I spend plenty of time looking at graphs. I love the immediate feedback of good or bad, up or down. I love the instant opportunity to ask “why is there a dip there?” Or “What happened to show a peak in that spot?” These questions can unlock stories and stats that can be replicated or at least learned from.

Mainly I’m looking at trends of one of two categories: various stocks or church growth patterns. I want to be the guy who buys in low on the graph and holds indefinitely, maybe never selling, seeing my investment curve go skyward. This even applies to church stuff too. I’ll explain that in another post or conversation. And this is my view for investing in/developing leaders too, BTW.

Here are a few of the graphs of stocks I own.


Think about return on investment (ROI). Maybe it’s fulfillment, income, happiness, or a combination of many variables. It’s up to you how you define it. 

Here is the graph of my life of 42 years. I plotted this based on a combination of fruit and fulfillment (which is one of my main definitions of success: being fruitful and fulfilled). 

Some of the peaks represent my kids coming into the world, my marriage, and some good momentum seasons in my job. Some of the dips represent bad work seasons, sickness, or other less-than-stellar memories. But the whole chart is the point. And I hope the whole chart has an upward-sloping average (as mine does).

So what’s yours?

It’s a fun exercise. It helps calibrate your mind to what you find important or life giving. It also helps show trends of where you may put too much emphasis for too little return. Also just a cool new way to tell the story of your life to others.

Try it. I’d love to see it. 

I’m happy to help you think it through.

Also think about what it looks like for your leadership. Your church vibe and culture (not as easy to define with metrics). Maybe even graph your perception of clarity of God’s calling or your trust to move with Him. 


Jump on my calendar. Let’s talk about your graph and maximize the opportunities yet to come.