Friday, October 31, 2008


I ran across this site ... this is a great mid-afternoon, evening - whatever time - distraction. Click the pic and explore.

Creative site ...

[ht: already been chewed]

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Campolo on Voting

This is an older segment (2006) but relevant nonetheless. Colbert's quips get me.

What are your thoughts on this discussion? (Right or Left)

Here is a newer interview.

I get it now ...

[ht: petewilson]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I was reminded recently the importance of our words. Words can poison, words can heal. Words can encourage, words can demoralize. Words can help raise confidence to a point where one dares to do what is difficult.

Maybe you're the one who needs to be encouraged today! I pray God will send someone to you to build you up, to strengthen your soul with a kind word today.

Who can you encourage today? Be for others what you need in your life. Plant some seeds of hope today.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Getting things done - day 3

Here are the final questions to examine as we try to be more productive ... [ht: Mark Sanborn]
Question number six:
Do you understand the difference between perfectionism and excellence? Many people take pride in having extremely high standards but there is a difference between having high standards and being a perfectionist.

A perfectionist is someone who has a neurotic attention to details, usually stemming from insecurity. Excellence is different. Excellence is a commitment to high standards that means additional time or energy invested in a task will be noticeably better to the end-user.

Some things are worth doing and getting done. Some things are worth doing well. Other things are worth doing very, very well. Perfectionism is the inability to know the difference.

Question number seven: Have you developed discipline? Discipline is doing what needs to be done rather than doing what you want to do. It is (also) the ability to delay immediate gratification in order to obtain long-term gratification.

Question number eight: Are your people skills sufficiently developed? There are only three real resources in the world: money, time, energy

The scarcest resource in our life is time. The second scarcest resource is energy. And if you invest your time and energy wisely, you can accomplish anything that you want to accomplish, including financial goals and objectives that you've set for yourself.

Another resource some of us have is the time and energy of other people. If you're only good at managing your own time and energy, you're not fully utilizing your resources. Leaders must develop the ability to get results with people. Your skill at getting results depends on how highly developed your people skills have become.

Question number nine: Do you suffer from the "super person syndrome"? The key is not doing it all yourself. Trying to do it all yourself will severally limit how much you can accomplish both personally and organizationally.

Question number ten: Do you procrastinate? Some people may answer by saying, "Well, let me think about that for a while and I'll get back to you later with an answer." The problem that all of us face is the tendency to postpone, the unwillingness to do what needs to be done at the moment and do something we'd rather do instead.

Question number eleven: Do you fear failure? Maybe you fear success.

Psychologists say that just as crippling as a fear of failure might be, so is a fear of success. Some people fear the consequences, the increased expectations that they have to live up to when they're successful. As a result they sometimes short-circuit themselves in their attempt to get things done. A fear of failure or a fear of success can be a very real barrier in our attempt to get things done.

Question number twelve: Have you attended a meeting this past week that was a complete waste of your time? Most of us can honestly answer yes to this question. Work at cutting down on meeting attendance that isn't really necessary.

Remember that organization and discipline, delegation, good people skills, confidence, and understanding the difference between perfectionism and excellence are the keys to productive and well-balanced lives.
My recommendation is to work on 2/3 of the most relevant questions in your situation. It may help in really making change for us to be productive. Remember: we are all works in progress.

Mine to work on is 7, 9, 10! You?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Getting things done - day 2

Here is a continuation of the thoughts from yesterday. God knows I am the one who needs these the most! As far as the plans in writing (you will read about) I am a sticky / list kind of guy. I love to cross things out and tangibly throw stuff away. There is closer for me! (sorry for the long post).

"We must learn, individually and collectively, to work smarter, to work faster, and to do it in such a way that we don't sacrifice the quality of the results that we're producing. Here's a 12 question quiz that will help you to begin thinking along these lines. (we begin all our actions with thought ...)

Question number one:
Have you committed in writing a long-range plan? In the mid-1940's, a 15 year old boy sat down to make out a list of his life's goals. He wrote down 127 goals. He wanted to explore the Congo, Nile, and Amazon rivers. He wanted to read the complete works of Shakespeare, Aristotle, and Socrates. He decided that he would climb Mt. Everest and Mt. Kilimanjaro. He wanted to take off from and land on the deck of an aircraft carrier. His final goal was to walk on the moon.

By 1986, John Goddard had accomplished 108 of those 127 goals. He knew that the key to a fulfilling and successful life was a sense of purpose and a clearly identified set of goals so that when life ended, he would have done those things that he deemed to be most important.
Research suggests that very few Americans ever take time to do what Goddard did as a 15-year-old. We don't have a sense of what we're trying to accomplish on a monthly or yearly basis. The first step in getting more done and producing results in our personal and professional lives is committing to a long-range plan of action that very carefully details the things that we want to accomplish.

Question number two: Do you have a weekly and daily written plan? Most people say they have a daily plan, but not a weekly plan. I call this "knee jerk time management". Monday morning you get to the office and you have 127 things to do that week. You determine to do all 127 on Monday. By the end of the day, when the dust is settled, the list is up to 128. Not only have you not accomplished most of what you tried to do, but some things have come up during the day that you've had to add to your list. Tuesday morning you start--full speed--to accomplish the list. And by noon on Tuesday you're so frustrated at your lack of results that you wad that list up into a ball and throw the paper out the window.

Planning one week at a time gives you a greater sense of organization and focus because it lets you control your schedule rather than letting your schedule control you.
Question number three: Is every item on your daily plan prioritized? Have you noticed that at the end of a typical day you've accomplished everything except the most important item on the list? This is "reversed prioritization." The easy things get done and the important things stay undone. Having a daily list is only part of the equation. Prioritizing every item on the list so that you know what needs to be done first is the next key.

Question number four:
Are you consistently utilizing a system of time management? There are numerous time management systems, some with very fine selling points. The system that you use, however, is less important than the fact that you use a single system and that you use it consistently. Determine which system you're willing to commit to for at least the next year or longer and begin using it every day.

Question number five:
Are you an architect or a fire fighter? An architect is one who designs the future. A fire fighter responds to crisis. Many of us become victims of other people who lack a system and the skills aforementioned. As a result, these people create crises or respond to crises that impact us. You must be proactive rather than reactive if you're going to produce results." (visit Mark Sanborn)

I know... a lot to digest. Take the weekend to think about a couple of these that speak to you. Then act!

Any thoughts?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Getting things done - day 1

Time is our most valued resource. Once it's gone it can never be replaced.

If you are like me, you may struggle with productivity. Part of it is AAD (adult attention deficit - yeah I made that up) but part of it is much on my plate and deciding what needs to be done today and what can wait.

Mark Sanborn wrote an article about how we can be more productive in our everyday lives. I want to share segments for the next couple of days. I hope it will help you .... and me!

"There is one common ailment facing America today:
even though we are doing more, we are accomplishing less. For instance, a client recently wondered, "How do you balance the various components of your day to achieve the right allocation of time?" He mentioned that his time had "competitors": work, family, sleep, education, exercise, recreation, meals, and a myriad of other activities.

How does one get more done and get more results out of each day? But...why should we get more things done?

we need to increase our productivity so that ultimately we can have more time to spend with the people who really matter to us. Second, the better we get at managing our time and increasing our results, the more time we have to do the things that we want to do.

Our challenge is not to put more time in our lives, but to put more life in our time."

Tomorrow, I will share 6 questions to ask ourselves about our own productivity.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Small Adjustment: Big Difference

Einstein once defined insanity as, "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I have caught myself on more than one occasion recently doing just that - expecting a different result after doing same thing over and over.

I've realized that most of the great things that happen in our lives are not huge decisions. They are the small, seemingly insignificant, decisions we make day in day out! Stuff like ... eating the right foods. Moving regularly through some exercise. Watching the less TV. Reading more books. Spending time with the significant people in your life. Putting our trust and hope in a God who doesn't change and has given us the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life - everyday!

What is a small change for me may be a big one for you - and visa versa. The idea is that we start where we are.

It may be spending 10 minutes of focused attention with your child, asking the clerk how their day is going (and listening), or letting someone know what they mean to you.

What is the latest life lesson you've learned?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tribes - we need you to lead us

Seth Godin is a great writer among other things. He is a great thinker. Marketing and personal development are two areas which he's gotten me to think, dare I say, change my paradigm on a few ideas.

He has a new book called Tribes. Everyone is a leader! Anyone who wants to make a difference can. Tribes are about faith, respect, and a belief in an idea. You can read more about this here and here.

Download the book for .95 Cents at iTunes. You can get Free a PDF of the book here.

I am enjoying the audiobook as I type!

What is a book (leadership, personal development type) you would recommend?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Don't Forget

I get the privilege of taking communion each week at church. It's a way to remember the sacrifice Jesus gave for me on the cross and time of fresh commitment and renewal. I never want to forget, or take for granted, the cost of salvation, the power of resurrection, and the hope there is living for Jesus.

This has made me think a bit what what else I don't want to forget:

  • My first kiss with Melissa
  • Holding my boys after their birth
  • Seeing the look on my daughter's face on our "gotcha" day
  • What it feels like to get a second chance
  • Growing up in a home full of love
  • What it's like to be the outsider
  • Uncertainty of the next step ... and taking it anyway
  • The moments the Holy Spirit touched my life from childhood to today
  • The last time I caused my wife or kids cry
  • Exhilaration of crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles
  • The comfort and joy of being with family
  • Unexplainable humility of sharing in life transformation
There is more. Much more ....

What about you? What is it you never want to forget?
[idea ht: Aaron Ivey]

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I like this blog ...

If you find your self reading a lot of blogs these days and are not using a reader - you may be wasting a lot of time. You can visit one place and read all your blogs in one place ... one visit. This video is about 3 min and explains it very well.

I've used Bloglines before and really love using Google Reader currently.

If you subscribe to a reader ... let's take an informal poll here.

Which reader do you use? Please let me know ....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Combating Zackly!

You may have some stanky breath ... and not know it.

Take the test here - takes 10 seconds! You may have to test it a couple of times for accuracy!
[ht: KemMeyer]

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hard on yourself / Hard on others

John Newton (author of the hymn "Amazing Grace") said, “When people are right with God, they are apt to be hard on themselves and easy on others. But when they are NOT right with God, they are easy on themselves and hard on others.”

I am not as bad as the person who is __________ (fill in the blank). At least I don't __________ (fill in the blank). I tend to feel better about myself when I compare myself with someone else's sin / problem whether it's my coworker or the latest celebrity in rehab.

My goal is to balance grace and truth in my life. I need to give both and receive both in my life. You need both. Scripture says Jesus was full of Grace and Truth (John 1:14). He's my standard not my neighbor.

This is easier said than done - Thoughts?

To here a message about "Feeling UnFit for the Task" click here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What does complaining say about us?

I read this last week and haven't been able to shake it:

The opposite of complaining is leading...

:: If you don't like a decision your boss makes, lead up.

:: If you don't like your office culture, lead around you.

:: If you don't like your circumstances, lead through it.
:: If you don't like your church's short-comings, lead out.

Complaining is a sign of giving up. It's admitting that you're a follower, not a leader. A leader is a never a victim. But someone who sees that all conditions are subject to change with the right influence.

[ht: ben armet]


Now this is a jingle ...

"Meat falls off the bone..." not sure why but this cracks me up.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

14 years today

I am grateful. Melissa and I have been married 14 years today. I've said it before...she's the best thing that's happened to me.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Cards v. Bills

After living in AZ for the last three years, I finally attended my first game at University of Phoenix Stadium (home of the Cardinal and Super Bowl 2008 - I don't want to look up the roman numeral!)

Here was my view of the game. 15 rows up from end zone (which I equate to bleacher bum territory in baseball). I had a great view of the replay screen and enjoyed hanging with Derrick Logan - Great guy!

What stadium is the best venue you've witnessed a sporting event?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Marathon Update

I finished my first week of runs. I waited (kind of on purpose) to run til dusk tonight. Not sure why but I really like the evening run. The weather was great although there was a lot of traffic. I was to run 5 miles today but purposely ran a bit more...was feeling strong.

Here was my playlist (my most favorite yet):
Where the streets have no name - U2
Unbreakable - Michael Jackson
Everywhere I go - Lincoln Brewster
Are you gonna be my girl - Jett
Typical - Mute Math
Song of Hope - Robbie Seay Band
Lonely no more - Rob Thomas
The Pretender - Foo Fighters
How He loves - Kim Walker
100 - Tommy Simms
If I never see your face again - Maroon 5 (feat. Rihanna)

My surprise of the runs was "How He loves." It's not a typical workout song at all. It's in 6/8 time but the lyrics really inspired me tonight.

Any recommendations for workout songs?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Pass the potatoes and the values please!

Ronald Reagan once said, "All great change in America begins at the dinner table."

I see the truth in that statement. Eating together, no TV, no computer, no distractions ... just eating and talking has become a lost pleasure of life. Granted there are times where it is difficult to achieve due to schedules, etc.

I remember my family eating together as a kid more often than not and I feel it really help us remain connected with each other. In a world where it's easier to stay connected electronically rather than life on life, I am making a commitment to stay connected with my family eating dinner together more often than not.

Instead of "waiting on the world to change" how can we do our part each day? One way is the seemingly insignificant dinner time with my family.

When passing the potatoes, let's not forget to pass the values that you wish to see in the world: compassion, social justice, responsibility, and self-control.

What can you do to change your world?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

In N Out ... Anthem

It's not in Anthem proper but being 4 miles from my house is close enough!

Imagine my excitement when I drove by the construction site this morning. For those who've never experienced an In N Out Burger ... sorry about that!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Giving and Getting

I agree with some of the talk lately about our society over extending ourselves in so many ways, especially financially.  We've forgotten about delayed gratification and to revert back to character building principles seems so ... so ... lame!  We want and we get!  Bunch of getters we are.

Ben Arment works for Catalyst. I really like his blog. Challenging and to the point. A few days ago he wrote this about Giving and Getting ...

"Moving from a getter to a giver is the best way to achieve what you want.

Let's say you want to be mentored by somebody. You want them to share books, ask how you're doing, pray for you... but they're not biting. So reverse it. Pour into them. See what happens.

Let's say you want to build a network. You've got goals, and you need contacts. Try not asking for anything for a while. Instead, only give out. Watch how often your calls get returned.

In the social economy, givers always end up the biggest getters."

What do you think?