Archive for August, 2010

48 Days Blog Has Moved!

August 27, 2010

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My life is a puzzle box

August 5, 2010

This week I met with a former pastor who gave me this description of his current situation:  “My life is a puzzle box – all the pieces are there but the picture on the front has been torn off.  I don’t know what it’s supposed to look like.”

His income has gone up dramatically in the last couple of years allowing him to tithe more than his entire income seven years ago.

But financial success does not remove the questions about proper direction.  Faster, bigger and more are sometimes just that – faster, bigger and more.  Ultimately we want to see that picture of our life – a completed whole.

If I try to do something noble, humanitarian or Godly that has nothing to do with who I really am, I may look good to others and to myself for a period of time.  But the fact that I am not being authentic will eventually have consequences.  I may end up doing more damage than if I had not attempted this particular area of “success.”  Trappist monk Thomas Merton addressed this when he said, “There is in all visible things….a hidden wholeness.”

We’re all looking for that completed picture on the front of our puzzle box – our “hidden wholeness.”  Don’t be content until yours comes into view.

Pizza Man – Fear Controls my Life

August 2, 2010

Recently we had a Coaching with Excellence event here in Franklin, TN.  On the closing night it seemed no one wanted to leave – so we ordered pizza to be delivered.

When the order arrived I slipped out to the kitchen to thank the delivery man.  He tentatively asked, “Isn’t this the Sanctuary?”  He proceeded to tell me that he’s been a reader of my 48Days materials for years, knows all about the Sanctuary, but then added, “Fear controls my life.”

Sometimes it appears that fear of success is stronger than fear of failure.   The unknown is a scary place – staying with a familiar mediocrity may be less intimidating than trying something new.  With no clear goals and no cheering from those around you, boring but predictable careers are born and maintained.

Delivering pizzas is a worthy occupation.  But I really expect that most 46-yr-old-men see it as a stepping stone to something else.  Don’t let fear keep you in a red shirt.

Is your desire for your dream stronger than your fear?

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Want to be “intelligent” and average or “creative” and successful?

August 1, 2010

Studies over the last 50 years show children increasing in IQ.  But since 1990, scores of creativity have gone down.  Our children, and adults, are becoming less creative.

The accepted definition of creativity is production of something original and useful.  Too much TV, video games and time indoors can be blamed.  But standardized tests and the push to accumulate facts have added to the decline.

As adults, creativity will open opportunities more than intelligence.  The average GPA of decamillionaires in America is 2.7.  A 4.0 GPA can lead to very common jobs and careers.  A lower IQ may allow for a more authentic and successful career path.

Here are some things we can do as adults to kill or increase our creativity.

Ways to kill creativity and idea generation:

  1. Wallowing in self-pity
  2. Blaming others
  3. Giving up on dreams
  4. Overreacting to criticism
  5. Underestimating your opportunities

Ways to increase creativity:

  1. Laugh out loud every day
  2. Break familiar routines
  3. Say to yourself, “I can do this”
  4. Set aside 15 minutes daily for “thinking”
  5. Read one non-fiction book a month

“A lot of what we think of as neurosis in this country is simply people who are unhappy because they’re not using their creative resources.”  Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way)