Posts Tagged ‘personal growth’



The 5 Average: What Impact Your Closest Friends Have

Someone said you are the average of the 5 people closest to you in every area of your life. That thought has stayed with me for a long time. Could it be true? Think about the 5 people whom you are the closest at this point in life. Where are you financially, physically, spiritually in relation to them?  We grew up hearing about the dangers of peer pressure and not getting “mixed up with the wrong crowd.” People have a way to affect us negatively as well as positively, and in my experience, no relationship is strictly one way. Not for long, anyway. So we influence those around us as much as they influence us. For the sake of this mental exercise, let’s then assume we ARE the average of the five people closest to us. What are the implications not only for where we are currently in our life…

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Becoming the Best Me I can Be

“That’s just who I am, and I have made peace with that.” I could not help to eavesdrop on the conversation going on next to me. The gist of the whole thing was that the man speaking those words had come to grips with himself, more specifically, with his weight and whatever other dynamics that go along with being a large person. I struggle with that statement every time I hear it. There’s something good and even healthy in realizing who you are, and as the Bible says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Understanding that God created us uniquely and for a purpose is a great place to be psychologically because culture tries hard to define for us whom we should emulate, how we should look and act. It’s comforting hearing from people who do not buy into all  of that. But there’s a darker side of that statement…

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A Relationship Reward Worth The Risk

Nothing great happens without risk. That’s true about our relationships as well. I’m not sure it’s a byproduct of maturity, personality, the fact I’m from another culture, or a combination of all of it, but I have found myself taking more risks in my relationships lately. The response has been worth the risk. It’s easier and safer to walk alongside my male friends while keeping the relationship on a shallow, trivial level. We men are great at that. We can talk about sports, work, training, and our troubles with women all day long. As a matter of fact, we can spend time with someone for years and never really know them. The American male relational protocol perpetuates this mindset: keep it interesting, keep it light, and keep surface. Introspection, after all, is the stuff of the other gender; the one we do not understand. I believe we all need to…

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My New Stranger Strategy

What would it happen if I made a habit of walking up to a complete strangers and introducing myself? In the past few months I have tried to be intentional about doing just that.  I have done it in airports, at the gym, and restaurants. I had no idea of what to expect. Would people be annoyed? Would they look at me with the you-are-creeping-me-out stare? Would they dismiss or ignore me? Not really. People’s reactions have surprised me.  The great majority of people seem genuinely glad to have a brief personal dialogue with a perfect stranger. I believe human beings are created to be part of a shared existence, part of community. It’s easy to be in the middle of a room filled with people and to be alone, go to work everyday and not connect with anyone, walk around a large gym, see the same people for months…

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Wrestling with Discontent

“If I am not moving forward, I know I am sliding backwards.” That’s a cliche for many, but it’s a foundational truth for me. Some label it discontent, or ungratefulness, others personal growth. I have come to the realization it can be both a lack of gratitude or a great opportunity to grow and reaching new personal heights. The difference has everything to do with our motivation. No one would ever accomplish greatness without challenging the status quo. The inner drive to take us beyond where we have been, beyond our own perceived limitations comes from within, and I believe is from God. But even this part of our divined-inspired nature can be corrupted. In this case, replacing our God-given drive to become better at who we and what we do, to grow, and even accomplish the impossible with the search for happiness and significance is the difference between personal…

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Instead of More Effort, Try a New Strategy

“That guy works hard, but he has looked the same for the past year,” was the remark. It was true. The man at the gym we were watching was no slacker. He had been hitting the weights hard for nearly an hour and the sweat dripping down his face was proof of his commitment. Sadly, however, he had not made any gains in muscle size, weight loss, or definition for a long time. While there are a lot of factors that go in changing one’s physique–from genetics, to diet, exercise form, etc–one thing stood out to me: he has had the same exercise routine since I had first noticed him. As I contemplated this man’s dilemma, I thought of all the effort we put in other areas of life with seemingly little or no return. It’s part common sense, part human nature to press on towards a break through. If…

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How Not to Leave a Job. A Lesson From Caddy Steve Williams

The way you leave a job says more about you than the way you started it. Recently Tiger Woods fired his caddy of 13 years, Steve Williams. Unfortunately for Mr. Williams, his public reaction to the event is a classic case of how not to walk away from a job. Whether or not Tiger was justified in firing Williams, the time and manner of it is truly irrelevant. The only thing Williams can control is his reaction. In Steve’s own words: “Following the completion of the AT&T National I am no longer caddying for Tiger after he informed me that he needed to make a change. After 13 years of loyal service needless to say this came as a shock. Given the circumstances of the past 18 months working through Tiger’s scandal, a new coach and with it a major swing change and Tiger battling through injuries I am very…

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Manscaping: A Man’s Basic Grooming

Some men think grooming is optional. Others feel it’s less masculine to be well groomed . But a well-groomed man always looks better than his frumpy, sloppier counterpart.  “Manscaping” has been a term used to describe the grooming/hygiene habits of human males. Even the most unattractive guy can look his very best by taking care of the basics.  Here’s how you can best present yourself without having to spend money on fancy, expensive clothing. Trim. Nose, ear, neck, hair is not attractive to most people in the western hemisphere. I don’t make any claims on some indigenous group of Papa New Guinea, but most people don’t want to see your nose, ear, or neck hair.  And while you’re at it, look on top of your nose, yes, on top. I’ve seen guys with long hairs growing out from the tip of their noses. Not attractive. At all. When you look…

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A Relationship Guide to Making Friends

I’m not a relationship expert by any means, but I am surrounded by great relationships with  co-workers, clients, life-long friends and family. I remember, however, a time in my life where I had a difficult time making friends. What changed? I did. I remember being so insecure that I believed I didn’t have much to offer anyone. I couldn’t imagine walking up to the “cool people” of the day and introducing myself. I used to think that I needed to be wealthy, smart, good looking–preferable all three– in order to get attention and popular friends. After all, at least the money and some expensive toys could buy a few people’s affections. Needless to say that never worked. It wasn’t until I began to have a better understanding of who I was as a person, my true identity, that I was able to muster the confidence to get out of my…

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Managing the Decline

“She was hired to manage the decline.” I heard those words over a year ago and they have haunted me ever since. I have lived a life where advance, growth, opportunity, were the words used to describe the next idea, product or ministry. I was hired once to turn a money-losing summer day camp around and within 2 summers we had tripled the enrollment and had enough profit to cause an internal fight on how to spend the excess cash. But I could never imagine being told to manage the decline. The more I learn about people, businesses and ministry, the more I run into people who are managing the inevitable death of their organizations, product lines or even entire industries the best they can. These are not lazy or bad people. While some are smart enough to know that the end is inevitable, they are either powerless to change…

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