The law of gravity says, “What goes up must come down.” The Law of Intake states, “What goes in must comes out.”
INTAKE IS A DISCIPLINE OF SELF-LEADERSHIP
When I say intake, I’m referring to what and who you expose yourself to; the images you see, the words and noises you hear, the tactile surfaces you touch and feel, the aromas and odors you smell, the food and objects you taste, and the people you spend time with. Anything and everything you take in, according to the law of intake, will eventually come out.
WHAT’S AT STAKE WITH INTAKE IS WHO YOU WILL BECOME
Jim Rohn once quipped, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” He meant, of course, that we catch attitudes from people like we catch colds. We rub off on each other. Artist Austin Kleon puts it more plainly:
“You are, in fact, a mashup of everything you choose to let into your life.”
Jesus taught, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” What he meant is that what your eyes look at “goes into” your body and your being. If you’re viewing good things (light), then good things will “go into” your body and being.
GUARD WHAT YOU TAKE INTO YOUR LIFE
An ancient proverb says, “Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flow the issues of life.” How do I apply this? A few examples…
- Pornagraphy is a poor choice. It causes men to objectify women and women to degrade men. It ruins relationships. Don’t take in porn.
- Some drugs, the illegal kind, are poison. It steals your awareness and diminishes your capacities. Stop putting poison in your body.
- Gossip magazines are less intellectually nourishing than novels. Read People less and Tolstoy more. It’s about intake; what you’re taking into your self, your being.
- Positive thoughts feel better than negative thoughts. Take in more positive and less negative.
- Swallow your pride and you’ll sweat humility out of your emotional pores. This is a good thing. Humble people go far with others.
- Should kids play violent video games? Studies go both ways. It’s worth examining.
- Does a child raised by an abuser necessarily become one, too?Intake matters to all of us, regardless of age.
INTAKE SPELLS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PREPARING OR REPAIRING
“If you are preparing today, chances are, you will not be repairing tomorrow.” – Dr. John Maxwell
A good tomorrow starts with a good today. What I will be tomorrow I am becoming now. Therefore, I will either be spending tomorrow reaping the benefits of the good things I did today or repairing the damage from the bad things I did today.
Let me conclude by sharing what I believe healthy intake looks like. Healthy intake for leaders usually means…
- Serving the right God
- Having the right priorities
- Thinking the right thoughts
- Saying the right words
- Praying the right prayers
- Making the right choices
- Reading the right books
- Learning the right lessons
- Listening to the right people
- Attending the right events