Month: April 2014

The Hunt For Happiness

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going-home-ian-barberHappy people… Miserable people… Surely I’m not the only person who has ever wondered about what makes the difference… Why happy people are happy, and miserable people miserable… If I told you what I thought the difference was, you probably wouldn’t believe me… But I think I’ll tell you anyway, because if I am right, and you buy into it… well… then maybe, just maybe it’ll help you to be a happy person too.

Now I’ll admit that a lot of factors affect our happiness.  Our health, our friends, the amount of money left in our checking account when we finish paying bills.  And wherever you turn, people seem to be desperately in pursuit of this elusive state of mind we call happiness.  Lonely hearts look for it in romance and relationships… the driven labor for it by climbing the corporate ladder… The selfless search for it in spending their life in civic service.  But hearts break, ladders collapse, and service thankless.  So where do we find happiness?

The biggest cookie on the plate when it comes to being happy doesn’t have to do with others, with money or power, or even with something as wonderful as sacrifice.  It simply has to do with being at home.  No matter where you are… feeling at home.  Happy people don’t have to “go home” to feel at ease, comfortable or peaceful.  Because for them home isn’t somewhere you go, but something you choose.

What’s strange is that sometimes it just happens.  You find yourself in a new place, and it just clicks.  Every face is friendly, and there is an air of comfort ability in everything you encounter… in the sales person who waits on you in the downtown store; in the panoramic view of the city from the hill on the edge of town; even in driving under the canopy of overgrown trees as you survey the neighborhoods…

But then there are times where it doesn’t just “click.”  Nothing feels right.  You’re in a strange place with strange people.  Not really strange, but different.  New.  Unfamiliar.  You’ve worn a warm cloak of contentment for such a long time, but now this new environment you face leaves you shivering and bracing your soul against the harsh winds of dissatisfaction and loneliness.  This change of seasons in your life stirs up feelings deep inside you’ve not encountered in ages.

So what do you do now?  How will you ever find the happiness that you’ve enjoyed in the past?  I would say it’s worth a try to be at home.  You may have changed jobs lately, and it just doesn’t “feel” right… CHOOSE TO BE AT HOME RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE… You may have recently gone through a divorce, or a marriage has blended two distinct families into one… CHOOSE TO BE AT HOME RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE…  It doesn’t matter if you’ve changed schools, changed churches, changed jobs or changed towns.   CHOOSE TO BE AT HOME RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE…

Home is where you make it… it’s a choice… and with the pressures of life and the worries that it can sometimes bring, there’s nothing quite like being at home.  So consider this encouragement from a friend who’s been on the same treasure hunt for happiness that you are… go home.  It’s a great place to be.”

Page Cole

 

Reflections of Workplace Leadership Styles- What Do YOU Look Like?

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self-reflection“Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Who’s the fairest of them all?”  It’s not just evil queens who need to ask this question about fairness!  When it comes to picking apart those who lead us, it’s easy to point out flaws and weaknesses in their leadership style.  But when is the last time you looked into your own Leadership Mirror?  

If we only chose to look into a mirror once or twice per year to check our hair, we would get pretty ragged in between those checks.  Our personal leadership style is no different.  Regular, even daily evaluation by checking out our “leadership reflection” keeps us sharp and effective!  Can you spot yourself below?

Control Freak/Dictator

  1. When Do They Get Involved?  Before there’s ever a problem, which is sometimes the cause of the problem!
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  They want to control every person, every decision, every outcome.  It’s all about power and control for this person.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  Micromanagement of individuals and teams;
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  You never have to wonder where this leader stands!  It’s hovering above you!  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  Overbearing, smothering, and stifles the ability of individuals to work out their problems in a healthy and productive manner.  WHAT ELSE?

 

Psychoanalyst

  1. When Do They Get Involved?  They stand back and on the sidelines and don’t get involved unless asked to.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  They feel a need to “fix” the people, not address the problems.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  They try to isolate the parties, “fix” them, and then report back the results to the other parties.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  They do understand that many times the issues are deeper than can be seen from the  surface.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  Sometimes the problem isn’t the people, but the issues, the policies, the location or a variety of other issues.  WHAT ELSE?

 

Buddy

  1. When Do They Get Involved? Progressively as the situation develops, many times based on gossip or prejudicial and slanted perspectives.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  Either to protect their friendship, or because they can’t stand for people to not “get along.”
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  Usually at the request of one of the disgruntled parties.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  They are invested emotionally (at least with one of the parties) and will want to see resolution. WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  They may lack objectivity.  WHAT ELSE?

 

Wallflower

  1. When Do They Get Involved? They don’t get involved until the problem is completely out of hand.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  Only because they have been put into the leadership position, and their position forces them to get involved.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  They politely and privately ask permission to help with the situation.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  They are nice people.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  People with even a slightly strong personality can run this leader over and never find resolution.  WHAT ELSE?

 

Dad

  1. When Do They Get Involved?  After they have personally been affected by the conflict. 
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  They get involved only after your problems have annoyed them.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  This leader explodes on whoever has dared to disrupt their routine or cause them grief.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  This kind of leader typically hates bullies, and will deal quickly and effectively with them.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  Many times they are oblivious to fairly serious problems; but as long as the problems don’t affect them, they don’t notice or don’t care. WHAT ELSE?

 

Referee

  1. When Do They Get Involved?   Conflict doesn’t seem to bother them UNTIL they see it is the result of broken rules.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  This person is the strict “rule enforcer” of policies and procedures.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  They typically go straight to the rule book, and communicate through documentation.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  Making sure staff work within the approved guidelines can keep you out of legal trouble later.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  Their attachment to the rule book comes before the people involved, or even the good of the organization.  WHAT ELSE?

 

Ostrich

  1. When Do They Get Involved?  They rarely get involved, if ever.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  They avoid getting involved because they hate conflict, or they are afraid to.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  Butt first.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  None.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  Conflict left unaddressed rarely gets better, and nearly always gets worse.  WHAT ELSE?

 

Mediator

  1. When Do They Get Involved?  The best kind of leader in conflict.  They assess each situation individually, and determine whether inserting themselves quickly, or allowing those in conflict the time and space to work it out.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  They not only have the best intentions for the organization, but for the team members as well.  They take their responsibility as a leader seriously.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  They observe closely, they communicate effectively, they treat people with respect, and they stick to the issues while understanding the personalities involved.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  They are effective.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  There just aren’t enough of this kind of leader.  WHAT ELSE?

So which leadership reflection best mirrors your own style?


 

Top Ten Quotes From J.R.R. Tolkien’s Buddy

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Lord of the Ring Series, The Hobbit movies… All Hollywood renderings of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Although you may be familiar with him and his movies, you many not be as familiar with his dear friend, C.S. Lewis. The two were members of an informal discussion group known as the “Inklings”.   Lewis, a prolific author as well, wrote “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, “Mere Christianity”, “Pilgrim’s Progress”, and “The Screwtape Letters” to name a few.

“Shadowlands” starring Anthony Hopkins as C.S. Lewis, tells the love story of between he and American poet Joy Davidman, her tragic death from cancer, and how it challenged his Christian faith.  The depth of his wisdom and faith are evident from his works and from the quotes you see here.  Enjoy!

CSL1 CSL2 CSL3 CSL4 CSL5 CSL6 CSL7 CSL8 CSL9 CSL10

Grace From Here to There

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Grace From Here To ThereWe want coverage for the long haul.  It’s inside of each of us.  We want to know that we have enough cash, gas, health or Brownie points to keep us in good graces for a long time.  We don’t want to have to worry about it.  Some grace works that way.  Saving grace took hold of us the moment we became a child of God.  From that point forward we know we’re bound for eternity with God.  That’s peaceful, it’s exciting, and yes, it’s amazing.

But what about grace to deal with the ugly periods in our lives?  Sometimes those times come as brief moments in our day.  Others seem to stretch across days, or months… or years.  We need grace.  We need courage, strength and hope that we don’t have, and we need God to give it to us now.  We’d love it if we could have a HUGE draw on our “Grace Account” so we wouldn’t have to make another trip so quickly to get more.  But that’s not how it works.

Grace is more than a gift to get us through.  It’s a gift to get us close to the Giver of the gift.  He loves it when we crawl up on His lap, and just ask for what we need.  It’s not our dependence, our loyalty or our tasks that He wants in exchange for grace.  He simply wants our presence.  Maybe that explains why the most successful “grace prayers” I pray are simply to get me the short distance from this moment to the next.  Could God in an instance give me enough grace to permanently deal with that bothersome boss or that annoying neighbor?  Yes.  But He seems to choose more often than not to provide just the perfect amount I need for that moment.

Paul was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Of what, we don’t know. But he kept praying, and kept asking for God to take away the problem.  Once and for all, Lord, just be done with it.  But God’s answer was  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9   God simply said, “I know you, and I know the issue… and I see the long picture.  For now, let me give you the grace for the moment, so that in the long run you’ll have grace for the victory.”  

We don’t like that.  Well, I don’t.  But God knows how much grace I need, and He gives it when I ask.  Maybe not the way I want, or to cover as long as I hope. But two things are sure:
1) God’s grace is always enough and 2) He loves it when I come back and ask for more.  Grace is the big win that carries our eternity; but it’s also the little victory that carries us from this moment to the next.

Grace from here to there.  It’s more than enough.

How to Be Perfect… Eat An Orange

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orangeEver wanted to know the secret to BEING PERFECT?

One tip?  Eat an Orange every morning…

Excerpts from – StumbleUpon.

10 Sentences That Can Change Your Life for The Better

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SO WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ENCOURAGING PHRASE OF ALL TIME?

Sometimes life just grabs you by the throat… or 1somewhere else, and it won’t let go!

It’s times like those that we need PERSPECTIVE… Someone to come along and encourage us.

Help us see through the clutter.  Shake up our mind and wake up our heart.

Give us hope.  My hope is that maybe one of these graphics will do that for YOU!
10 Sentences That Can Change Your Life for The Better – StumbleUpon.

 

IT’S YOUR TURN TO HELP… SO WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ENCOURAGING PHRASE OF ALL TIME?

RESPOND AND LET US KNOW!