Refueling On The Fly

by Lee Buford on March 24, 2010

I am writing this from Hot Springs, Virginia, where I am participating in a region meeting with colleagues from five different states. We are “roughing it” at The Homestead for the next two days…meeting, planning, celebrating, and having a little fun as well.

In a nutshell, this is one of those rare opportunities that only come along a couple times of year, a chance to refuel the tank and recharge the batteries, all while managing to mix in just enough “work” to keep things moving in the right direction. I refer to this as refueling on the fly.

Most all of you certainly know what it feels like to run on empty. And if you’re like me you probably do it more often than you’d prefer. We see it as a necessity of life in the age of “more is better!” Juggling work, family, church, hobbies, and other interests maxes out our resources, empties our fuel reserves, and drains our batteries. As a result, the refueling and recharging of our bodies and minds is critical if we are to maintain our sanity and some degree of productivity in our daily lives.

Vacations and get-aways are great! In fact, if properly utilized, they provide a much needed escape from the hustle and bustle that wears on us, day in and day out. But let’s be honest…how often do you take a vacation, or a few days off, only to look forward to getting back to work so you can “rest”? Most of us just don’t do the whole rest and relaxation deal very well. And if we do, we simply don’t have enough vacation time or days off to completely disconnect and recharge. As a result I believe it is important to grasp the idea of refueling on the fly.

What is refueling on the fly? It is learning to capitalize on small periods of rest and revitalization in the midst of our daily schedules and activities. For example, at the meeting I am currently attending, we are refueling and recharging by doing the following:

  • Recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments and achievements of others
  • Sharing best practices and successes
  • Taking a “peek-under-the-tent” at upcoming, new and exciting products and initiatives
  • Laughing, relaxing, and having some fun

The same principles apply to our individual lives. We must create a pattern of injecting new fuel and energy into our daily routines, especially when we don’t have the ability to “get away.” Here are eight ways I try to do this:

  • Spend time with God and His Word:  Just me, Him, and my Bible…in prayer and study
  • Serve:  Take some time to go serve and love somebody else in need. Not only are we called to this, but the experience will probably bless your heart more than you can imagine. Do good to and for others!
  • Recognize others:  Take the time to call, send a card, or simply tell someone you know that you appreciate them and what they are doing, contributing, or adding to your life. Encourage others!
  • Throw a curveball into the daily or weekly routine: I might take the girls for an ice cream or special treat, go to the mall, or throw something different into the normal nightly routine…just to change it up!
  • Excercise:  The benefits of this one are well-documented, but most of us need to do more. I always feel much better when I’m done! Shake it up…mix in a different workout or run for a change of pace.
  • Read:  If you enjoy reading, do more of it. If you don’t enjoy it, learn to enjoy it. It may seem like work at first, but you will appreciate the down time and knowledge gained…reading sharpens the mind, I am convinced!
  • Laugh:  Whatever it takes…a funny movie, a video of your kids’ biggest blunders (or yours), or reminiscing with friends. Laughter energizes us all!
  • Celebrate:  Take a few minutes daily to reflect on the many ways you have been blessed. This is not the old “positive thinking” exercise…I’m talking about genuinely counting and giving thanks for the things you have in life!

Remember this: YOU are responsible for refueling and recharging when YOU need it, and you can’t wait for it to just happen on its own.When the gas guage in your car is on “E” you pull off the road for gas. Do the same in other areas of your life.

When you need to refuel, pull off the road and do it! It’s only a small stop along the way but, without it, you will find yourself stuck on the side of the road…unable to move, unable to get where you need to go, and unable to provide any value to those around you. Do it! You matter!

What are some ways that you refuel the tank and recharge your batteries?

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