Columns

Take Your Leap

Don't wait always. Waiting and calculating can be good, but not when the oceans open up a way forward.

Sometimes you'll have to interpret signs in the universe spoken without words. A sunny day and a break in your schedule might mean you need to take a walk outside. Who knows where your journey could lead. A bold knock, a new friend, a changed law—anything could open one path into another. But, you'll only know if you keep walking.

So, consider the invitations given in nature's native language. Watch for circumstance as they explain an open invitation, then accept.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

Fame Quests

Today presents too many quests for fame. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace, Snapchat, Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr—the many corners of the sprawling social "bragosphere" have everyday, average, ordinary people hungry for fame.

We grow up being told to watch the TV. Then, the TV tells us to try to be famous like the people trying to be famous on shows like "Star Search" or "Britain's Got Talent". But, fame doesn't always seem to turn out so well. Just ask any of the actors who played Anakin Skywalker.

Don't seek fame; seek to build your character first. When worthy, you'll shine.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

Which Expert?

Everyone can become an expert in some field. An awesome counselor becomes a renowned authority because of people well-counseled. A pro-golfer becomes a moral role model for young people. A basketball star becomes a hair style trend-setter and informal international negotiator with North Korea. A Rubic's cube tutor becomes a famed blogger that network news wants to interview about social-political matters.

But, is it wise to hire life coaches or psychotherapists to help set and achieve our life goals, rather than product managers who know profitable scalability? I wouldn't ask my neurosurgeon to clean my kitchen; better a house cleaner.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

‘Jackal Barking’ Defined

Marshall Rosenberg called it "jackal language"; Satir called it "blamer mode". Whatever flavor you like to call it—using negative descriptions, declaring one-word final opinions about the person arguing with you, and saying things like "you always/never..." isn't smart if your goal is peace.

But in that, there's another pattern we often miss: "verbal cannonballs" or "barking". When we're unhappy, we tend to add words like "anyway" or start sentences with "well". We don't normally do this, only when feeling "barky". When words add no more meaning than a bark, they should be classified as "barking", more specifically, "jackal barking".

continue reading

Standard
Columns

Wisdom Seeds

Not everybody grows up when they grow up. None of us mature the moment we get wise counsel. But, the wise among us can plant "wisdom seeds" of a happy life.

Don't hate or fret over the idiots in your life. In some sense, you've been that idiot before and you probably will be again. Rather, take your frustration with other people's immaturity to a constructive venue: keep planting wisdom seeds and keep dripping water on those seeds.

Adults are brats because the adults in their lives didn't drip wisdom. You be their adult and they just might grow up.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

Whose Pockets Are Deep?

Once the city gets built, residents easily loose the conscience that built their city.

Projects yield good results because of wisdom, tough decisions, doing things that aren't popular everywhere, even paying above market value, firing friends, and hiring enemies, all because of the quality of work that will get done. But, after the hard work, hard thinking, and hard choices become history, human tendency is to take the yield for granted.

Pile that into urban populations with infrastructure and real estate unsustainable without farmlands. Understandably, urban populations favor public spending. But, it's big money, not bankrupt government, that spends big.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

Sugar Push

Backing down is not the same thing as being sweet and charming. Friendliness includes pushing forward, leaning on slow doors until they open.

Reject the lie that nice guys have to finish last. Actually, nice guys finish first so they can take the trophy home to their loved ones who supported them—and put up with them—through all the difficult training necessary to win.

Nothing gets done without turbulence. Races require sweat. Construction requires demolition and dust. Even trees break up the ground as they spread roots. Life grows better if you're sweet, but winning makes your sweetness worthwhile.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

Treat Friends as Friends

Treat your friends well. Friends are friends as long as you treat them like friends. The moment you fail to forgive, fail to show mercy, or even fail to share is the moment you make your best friend into your enemy.

It's not that your lack of compassion and kindness will offend your friend, though there is that. The problem runs deeper: Men are not inclined to die quietly.

When you fail in friendship to share and show mercy, you require that former friend to fight you to survive. That choice adds insult, so such friends won't object to fighting.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

Yank the Cord

Everyone has opportunities and no opportunity lasts forever. So, everyone has a revolving door of opportunities that come and go. But, people tend to forget, which is why people tend to take opportunities for granted, thinking every opportunity will last forever.

Sometimes you are the opportunity for someone else. Accordingly, people will take you for granted and think that your time is limitless. When they do, don't stick around for them. It's always tempting to stick around while ambivalent people ponder nothing infinitely; don't.

One of the best opportunity teachers is the opportunity missed. Never miss your teachable opportunity to teach.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

Messy Patience in Leadership

Many of us live in a world surrounded by stuff that doesn't work—square pegs ordered for round holes they won't fit, things so disorganized not a flicker of hope shines an escape from chaos, people who just won't do a good job no matter how much extra work it creates for themselves and others. Such disorder requires patient leaders.

The temptation of any leader or foreseer is to push the process along and make life better. Don't be seduced by this. People's quality of life must be their own, not their leader's. Order can be taught, but not bestowed.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

Killing Cockroaches

There are two ways to kill a cockroach, one way involves the same way to prevent its intrusion in the first place: starvation. If we don't have food or water sprinkled all over our floors and in the cracks of our sofas, they won't last more than a month and they probably won't move in to begin with. The second way is with poison.

Cockroaches poop and pee and make our houses stink. Outside, they keep the world clean because the rain cleans up after them. They'll only visit to clean up houses whose keepers don't clean up after themselves.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

God’s Perfect Time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oB-vB_OjXf0

God seems to like to wait until the last minute before solving our problems, but, He doesn't actually. He doesn't wait until the last minute anymore than He waits for the first minute; He waits for the perfect minute.

Baking a cake requires the perfect cooking time, neither too long nor too short. Our self-worry, wanting to fly while keeping both feet on the ground, causes us to perceive that God often waits until the last minute to come through. He doesn't. He does everything at just the perfect time.

It takes getting used to—acting at the perfect time.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

‘Thrive’ Coaching vs ‘Life’ Coaching

Anyone can refine and narrow-down a preferred recreation. Anyone can sit in a chair and ponder one's own life and what useless hobbies we each enjoy the most. But, profitability—the ability to make the money needed to do what you really want to do in your heart—that can't come from a psychologist or conversationalist.

Discovering your own profitability requires someone who has discovered his own. We need feedback from friends and family. These are useful. But even more, we also need information, facts, challenges, and someone to teach by example on how to quickly get to the point.

continue reading

Standard
Columns

Obedience Is Therapy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzCC9TwgWCE

We have so many identity-shaping experiences from our formative years, no book can be written long enough to list what kinds of events might make us act insane.

Even being asked to sit down might trigger a conditioned response that a scolding would soon follow and a beating after that. So, a friend asks you to sit down, you flip out, and you can't figure out what went wrong.

The golden rule from Jesus flags and cures all of these—love others as yourself, don't resist evil. By following his simple rules, you'll find whatever issues lurk beneath the surface.

continue reading

Standard