May, 2016

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Investing on Your Spiritual Growth on a Consistent Basis

covey_matrixIn his classic book entitled “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People”, the late Stephen Covey popularized the Important/Urgent Matrix (See the image on the top left side). Covey noted that many people spend the majority of their time in Quadrant I tackling urgent and important things like meeting deadlines, addressing immediate heath issues, working to pay bills, and so on. On the other hand, highly effective people save time from other quadrants and spend it on the 2nd Quadrant- Important but Not Urgent. People in this quadrant consciously invest their time to prepare, prevent, plan, strategize, grow, and so on. If you’re reading this article, I’m sure you’re a person who invests in Quadrant II. The only question I’ve for you is how much percent of your time is dedicated toward this quadrant, more specifically toward growing spiritually.

As a spiritual person, you need to grow on a consistent basis. This requires time. Waiting on God, listening to His Spirit, reading scriptures, fellowshipping with other spiritual people who are committed to grow like yourself, reflecting, learning, and putting into practice what you have learned (heard) are important for your spiritual growth. Sadly, even if some people are committed to their spiritual growth, when the going gets tough (When Quadrant I hassles for more time), they find themselves out of time, and thus, they first cut time from the 2nd Quadrant. On the other hand, when highly effective people are faced with the same pressure, they uphold the time they dedicated to Quadrant 2. They rather carve out sometime from Quadrant III & IV.

In my book, “The 9 Cardinal Building Blocks: For continued Success in Leadership”, I shared the story of Jesus who worked on His personal development on a consistent basis. Here is the excerpt: “At the age of 12, Jesus left behind his parents who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. ‘After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.’ (Luke 2: 46 – 47) Here is a twelve-year-old boy debating with religious scholars. While he was at the peak of his ministry, he used to withdraw and spend time in solitude to think, pray, and meditate (Luke 5: 16)…Since he was grown in every aspects of his life, he was well equipped. Below are some of his qualities that clearly demonstrate that he was a well-grown and matured leader…”

Jesus was highly effective. What He had done within a little more than 3 years impacted billions of people for the last more than 2000 years. You too should learn from the Master. Don’t get overwhelmed and spend your quality time in just Quadrant I to deal with urgent things. Don’t also spend too much time in Quadrant III & IV. Save a fraction of time you spend in the remaining 3 Quadrants, and invest on your spiritual growth. Growing spiritually has ripple effects. Your quality of life increases as you keep growing spiritually. I like what Plutarch said, “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” The more you grow inwardly, you see excellent results outwardly in other aspects of your life such as on your health, relationships, work performance, and more.

Let me ask you. In which quadrants do you spend the majority of your time? Write down the percentage of time you expend on each quadrant. For your information, highly effective people deliberately save time from other quadrants, especially from Quadrant III & IV, and devote it into Quadrant II. When you get a chance, come up with an action plan on how you could save time for Quadrant II, and then dedicate ample time to grow in the different aspects of your life. Good luck in your venture to grow spiritually on a consistent basis!