Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Right Side of the Bell Curve

January 14, 2009

I was talking with a friend of mine recently about his son who is currently serving in the US Army in Iraq while his daughter-in-law is living with them in their home until her husband returns.  My friend told me his son was well protected in a backstage area, his spirit was upbeat, and he is coming home soon.

What struck me in particular was the communication my friend had with his son.  He commented, “It’s a strange world we live in,” and said he talked to him all the time.  In fact the son and his wife spoke a couple of hours each night.

Of course all this takes place online.  I thought about a story my grandmother told me.  My grandfather was in the Army when World War II broke out.  He left in 1942 and she saw him again in 1945.  There were of course frequent letters and an occasional phone call, but for the most part they were separated for three years.  During one four month stretch she had no confirmation of a rumor that the Queen Mary had been sunk on the way to Australia.  She knew her husband was on the ship and for months at a time she didn’t know if he was alive or not.

But it isn’t even just the difference between today and 60 years ago.  Even the soldiers of Desert Storm didn’t have the access to home that the soldiers of today do.

The way technology is changing the world is increasing exponentially.  For those under say 30-years-old, it may seem normal and it may not be as dramatic as for those over 30.  But, just wait a few years.

If you’re going to stay on the right side of the bell (at the high end of the bell curve) you better be on top of it.  You better be paying attention.  Technology isn’t for the geeks or engineers; its for the high achiever and the rock star performer, whether your in the field or not.  It’s for the average guy if you want to stay at least average.

2009 Goals

January 4, 2009

I’ve taken the advice of several people I admire and am not setting resolutions.  Instead I’m setting goals.  If you don’t know where you are going how are you going to get there?

There are two ways to think about this.  First, in terms of a grand vision of the spectacular life you want to live.  The other is to be SMART about it (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely).  Of course there needs to be a balance.

Not all of us are going to lead extraordinary lives; most of us are average.  However pursuing SMART goals will get us step by step closer to extraordinary.  I don’t believe that if I dream it I can achieve it, but if I don’t dream it I’ll never achieve it and if I don’t pursue it the dream is simply a fantasmic waste of time.

Besides, as I sit here in the US in 2009 I realize that I already live an extraordinary life compared to most of the world and most people whoever lived.

So, I want to dream big but focus on the step before me.  I want to look for the extraordinary while doing the ordinary task that will get me there.  My performance may be average, but my effort does not need to be.

My goals for 2009

–Generate a specific income (which I think I’ll keep to myself).

–Create at least four new income streams.

–I’ll shoot for one household project a month, but knowing how life interferes I’ll make the goal 10 major household projects for the year.  That doesn’t mean I’m going to build an addition, but the project will be more like something that takes all weekend.

–I need to drop about 25 pounds, so I want to hit and maintain for a month 175 pounds.

–Take on all the projects I am given at church while creating and implementing two major campaigns.

–Read 52 books this year.

–Complete one major learning, self-development program.  I think I’ll go for learning to program in Java.

–Complete two major writing projects.

–I want to further and deepen the relationships that are important to me.  That’s really hard to quantify, but I think it means for me that I will make myself more available, I’ll initiate more contact, and I’ll participate in more avenues of relationship.

What’s your 2009 going to look like? Are you going to decide ahead of time or just let it happen?

2008 In Recap

January 3, 2009

I’m not going to say it’s been a while and that I am determined to make this blog a part of my life again; though really that’s true.  It’s not that I’ve avoided it or just got too busy doing other things.  Instead it’s more that I’ve questioned the basic premise that I started with: I’m an average guy.  As it turns out the answer is still yes, but even an average guy has amazing potential.  So, I’m back and this is going to be the main focus of my personal writing for the next year.  If you want to hear some of my thoughts on other subjects check out the links section and see if you can figure out which ones are me!  🙂

2008 was a huge year of transition for me.  I left/lost my job that I loved, but really feel like God is moving me in an important direction.  So, while there is some bitterness about that I feel like it’s all for the best.  I’m not traveling like I was and that’s good and bad (I think my wife would like just a little more travel!), but it has allowed me to connect with my family and friends in a way I haven’t been able to in a long time.

Last year I listed all the places I had been, but I haven’t been on an airplane since last May and haven’t been out of the country for almost a year so I won’t get into that.  Instead I’ll say that in the last year I’ve read 45 books, just short of my annual goal of 52.  The best fiction was The Great Gatsby and the best non-fiction Letter and Papers from Prison by Heinrich Boenhoeffer; very powerful!  (Not to say everything I read was this kind of book.  I also kept up on Robert B. Parker’s latest.)

I saw 75 movies. I had intended on finishing up the AFI top 100 movies of all time this year but I still have a ways to go.  I won’t say the best but reviewing the list for those you might have missed I’d say check out The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.  It’s a must see!

That’s it for 2008.  Next, what does an average guy intend on accomplishing in 2009?

X Games

August 3, 2008

I completely love the X games and prefer to watch them over the Olympics any day.  I’m so bummed they are over.

Danny Way is a man!

Release your potential

July 7, 2008

I just finished listening to a great sermon by Erwin McManus at Mosaic Church in Los Angeles.  He’s doing a series on being all you are supposed to be and this one was about releasing your potential.  God has a plan for each of us; even the most average of people can do spectacular things by following His lead.  Erwin says you must do these four things to live up to your full potential:

1.  Work hard – There is no getting around it, and this is what distinguishes most high achievers from the average guy.

2.  Work hard at what is easy – Find your gifts.  I can work as hard as I want at being a singer and I’ll never have great success.  If I find the things I’ve been wired for, those things that I am intended to pursue, then it will be easy for me to work hard at it.

3. Work hard until it is easy – We all have gifts but we still need to hone our skills.  We must work each day to get better and better.

4. Work hard at what is important – Pursuing the trivial even to the highest level is still trivial.

Prayer about my Job

June 6, 2008

When I wait for God to tell me what to choose or what door to knock on there’s a film playing in my head that overwhelms any voice I might hear.  The film is every possibility, anticipating the worst and hoping for what I think is the best but may not be to the omniscient one.  Sometimes the music swells and panic fills me as I think I’ve missed what He had to say and He’s moved on to something far more important.  Other times I play a game, acting as director of the film, moving the players around the set in an unspoken agreement that if I make end in a certain way then He will make it come true.  Or even worse is the thought that if I turn off the movie and just sit in the empty theater of my mind, my knees bouncing up and down, my fingers tapping on the seat in front of me that He will then join me and bring resolution, manipulation of the one who doesn’t just hold the answers and the future in His hands, but who cares enough about me not to respond so I can see what is truly important.  And, I can’t wait more than a minute anyway before I restart the film, a much darker one than before.

 

I don’t want to see the important or the process.  I don’t want to grow or develop in pain and anxiety.  I don’t want to trust but to have trusted and be beyond this stage and moving into the next.  I just want the final answer.

 

Where are you Lord and the answers that you promised?  I ask the question and before it is even a recognizable thought in my mind He is reminding me of the answers He has given me so many times before, such as Psalm 37 when He told me to trust, delight, commit and wait, but I don’t want to wait.  I want to know.  I want you to shine the light just a little ways ahead.  I want to know that you are handling this problem and that I don’t’ need to worry.  I want to know what you are going to do and what I should be doing.  Please Lord bring me to a place of peace and hope and resolution and do it today  I know that is not the faith you want, but I am stretched far beyond what I can do anymore.

 

I want, I want, I want, cried the child begging for the dream of the last five minutes that he won’t remember five minutes from now.

Change Your Paradigm Change Your Life?

May 12, 2008

Is the difference between a mediocre, negative, or pessimistic attitude and lifestyle and a life of excellence or a positive and optimistic attitude that makes a difference in the world as simple as a change in perspective?

A change of perspective is not enough to change a life; it takes action and natural gifts to do that.  Someone who is average is not going to perform with excellence simply through positive thinking, and I am never going to hit a major league home run because I want to bad enough.

However, a change in life will not even begin without a change in perspective.

Here’s a short but well done video that creatively shows the difference a new paradigm can make.