For most, lunch is a time when we take a break from the day and become passive participants in the world. But, what if your lunch time could change your life?

I know what you must be thinking, “he’s about to tell me to eat a salad or something else healthy”. While you probably should include a salad in your diet once in a while, I’m not even going to discuss food or physical health today. But if you’d like more info on being more physically fit, read this: The Healthy Leader: 3 Ways to Be Your Fittest

Instead, let’s start with something a little more fun — math! Do you know how much of your life is spent eating lunch? Let’s find out.

For example’s sake, you take just 1 hour for your lunch each day. Let’s say this starts when you’re 18 years old and goes until you die at 85 (Social Security website). Which means, during our lifetime, you could spend around 17,487 hours at lunch. That’s 729 days or almost 2 full years of life!

What if you did more than just eat during those 17,487 hours? What could you accomplish if you had 729 days to do it? How could you transform your life and, in turn, those around you if you had 2 fully focused years?

Let’s look at 3 actions you can take, starting today, to transform your life during your lunch time.

1. Mentor Yourself

First, if you work in an office, GET OUT when you take your lunch break. There is something about a change of scenery, fresh air, and not being at your desk that helps you mentally, emotionally, and even physically. If you’re a stay at home mom (aka Gladiators of the home), then maybe eat outside on your porch, patio or at a nearby park if you have one. The point is to change the environment to increase your ability to absorb.

So, now that you’ve changed your environment, you can start to mentor yourself though an audio teaching (that can be a podcast, audio book, CDs, etc…) or by reading a book (paper or electronic does not matter). I used to go to a local deli, get a kid’s meal (I’m on a budget!), and pop in my earpods and listen to a podcast from a leader I was following or even a sermon from a church I liked. (You can check out some great podcasts and books I would recommend).

Getting wisdom and inspiration for yourself is key to being a leader. You can’t ever assume someone will swoop down and decide to speak into your life. Which leads me to the second action.

2. Get Mentored

In the Bible, the book of Psalms says to get wisdom at any cost. To get mentored, you should first think about the people you know or have met that you have great respect for. Then think about where you want to be or what you want to do and if any of those people are already there or doing it now. This should create a narrow list for you to pick from. Ideally, this person would be at least 5 to 10 years older than you, but peer-to-peer mentoring is beneficial too.

They can be a person that you’ve only met once or twice, the key is that they have wisdom that you haven’t obtained yet and you need to get it. So, instead of walking in pride believing you’re the smartest person that’s ever lived, humble yourself and save yourself years of struggle by talking to someone who has already walked the path.

Michael Hyatt recently talked about this on episode 8 of his podcast This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt. He gives Twenty Questions to Ask Other Leaders and even created a downloadable list for you to use. I plan on using it this coming week at a lunch.

3. Mentor Someone

Few things have a greater impact on the world than investing in those around you and coming up behind you. Andy Stanley spoke on this idea at this year’s Leadercast conference. Part of his definition of ‘Beyond You’ leadership was empowering those around and coming along behind you. If you’d like more information about Andy’s talk, read Part 1 and Part 2 of my Takeaways from Leadercast.

One thing Andy spoke about was that we have this mistaken belief that everyone already knows everything we know. While people around you may know pieces of what you know, chances are that they don’t know everything that you do. So, find someone at work, at church, maybe your neighbor and invite them to lunch. Then ask them lots of questions, get to know them better, and share your experiences.

You’ll probably never know the impact that will make, but I think we can agree that it’ll make more impact than staring at your plate of food by yourself.

We’ve been given a time everyday to eat, but also transform our lives. What will you do with your 17,487 hours of lunch time?

Question: How do you spend your lunch time? Do you have any practices that have changed you or others for the better? Please share in the comments below.

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