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Monday, January 30 2012
What if you had no affirmation? What if there was no one around to tell you that you are doing a good job? Nobody to compliment you.
Would you know if you were doing it right?
Would you have enough confidence in your preparation to know you were on mission? Would you know what results you were looking for from the work you were doing?
Would the fruits of your efforts testify that you were doing a good job?
The place you go to put all your training to work is oftentimes not the same place you train. Because of that, you may find yourself without the comforting words of affirmation from those that care about you or have trained you. Best to have a clear understanding of what results you seek and what are the true indicators of success.
The work carries its own rewards and affirmations but you have to learn to see them, understand them and know how they came to be. More importantly, you have to be honest with yourself when neither affirmation nor results are coming from your efforts.
Too often we seek affirmation when results don’t exist. We look for comfort in the fact that our best efforts, albeit weak or misguided, are the same as results. The message of no-results may just be that your best efforts might be best suited for some other field or occupation. Something less challenging.
Go for results. Affirmation will tag along.
Saturday, January 21 2012
Do you say this? “I don’t want other people to think that. . .” then you fill in the blank.
Let me give you some relief.
You can’t control what other people think, so just relieve yourself the anguish of thinking you can.
You can’t even get them to tell you what they are really thinking if they don’t want to.
They will probably tell you something other than what they really think, because they don’t want you to think they are mean or critical.
To think they are thinking about you that much is really to have a little too high of an opinion of yourself and of the amount of time they actually spend thinking about you. Don’t you think?
The real relief though is to choose things in life that matter and that make a difference then focus your thoughts and energies on them. Choose things that have real value and do them with the confidence that they are worth spending your (one) life on no matter what anyone else thinks.
Finally, since I have been unsuccessful in controlling all of my own thoughts I have decided to give up on trying to control what others think. How goes it with your own thoughts?
Here’s a thought
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength and do it openly. A small group of people around you just may think you have figured it out and want to know what you did.
Others will just think you are crazy.
We covered that.
Sunday, January 15 2012
If you have been to London and had a chance to ride the tubes, you are familiar with the phrase “mind the gap.” The gap is the space between the platform and the train. Mind the gap means to pay attention to it and don’t trip or get your foot stuck in it. If you see and hear the warning before you get a chance to see the gap, you get the idea that it’s a man-eating canyon between the train and platform and real danger is imminent.
The gap is really pretty small, but the perception is, it’s big.
The other place this gap phenomenon occurs is in church. By phenomenon I mean that there is the perception of a big gap between the work of the preachers, pastors and missionaries and what everyone else gets to do.
The Bible says that God has made all Christians able ministers of the New Testament (II Corinthians 3:6), given to us the ministry of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18) and committed the Word of Reconciliation to us (II Corinthians 5:19). This is not reserved to preachers, pastors and missionaries but has been given to all Christians. No ministry gap.
The highest of church offices and their qualifications are described in I Timothy chapter 3, where the office of pastor and deacon are detailed. The office of a bishop or pastor is without a doubt a preacher position, while a deacon is usually served by non-preachers, but can be both. The list of the qualifications of each of these offices is basically the same, and all men in the church should reach for one or the other of these.
So no ministry gap and no qualification gap (ok, a little one) so where is the gap? Unfortunately its all perception that has been engrained in us that ministers (preachers) do the ministering and the rest of us show up, sing, pray, write a check and go home. That gap does not exist in the Bible, just in our heads.
You have been authorized, empowered and commissioned to minister.
So, never mind the gap and get on with the work.
Check out www.bcwe.org
Friday, January 13 2012
That is my own term that I use when someone makes an announcement of a new plan or program that advertises big but never gets out of the starting block. Not that it’s a bad plan or that they are bad people, but the plan dies because the announcer lacks the discipline to execute. It’s like a new year’s resolution, (that you don’t keep) that you can make any day of the year.
One of my favorite examples of announcement death is when someone says, I am going to blog three times a week, and the blog that makes the announcement is the last one – dated late 2010. I am not a disciplined blogger so there will be no such announcement coming here.
If you are a “completer” (not a real word, but you know what it means) or if you get motivated by throwing your hat over the wall so you have to climb the wall to get it, there is some value in announcing. If you are not a completer though, you should consider not being an announcer either. If the real issue is you lose interest quickly or don’t have the discipline to finish then don’t announce.
There is hope for people that announce and don’t complete though. The trick is that you have to learn to do, without announcing, and then let people come to the conclusion that you are a doer and actually get things done. Watch it improve both your doing and your sphere of influence.
If you announce and don’t do, your announcements will become inaudible over time.
If you learn to consistently complete the things you start, others will take care of the announcing for you.
Check out www.bcwe.org
Monday, January 09 2012
It’s easy to confuse a really good computer calendar or organizer program that assembles all your to-dos, appointments, tasks and contacts in the latest formats with actual work.
It’s great when you can link a document or graphic right into your schedule or journal so that all your undone work is safely archived. The greatest part is when all of your electronic devices sync all your wishful thinking together into a perfect mosaic of well planned wasted time.
You have to do the work. You have to start the work, concentrate on the work, finish the work and review the work to make sure it’s done right. You have to work all the time you work so that you can play all the time you play.
Electronic scheduling and archiving have become a form of techno-entertainment and have somehow become a substitute for actually doing the work. To do the work you need to have a system that is simple and effective. I have watched people get more done using a yellow pad and pencil than those who have the latest gadgetry and software. The secret is - you have to do the work.
The schedule is not the work.
Sunday, January 08 2012
That doesn’t mean that everything is about you and your plan, but it does mean that you plan your time around the prioritization of steps to reach your goals.
Most will finish life like they finish a day – with lots of potential. Potential being loosely defined by me as unutilized ability. Lost utility for the day. Wasted resources.
Mostly it happens because we have learned to entertain ourselves first, serve our needs second, do meaningless “busy tasks” next until we have run out of time, energy or interest to do the really important things.
The dictionary definition of potential is “Latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.”
Its gas in a can, stored somewhere safe, never used.
Strategic thinking is planning ahead to get the full utility out of the day and to reverse the trend of amusing ourselves first then trying to squeeze in some work at the last.
Strategic thinkers have a much easier time making decisions as they are heading to their compass point (their goals) and not just waiting on a clock to tell them its quitting time. When you are moving in a definite direction, making a decision about a major detour is simple. You see the wasted gas and time. If you are merely trying to fill in the work hours of the day, then its just as easy to fill it with one worthless task as another.
Today is a goner but tomorrow is a strategic weapon of mass destruction to get to your goals - if used properly.
Make a plan
Also, check out www.bcwe.org
Saturday, January 07 2012
One of the primary reasons people don’t achieve their goals in life is that they never write them down, think about their importance (or unimportance) and figure out how to pursue them. Goals have to be written down to become targetable.
Goals define the outcome you want. They are at the top of your decision making hierarchy. They should not be confused with strategies or tactics which are the methods used to reach goals. Strategies and tactics are the new to-dos on the daily to do list of a person who has written down their goals and makes an incremental, daily move toward them. Every day they move toward them.
Goals are the things you want to have happen or the current things you want to stop happening. Goals objective, measurable and has some sort of time element or deadline to it. Goals are compass points in the distance that set your course and define your direction. The serendipitous result of creating life momentum toward goals is all the extra, unplanned benefits that show up in a life that moves, and moves in the right direction.
Setting goals is fun exercise because the sky is the limit. You can list and set as many goals as you can think of then prioritize and select the ones that you think are most important and most readily attainable.
Goals should fit into at least four major categories but as with the goals, so with the categories, so the sky is the limit. I put mine into spiritual, financial, physical and self improvement. If I can hit at least one of each of three goals in four categories it will be a fantastic experience and a noticeable outcome.
So, paper, pen, quiet room, coffee, 30 uninterrupted minutes, (nothing electronic).
Get to it.
Also, be sure to check out www.bcwe.org
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