How to Thrive in Life and Leadership

I’m working on a book right now on the topic of how a person can thrive through the different seasons of life and leadership. Each of us have been through or will go through a variety of seasons in our life. Some seasons are good while others are hard or difficult. If we want to move through and excel in the different seasons of life it requires self-leadership and the ability to nourish ourselves.

Nourishment can be defined as the “substance necessary for growth, health, and good condition.” I discovered several nourishment centers that if implemented into your life produce magnificent benefits.  These centers will:

  • Produce and keep you fueled and energized.
  • Allow you to sustain and move through a crisis, difficult seasons, or demanding periods.
  • Be the catalyst and needed jump start for getting out of a rut and moving you forward.
  • Allow you to move through and excel in the different seasons of life and leadership.

Below are 2 of the nourishment centers that will help you thrive in life and your areas of influence:

1. Relationships-

In Leadership Beyond Reason author John Townsend said, “Life is essentially about relationships, and it is empty without relationships.” If you want to move through the seasons of life it requires having strong relationships both personally and professionally. People who will be open and honest with you while at the same time be supporting and encouraging are essential. There have been countless times when I was feeling drained, wanting to give up, or in a difficult season of life when a friend supported and lifted me up. This nourishment center is an essential aspect to thriving in life and leadership. Take time to develop an inner circle of people who will support and lift you toward your potential.

2. Music-

The music we hear or play can bring nourishment into our life. This is because music has the power to stir our heart and emotions. Johnny Depp said, “music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t.” The music you listen to has the potential to:

  • Bring restoration and healing from the scars and hard seasons of our life.
  • Bring encouragement and inspiration into your life.
  • Bring feelings of joy, happiness, thankfulness, and cause you to feel good.

They key is to find the music that touches you on a deep level and then regularly play or listen to it. The next time you’re going through a trying or demanding season or you need a spark of inspiration just play or listen to your favorite music.

Question: How do you thrive through the different seasons of life and leadership?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • There’s a place along the cliffs of Lake Champlain here in Vermont where I like to go on weekends and just sit and think. It’s a hidden area, away from the crowds, and provides a beautiful view of the lake. Quiet and peaceful. Definitely one of my nourishment centers.

    Cheers!

    • That’s really cool Trevor. Nature can be a great place to be nourished. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • These are two good ones that are “go tos” for me Dan. I am a people person so I tend to be around people. But there are a few whom I like to be around and will open myself to. I listen to a lot of music. I prefer that to the radio (although Air 1 is becoming more widely broadcast. I hate commercials so very seldom listen to regular radio. And I will not listen to talk radio. So music it is! My mood often determines what style I listen to, but it mostly uptempo rock.

    • Those are great ways to nourish yourself. I totally relate with you about people, I know and am around a lot of people however their are only a few people I can truly be open with. I think most people are nourished through music:) Thank you for sharing.

  • I try to incorporate moments of silence into my life. They give me the opportunity to step away from the madness, silence the screaming voices of my to-do list, and set me up to hear God speak into the circumstances and into my life.

    • That’s great Jason! That’s a great way to nourish yourself. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • DS

    I thrive through quiet self-reflection. Which is hard because I challenge myself to be consuming lots of information, and sharing it with others. In all seasons of life, good and bad, I find that prayer and Bible reading is the most helpful.

    • Micky Diaz

      I could not agree more about prayer and Bible reading!…:-)

    • I agree, those things can really nourish someone. It’s important to know (And it sounds like I need to be really clear in the book) that nourishment centers can help us through every seasons of life:good, bad, joyful, challenging. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • It’s great to hear you’re putting together a book! Way to press forward. Will it be an ebook and/or physical book?
    I thrive by getting outdoors and experiencing both the stillness of nature and rugged adventure. And I value finding new trails and parks for fresh ideas and nourishment.

    • It’s going to be an eBook(and maybe in the future a physical book). That’s a great way to nourish yourself. I also enjoy getting into nature and walking at the beach. I feel so energized and refreshed when I do. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • Micky Diaz

    Great post and very excited about your book my friend! Just dropping everything for a moment of silence will usually work for me…:-)

    • Thank you Micky. That’s a great one, glad you shared it.

      • Micky Diaz

        You’re most welcome as always! Just “listening” to your message…:-)

  • As I read through the comments thus far, I kept saying to myself “Yeah, that one works for me to.” In that, I realize my need for variety in order to thrive through the different seasons of life and leadership. Regular self-reflection, prayer & Bible study. Spending time in nature(running, walking, bike riding, etc.) and relishing times of silence. Connecting with people in my introverted way. All of these, which I can honestly say I do regularly, contribute greatly to me thriving. God gives so many opportunities to thrive. No excuses!

    On another note, I look forward to your book. I like the premise. My husband could do something similar, except he has no interest in writing. When is the expected publication date?

    • Kari,

      A variety of nourishment centers are so important. I even think we use different ones more than others depending on the season we are going through. Thank you for sharing all the ways you nourish yourself.

      I don’t have an expected publishing date yet. I’m rearranging my time and focus so I can concentrate more on writing and editing the book. I still have to set a due date goal. I’m really excited about the book so my goal is to get the book finished in 3-4 months.

  • Great post, Dan! Reflection is essential to thriving; without it, we cannot identify those things that motivate and/or those things that DE-motivate.

    • I’m glad you liked the post Justin. Reflection is an important one (One of the chapters/nourishment centers focuses on memories which relates to reflection). Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  • Focus.

    I find myself getting intensely focused on a particular task at hand and when I do that, I can make strides at it, whatever it is. Sometimes its a downfall because I neglect other areas or I come to a season where I just don’t have the time to contribute that once did. But overall, I love being focused on something intensely for a season then seeing where it needs to go from there.

    • That’s a great way to get things done Jared. I need to do a lot more focus so I can get this book finished. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  • During the most difficult seasons of my life I’ve found the only true peace, joy, and fulfillment is God. The fatigue and down times are usually because physical circumstances. By seeking God in His word and being reminded of who He is then who we are along with revering Him and not the world or our circumstances that He’s either caused or allowed changes the worldly perspective.

    That being said, when I’m in that place the relationships are better received, better offered and music a song in my soul…

    • I totally agree Floyd! A connecting and having a relationship with God brings us so much nourishment. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

  • Brandon Jones

    Dan,

    Great post! I find that the quiet time that I have in the morning to study, read, and listen to soft music is great for rejuvenating myself. It helps me to thrive because it “fills my emotional bank account” as they say. Thanks for the great post!

    • Hello Brandon,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Morning times are great! Thank you for taking the time to read and share.

  • There are primarily two key ingredients for me when I find myself going through a difficult season. My time in the word and prayer (my devotional life) and the relationships I hold. The bible says that “iron sharpens iron” and I have found that to be true in my life. When I am going through a difficult time, the tendency is to shut down and crawl into a cave, but when I reach out to others I find the necessary strength to carry on. Excellent post Dan

    • Those are great way to nourish yourself. Great passage by the way:) Thank you for sharing.

  • Music is a major nourishment center for me. I had a particularly challenging dental appointment yesterday and my favorite worship songs came to me time and time again to help me make it through the difficult cleaning.

    I always go back to the bridge from Stephen Miller’s version of Great is Thy Faithfulness:

    “Jesus, you’re faithful when all has gone wrong. You’re steadfast in mercy though I wander off. You carry me into and out of the storm. Great is your faithfulness, Oh God.”

    No joke, just writing it out gives me tremendous peace and makes me tear up even.

    • Hello Jeff,

      What a great song! I have had similar experiences, when going through a hard time the right music can really help. Thank you for taking the time to read and add to the discussion.

  • As I read this, I’m listening to beautiful music that is nourishing me – George Winston on Pandora. :) This sounds like a really interesting book. I like both of your suggestions and look forward to hearing what the others are. The thing that has contributed most to my thriving through all of life is my renewing-of-the-mind habit – because that’s what brings me to God who helps me thrive. Seeing life from His perspective is essential if I’m to thrive in the midst of trials.

    • Great point about “renewing-of-the mind” that can defiantly nourish us. Keep listening to good music:)

  • My mentor taught me about having a Philosophy for my life. If I did not design a life using Godly principles with philosophies that can guide me I would have just been blowing in the wind.

    • Great additional point! Having a purpose and drive for something can really nourish us. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • Hi Dan

    We all have tough times and although it may seem like your world is falling apart, it is usually never as bad as we think it is. As they say, “when one door closes, another opens”. So I have always tried to keep that in mind. If one just looks around you can definitely find someone far worse off than yourself. Taking the time to be grateful everyday makes one realize that there are others that really do have nothing. There are people that are going through awful nightmares, except they are very real. Think about all the folks that can’t read this and who live on dirt floors, if they are lucky. Then you will be able to count your blessings even through tragedies. Either you can thrive or suffer in life, it is all up to the individual.

    Very good things to think about.

    Mary

    • Hello Mary,

      Great perspective! I totally agree with you, all we have to do is look around at those who are really hurting or going through a difficult time and realizing they have it worse than we do. I like your point about being grateful everyday! That’s important. Thank you for sharing.

  • Music is important to me, so is quiet time with God, just soaking Him in. Refueling in Christ and tuning the world out.

    Also, my spouse is a great comfort to me. God did a great job putting us together :)

    • Amen, those things can really nourish us. That’s great your husband nourishes and is a support for you. That’s so important. Thank you for adding to the list.

  • Good points buddy! Also reaching out for support and prayer!

  • Great post Dan! Having someone to talk to (God, my husband, a close friend) helps me thrive and go through difficult seasons. Uplifting music and spending time worshiping God and reading His Word keeps me anchored and balanced, builds me in ways nothing else can.
    Can’t wait to see your book and help spread the word! These are great topics, much needed.

    • Thank you Ngina:) Keep being nourished through those things! Thank you for reading and adding to the conversation.

  • I look forward to your book, Dan. I’m a music and words guy. I use both music and writing to get through hard times, and still write and play in the good times, too.

    • Thank you Dan:) I defiantly know that about you, keep using music to nourish you. Thank you for sharing.

  • Dan, I love this. When can we expect this book?

    • Thanks Joel:) No set date but plan on getting it out later this year (in about 3 months).

  • What an interesting post – very thought-provoking, Dan. I think I’d add reading – I gain a lot of nourishment from reading, both fiction and non-fiction. Also exercise – I often replenish my batteries while walking the dogs. Speaking of which, my pets are very important to me, so I guess I’d have to add them to my list – they certainly help me to relax and bring a lot of joy to my life.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post Sue. Those are great ways to be nourished. I have personal growth and recreational activities as two other nourishment centers. I hear you about the dogs, I have a lab and we love. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • Other than prayer and inspirational reading, I find that I need positive, uplifting relationships. My inner circle is made up of creative people that are both inspiring and uplifting. When I find myself heading into one of those “places” I am blessed to have people that I can reach out to.

    • Those are important ways to bring nourishment. Thank you for taking the time to read and share.

  • I can vouch for the relationships, I do think that they’re the main sustenance in our lives. Also, as DS said, a bit of quiet self-reflection goes a long way for me, there’s nothing quite like thinking… Oh, and the music! I love something orchestral or something with a ‘big sound’, such as film music, what about you?

    Interesting thoughts Dan!

    • Hey Nick,

      Relationships are the glue that can hold us together, right?:) They are essential. I Love and am greatly nourished through music! I’m giving a presentation tomorrow and I’m really using music tonight to pump me up and get me motivated! Glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Interesting point on the music. I think that music – or what we surround ourselves with in so many ways – can have an impact on our thoughts. And that can impact everything else. Be aware of what you’re feeding your brain with!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, I totally agree with you about music having an impact on our thoughts. It’s all about putting good in so good will come out. Thank you for reading and adding to the topic.

  • Ashley Black

    Truly inspiring post Dan! I think having a balanced life in all areas and of course prayer helps me.

    • Thank you for sharing. Praying is a great point!