August 1, 2014

An interview with pastor Bill Hybels on the secrets for living life with more energy, focus, and peace. Bill is the author of Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul.

BILL HYBELS:  Often in my mentoring sessions, I’ll take a flip chart and a real thick pen and I’ll draw my infamous bucket. And I’ll ask people if their life buckets are filled to the top? If they’re filled with the love of God and the love of family? If they’re well-rested. If they’ve been exercising. And if they’re sort of refreshed or replenished in multiple ways.

I’ll say, “What is life like when you’re living it with a full bucket?” And people will say, “Well, I make my best decisions when my bucket is full.” And I go, “Yeah, me too.” And they’ll say, “I do my best thinking and praying and loving when my bucket’s full.” And I say, “I do too!”

And then to have a little fun, I’ll say, “So let’s talk about when your bucket is empty. When you’re distant from God. When you have some family riffs that are unresolved. And let’s say that your diet and exercise have not been going very well, and you’re depleted in a whole number of different ways.

What’s your life like in a depleted form? And then all of the consequences come out. They’ll say, “I’m easily irritated.” Or they’ll say, “I isolate” or “I turn into a working machine.” Or sometimes people will say, “I just want to escape from reality.” The list goes on and on of the consequences associated with living life in a depleted state.

So the question becomes – whose responsibility is it to make the kinds of choices on a day-to-day basis that keeps your bucket full? Might that be your job for your life? Might that be my job for my life?

We make the choices on a day-to-day basis to either live filled up, or we make the choices that result in us living depleted lives. Ask yourself, “Why do I let myself get this depleted? What drives me, really?” Ask God to give you insight into what’s underneath your propensity for running on empty. When you’re living this way, what inner hunger are you feeding that should be fed in healthier ways? Is there someone you’re trying to please?

I encourage you to take an honest assessment and then design a custom replenishment plan that fits you.

See Part 2, Creating a God First Schedule from our interview with pastor Bill Hybels.