Posted tagged ‘Life’

Ali and Change

April 6, 2010

Make room for changing opinions and views for yourself and for others. Muhammad Ali once said, “the man who views the world at fifty, the same as he did at twenty, has wasted thirty years of his life”.

He could not be more true. Our minds should always be seeking to learn and expand our views and knowledge of the world around us. As we learn more, our views become panoramic as the depth and breadth of humanity is taken in.

The longer a man lives, the larger the world should be.

Failure is a What not a Who

March 24, 2010

When talking about business, many people talk in absolutes. Wins – Losses…Good – Bad Investments….Smart – Stupid moves….Success – Failure. In discussions like these it is imperative that we remember that a failure is “something ” that happened; not “someone”. With that context clear in our mind, we make it alright for others and ourselves to pursue great things and risk incredible failure. The reason is simply that whether great or not, they are just events and not people, like ourselves.

What kind of Change do we need?

November 13, 2008

The entire election cycle has had with it one undulating theme. However we try to look at it, Change, has been on the gilded tongues of both competing parties. It seems, in practice, that we humans tend to desire equilibrium more than constant change. In fact, one of the problems with many previously successful industries around the world is that when faced with a decision to change or to remain the same, they chose the latter. Typically this resulted in reduced influence or relegation to the history books.

Now, it seems, we yearn for “change”. Despite it’s popularity the word is a swarm of ambiguous ideas. Depending on how many people you question about the meaning of the word “change” will determine the variety of answers you will receive.

We have to admit that change is decidedly amoral. The true meaning has to be derived from its motivation. For me, the idea of change leads me in the direction of asking, “where is the reference for change?” When we decide to change, what will be the way we will measure our change?

Meg Wheatley (by now you know I’m a fan) says that,

Self-reference is what facilitates change in turbulent environments. In human organizations, a clear sense of identity.

the values, traditions, aspirations, competencies, and culture that guide the operation are the real source of independence

from the environment. When the environment demands a new response, there is a reference point for change.

Self-identity gives us the fulcrum to make positive progressive change happen. Self-identity and self-reflection are crucial in the volatile world we live in. Meg doesn’t say, “If the environment demands a new response”, she says, “WHEN the environment demands a new response”. Reinvention and rebirth come from change that has at it’s root an accepted identity.

Whether in our homes or at work, change will come, but the question to ask is, “Where will the reference point for change come from?” If you do not have that point identified, change can bring distress. If you do have that point solidly in place, change can produce exponential growth in your life and career.

Paradoxes in Life

October 23, 2008

One of the blogs I look at frequently is the Happiness Project, in one post the discussion of the paradoxes that keep coming up in life was particularly insightful. The opposite of a great truth is also true. I try to embrace these contradictions:
1.Accept yourself, but expect more of yourself.
2.Keep an empty shelf, and keep a junk drawer.
3.Take yourself less seriously—and take yourself more seriously.
4.Use your time efficiently, yet make time to play, to wander, to read at whim, to fail.
5.Think about yourself so you can forget yourself.
6.The days are long, but the years are short.
Often, the search for happiness means understanding both sides of the contradiction.
Take, for example, Item #1 above. W. H. Auden articulates beautifully this tension: “Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity.”

The Fountain

October 12, 2008

Had a remarkable opportunity to go down to the Fountain on 3rd Street in Macon. There is a relief effort going on that has focused on the Fountain area as ground zero in their attempts to help some of the homeless and disenfranchised population of downtown Macon. I met Jesse, a guy who has a quick mind and a desire to discuss the scripture; I met Kimarra a musical producer who desires to put his fingerprint on Hip Hop; I met Scotty who is simply a joy and a whole lot more. The point is that in just a few moments I created relationships that transcended economics and geography.

Several of the guys asked where I was from. When I replied Perry, they were amazed that I had traveled so far to bring food to them.  This is where the church as a whole has failed. When people are surprised that we would feed them, something is wrong. I know that there will always be difficulties when we try to become a part of others activities. (ie. the Red Cross, the Salvation Army – all have strict guidelines and a menagerie of forms) The essence of Christ is to love. When we simply love people we incarnate Christ to them. In fact, when I saw Jesse, Scotty, and Kimmara, they incarnated Christ to me as well. Their love and acceptance spoke volumes as to the impact we each have on one another every day.

Even when we don’t feel like it, or are aware of it, our actions and body language transmit to others. Let us do our utmost to position ourselves to present the best display of our knowledge of Christ possible as we walk out our lives today.

Suffering

September 30, 2008

“We do not want suffering; we want success. We identify not with those who are low and hurt but with those who are high and healthy. We don’t like lepers or losers very well; we prefer climbers and comers. For Christians, the temptation to be conformed to this world is desperately sweet and strong. Yet, says the apostle Paul, we are children of God if we suffer with Christ. … God does not give his hardest assignments to his weakest children.”

 Cornelius Plantinga, Jr

There is such pressure for us to become pressed into a form that is not authentically ours. We have people all around us friends and family and co-workers who try to tell us how we should be. Then we pay people to come and listen to us in therapy and tell us what we should be or do. The stark reality is that we need courage to become who we are. Within each of us is a divinely unique essence that God wants displayed in this world. In our day and night dreams we see flickers of it. When we connect with a character in a great film or story we feel a brief moment of what could be. Too often we see those experiences as fantasy instead of the open window into our real reality.

What we perceive to be weakness is in fact strength – strength that has the capacity to remove any obstacle in your way of becoming the true authentic you.