I have a habit of starting each day with thoughts of gratitude. As I looked at the blank page of my journal, nothing came to mind. How sad is that? Then I asked myself, “What’s wrong with me?”

As I pondered, a current disappointment stemming from unmet relational expectations came to mind. Relationships that matter can hurt. That’s draining. Then I remembered my mom’s recent fall resulting in a fractured hip and surgery. That was hard. I also peeked at the last seven days of my calendar: fifteen coaching or speaking appointments and two podcasts. Okay, that’s a lot for even the most gregarious person of whom I am not. For me, that’s a really stupid schedule.

I know better. I coach leaders to schedule better. Here’s the thing, even during these last seven days of pedal to the medal, I have maintained my quiet times and exercise. That’s simply not enough. You can pack your schedule with too much even when the activities are healthy. It will run you into the ground.

So, what’s missing? Margin. Margin in our schedules is the slow charge we all need in order to fuel the demands of leadership. Lesson learned… again. Adjustments made.

Then I turned my attention back to gratitude. I squeezed one out and that opened the floodgates of many more thoughts of gratitude.

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