You are likely sitting in your home as you read this. It may be peaceful and ordered, but for many of us home life is tumultuous today. The pandemic besetting our world is forcing us to work at home, educate our children at home, get what little social life we can have at home, and to do everything from exercise to romance, again, at home.
This means that many of us are off balance. We are trying to devote ourselves to all our roles but we don’t feel in place and certainly don’t feel like we are at “peak performance.” So let me talk about a solution.
Our crisis changes many things but not everything and one of the things it doesn’t change is the need for you to run your life from your “control room.” I’ve mentioned this before. The control room of your life is not a physical space necessarily. It is rather the condition of calm and reflection from which you view your life and make decisions. It is where you take a clear-eyed view of who you are and how you live and you make the adjustments and plans needed for success of every kind.
Now, the control room may be slightly different for each of us. For me, as a Christian, the control room is prayer, scripture reading, listening, calm scanning of my life, list-making, and decision-making. Sometimes this occurs in the quiet of my leathery office. Sometimes it happens in a hotel room or on an airplane. But it happens, without fail, every day. Otherwise, my life ends up in chaos.
How about you? Had you established a control room in your life before this crisis? Good. Then your challenge is to keep from being blown out of your control room by the press of people and events around you now. You don’t want to burden people with your need for your control room. You want to serve them from it. So maybe you’ll have to get up earlier in the morning. Maybe you’ll stay up later at night, sit on the back porch with a drink and ponder. Do whatever you need to do, but don’t get blown out of your control room.
If you have never established a control room for your life, now’s the time. Don’t worry. It begins simply. It’s you and unchallenged quiet. It’s a long walk or hiding in the basement for 30 minutes at the start of each day or—as in the case of one friend of mine—literally sitting on the roof where you can’t be found. The goal is to ponder, pray, and reflect from an inner vantage point that allows wisdom for living to emerge.
A final thought for you: My reading of history tells me that every great disaster or plague that ever beset mankind was followed by a great flowering of innovation and creativity. The future is bright. Yet you won’t know how best to navigate that future if you don’t sit in your control room now and calmly ponder and pray. There are businesses to be built, lives to be changed, cultures to be shaped—but only by those who know who they are and where they are going.