Staying Grounded


By Joan DeBoe

We live in a time when electronic resources abound, all of which were designed and redesigned and improved for the sake of making our lives easier. In this “easier” life, we are so bombarded with demands on our time and energy that we can’t get through a day without multitasking; something that sounds good but actually makes us less productive in the long run. Add to that the fact that all of us attending Annual Conference are ministers of one sort or another which is a “job” that demands our time and attention every waking moment and requires us to be prepared to drop what we’re doing and rush to the side of a member of our flock the second the phone rings. A message suggesting that we need to slow down and put self-care ahead of all of those competing demands is a hard sale, but that is precisely the message given by Lynn Seth, a performance coach for the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, in the Grounded worship held Sunday afternoon. 
We all desire to be our best-self all day every day; that self that is performing at 100 percent, that self that is “in the zone”. That seems like it should be doable, and we may even believe we’re pretty good at it, but the truth is that many, if not most, of us fall well below that level of performance. That kind of performance requires energy that is a four dimensional balance of physical energy, emotional connection, mental focus, and spiritual alignment, all arranged proportionately from greatest to least respectively.
The Grounded workshop is based on the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute study, and attendees were asked to complete an online profile prior to attending the workshop. The resulting personal profile rated a number of areas within the categories above and then indicated those areas where a deficiency might exist. A deficiency indicates a lack of engagement, and the workshop participants were surprised to hear that the composite profile score was in the “disengaged” classification, a designation indicating insufficient energy rather than insufficient interest.
Intuitively, having the necessary energy to reach full engagement as our best selves begins with knowing our purpose, our big “why.” Only when we know our destination can we plot our course, and Seth suggested that in order to fully understand that, we need a personal mission statement. We must understand what we’re all about, where we want to be, where we are now, and then we can formulate a plan to bridge the gap. Seth challenged participants to identify just one thing needing to be improved in order to succeed and then spend the next 90 working to improve it. At the end of that time, if further improvement is needed, then continue another 90 days. Once that one is solved, then she encouraged participants to address the next hurdle.
For more information about the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, go to