the familiar.
  11. What you CAN do for God is a distraction to what you MUST do for God. (Howard Hendricks)
  12. You can’t be anything u want to be, but u can be everything God wants u to be (Max Lucado)
  13. If you are copying someone’s else’s vision, than who will accomplish yours?
  14. “We were meant to live for so much more…maybe we’ve been living with our eyes half open” – Switchfoot
  15. Two things bring clarity- scarcity and courage to think.
  16. People are addicted to product, but process provides the meaning
  17. Most people don’t like to think.
  18. I wouldn’t give a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for simplicity on the other side. – O.W. Holmes
  19. The clearer I become, the more work, service and play become one.
  20. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – DaVinci
  21. My family mission is to build the central circle of love for guiding each generation to courageously follow Christ.
  22. All greatness is unconscious, or it is little and nought – Thomas Carlyl
  23. What’s new is not always what’s best.
  24. Our mission at Auxano to navigate leaders through growth challenges with vision and clarity.
  25. The safe assumption today is that no two congregations are alike – Lyle Schaller
  26. Clarity is the preoccupation of the effective leader; if you do nothing else, be clear – Marcus Buckingham
  27. State your vision framework before you frame your vision statement.
  28. All vision is a solution to a prior problem. And if people don’t feel the problem they won’t catch the vision.
  29. If we are to paint a picture of the future, we must remember, “There is no art without intention.”
  30. If you have formal plans but no vision, then unpredictable changes will make you feel like the sky is falling – Henry Mintzberg
  31. Focus expands
  32. Success assaults clarity.
  33. New levels bring new devils.
  34. Successful church leaders: You are only 100 people away from diluting & polluting the clarity that got you there.
  35. It’s easier to say no with a deeper yes burning inside – S. Covey
  36. In ministry today, less is more. Programs don’t attract people, people attract people.
  37. The church of God does not have a mission as much as the mission of God has a church – Alan Hirsch
  38. If at first the idea is not absurd, there is probably no hope for it – Einstein
  39. The only way to change culture is to create more of it…creativity is the only viable source of change – Andy Crouch
  40. Profound knowledge comes from the outside – Deming (Who is your strategic outsider?)

Let me know your favs!

Clarity isn’t everything but it changes everything.

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Topics: Date: Nov 6, 2009 Tags:

About Will

Would you like more meaningful progress in your church? 

I want you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, I’ve worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing mega-churches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. I have the privilege of being the founder of Auxano, a church consulting group and Younique, a personal vision and life planning training company for the church. Most people know me from two of several books that I have authored: Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision and Create Movement and God Dreams: 12 Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church's Future.

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Will Mancini