There is a saying in sports to “leave it all on the field”. It means to hold nothing back. Put it all on the line. Don’t end the game feeling like you could have done more. Give 110%. Don’t regret leaving anything left in your tank.
When applied to life, there’s a problem with this philosophy. If you give 110% at work, then you’ll have nothing left for your wife and kids. When you “leave it all” at home, then your work will suffer. When you’re always draining your tank, you’re always going feel drained.
A much better way is to lead with leftovers. Have something left to give and use it to build meaningful relationships. By doing so, you’ll be in harmony with how we are built to live.
We are built for relationship. We are built to love and be loved. We are built to extract meaning by serving others. When you have energy, you’re more inclined to give others quality time. That’s how God wired us because that’s how he’s wired.
I’ve discovered God’s love language is quality time. As I spend time with him, our relationship improves. In fact, God’s will is a relationship. His spirit works within me to gradually make me more and more like him, when I let it, which is when I have energy leftover.
I’ve learned to become intentional with every second of my time. That challenges me to work smarter, not harder. Please don’t misunderstand. When I do something, I do it with maximum effort, however I do it efficiently. That ensures I have energy leftover for something and someone else. I know many hard-workers that operate inefficiently and and are always burnt-out.
By being a smart-worker, I am more in tune with my relationships with others. I am more conscientious about doing right by them. When I have energy for them, I spend quality time with them.
If you spend all your energy building your resume, you won’t have anything left for your eulogy. And that’s what people will remember.
Do what the good Lord has modeled for us. Lead with leftovers.