Tuesday, July 31, 2007

start with behavior

"If you want to change your attitudes, start with a change in behavior. In other words, begin to act the part, as well as you can, of the person you would rather be, the person you most want to become. Gradually, the old, fearful person will fade away."
- Psychiatrist William Glasser

the winner's edge

"The winner's edge is not in a gifted birth, a high IQ, or in a talent. The winner's edge is all in the attitude, not the aptitude. Attitude is the criterion for sucess. But you can't buy an attitude for a million dollars. Attitudes are not for sale."
- Dennis Waitley, The Winner's Edge

its worth a try

"One of the things I've learned is that life often gives you whatever you expect from it. If you expect bad things, those are what you get. It you expect good things, you often receive them. I don't know why it works that way, but it does. If you don't believe me, try it out. Give yourself thirty days in which you expect the best of everything: the best parking place, the best table in the restaurant, the best interaction with clients, the best treatment from service people. You'll be surprised by what you encounter, especially if you give your very best to others in every situation as well."
- John Maxwell (The Difference Maker, p.36)

Monday, July 30, 2007

getting your attitude on track

I'm currently reading The Difference Maker, by John Maxwell. Its a book about how the right attitude makes a significant difference in life. Good book for sure.

In chapter four, he says "How to Choose the Right Track" with our attitude is to:

1) Take Responsibility for Your Attitude.

2) Evaluate Your Present Attitude.
- Identify problem feelings about yourself.
- Identify problem feelings related to others.
- Identify problem thinking.

3) Develop the Desire to Change.

4) Change Your Attitude by Changing Your Thoughts.
- Major Premise: We can control our thoughts.
- Minor Premise: Our feelings come from our thoughts.
- Therefore: We can control our feelings by changing the way we think.

5) Develop Good Habits.

6) Manage Your Attitude Daily.

capabilities

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
- Thomas Edison

Sunday, July 29, 2007

the life that is waiting for us

I don't know who Joseph Campbell is, but I like this quote that John Flores shared:

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
- Joseph Campbell

Saturday, July 28, 2007

the mind's paintbrush

"Your attitude colors every aspect of your life. It is like the mind's paintbrush. It can paint everything in bright, vibrant colors - creating a masterpiece. Of it can make everything dark and dreary."
- John Maxwell

Thursday, July 26, 2007

knowing and doing

"The greatest gap in the world is the gap between knowing and doing."
- John Maxwell

pray expectantly

This Norman Vincent Peale quote came to my mind today. I came across is a number of years ago when I read The Power of Positive Thinking.
"Pray a great deal and always let your prayer take the form of thanksgiving on the assumption that God is giving you great and wonderful things; for if you think He is, He surely is. God will not give you any greater blessing than you can believe in. He wants to give you great things, but even He cannot make you take anything greater than you are equipped by faith to receive. 'According to your faith be it unto you' (Matthew 9:29)"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

commitment is the key

I was listened to a John Maxwell recording today, and he told the story about how when he was young in his ministry, he felt in way over his head. He wondered if he should back out, so he carried this saying on a laminated card with him every day for like 2 years and read it every day.

Commitment is the Key
“Until I am committed there is a hesitancy, the chance to draw back. But the moment I definitely commit myself then God moves also and a whole stream of events begin to erupt. All manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, persons and material assistance that I could have never dreamed would come my way begin to flow toward me… the moment I make a commitment.”

Friday, July 20, 2007

stress

As I was watching my kids today, I remembered this quote:
"Stress is not a result of what happens to you but how you respond to what happens to you."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

sacrifice and dreams

I just finished reading As a Man Thinketh and wanted to file away a few killer quotes before I head to bed:

"He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly." (p.55)

"The dreamers are the saviors of the world. As a visible world is sustainable by the invisible, so men, through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers. Humanity cannot forget its dreamers; it cannot let their ideals fade and die; it lives in them; it knows them as the realities which it shall one day see and know." (p.59)
Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your Vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your Ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.

The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.

Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not long remain so if you but perceive an Ideal and strive to reach it. You cannot travel
within and stand still without. (p.61)

confidence

“Self confidence carries conviction, it makes other people believe in us.”
- O.S. Marsden

Regarding confidence, I've always liked Norman Vincent Peale's definition: "Confidence is faith in ourselves, resulting from faith in God."

Monday, July 16, 2007

the elimination of doubt and fear

Tonight I read this incredible passage from As a Man Thinketh:

To put away aimlessness and weakness, and to begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment; who make all conditions serve them, and who think strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully.

Having conceived of his purpose, a man should mentally mark out a straight pathway to its achievement, looking neither to the right nor the left. Doubts and fears should be rigorously excluded; they are disintegrating elements which break up the straight line of effort, rendering it crooked, ineffectual, useless. Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplish anything, and never can. They always lead to failure. Purpose, energy, power to do, and all strong thoughts cease when doubt and fear creep in.

The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do. Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he who encourages them, who does not slay them, thwarts himself at every step.

He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure. His every thought is allied with power, and all difficulties are bravely met and wisely overcome. His purposes are seasonably planted, and they bloom and bring forth fruit which does not fall prematurely to the ground. (pp.44-45).

choose to think you can

"Choose to think that you can do it. And you'll see how great you are at figuring out a way to make it happen."
-Ralph Marston

successful

"Nobody can be successful unless he loves his work."
-David Sarnoff

Maroth

I now live in the heart of Cardinal country, which works nicely for me, being a life-long Cardinal fan. In the St. Louis paper this morning was this article about new Cards pitcher Mike Maroth, a mission that goes beyond winning at baseball.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

choose your thoughts wisely

I'm currently reading for the first time the classic little book As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen. Here's one really good quote:
A particular train of thought persisted in, be it good or bad, cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances. A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances (p.29).

champions

"Champions are not made in the ring, but merely recognized there."
- Sugar Ray Leonard

potential

"It is never too late to become what you might have been."
-George Eliot

Saturday, July 14, 2007

attitude

"The only disability in life is a bad attitude."
-Scott Hamilton

the leader vs. the follower

In Leadership 101, Maxwell gives the helpful comparison between the priorities of a leader and a follower:
Leaders initiate.
Followers react.

Leaders lead; pick up the phone and make contact.
Followers listen; wait for the phone to ring.

Leaders spend time planning; anticipate problems.
Followers spend time living day-to-day reacting to problems.

Leaders invest time with people.
Followers spend time with people.

Leaders fill the calendar by priorities.
Followers fill the calendar by requests.
(p.54)

Friday, July 13, 2007

hello Mascoutah!

Yesterday, the movers unloaded the truck with all of our earthly belongings at our new parsonage in Mascoutah, IL. The people we've met here are all winners and very kind and welcoming. One very cool thing I found out is that my new secretary has the same birthday as my son and me. How wild is that. The parsonage, built only 4 years ago, is a dream house. We are happy to be here and looking forward to our first Sunday of worship at our new home.

Thanks to everyone in Pontiac for the beautiful send off last week. We will miss you all and thank God that when you befriend a fellow believer in Christ, the relationship is eternal.

My new church's website is http://www.mascoutah-bethelumc.org/.

P.S. I got word this morning that the Pontiac FUMC Softball Team won last night! Way to go guys!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world...

I just received a card that had this quote on it:

"What lies behind us
and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to
what lies within us."

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, July 09, 2007

victory

I came across this quote:
To dilute the will to win is to destroy the purpose of the game. There is no substitute for victory.
- Douglas MacArthur

It reminds of what Maxwell calls The Law of Victory, which says: Leaders Find a Way for the Team to Win.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

leader, guard your attitude

"The important thing to remember is that if you don't have the inspired enthusiasm that is contagious - whatever you do have is also contagious."
- Danny Cox

Saturday, July 07, 2007

if your ambitions are godly then...

"Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people will always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great."
- anonymous

a short poem about tithing

If God is real, the Bible true,
then tithing's what we ought to do.
If we tithe we will survive
and spiritually begin to thrive.

a mission in life

“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone's task is unique as his specific opportunity.”
-Viktor E. Frankl

empowerment

I woke up a little bit ago and was having a hard time going back to sleep. I decided to read another chapter in Leadership 101. It was about empowerment. I thought this would be a boring enough chapter that I might get sleepy and be able to roll over and fall asleep easily after reading it. The opposite happened. This is very exciting.

Maxwell writes,
When you become an empowerer, you work with and through people, but you do much more. You enable others to readh the highest levels in their personal and professional development. Simply defined, empowering is giving your influence to the for the purpose of personal and organizational growth. It's sharing yourself - your influence, position, power, and opportunities - with others for the purpose of investing in their lives so that they can function at their best. It's seeing people's potential, and showing them that you believe in them completely (p.77).
He gives these questions to help evaluate our own attitude toward empowering others:
1. Do I believe in people and feel that they are my organization's most appreciable asset?
2. Do I believe that empowering others can accomplish more than individual achievement?
3. Do I actively search for potential leaders to empower?
4. Would I be willing to raise others to a level higher than my own level of leadership?
5. Would I be willing to invest time developing people who have leadership potential?
6. Would I be willing to let others get credit for what I taught them?
7. Do I allow others freedom of personality and process, or do I have to be in control?
8. Would I be willing to publicly give my authority and influence to potential leaders?
9. Would I be willing to let others work me out of a job?
10. Would I be willing to hand the leadership baton to the people I empower and truly root for them?

If your answer is no to more than a couple of these questions, you may need an attitude adjustment. You need to believe in others enough to give them all you can and in yourself enough to know that it won't hurt you. Just remember that as long as you continue to grow and develop yourself, you'll always have something to give, and you won't need to worry about being displaced. (pp.82-83)
Further, Maxwell explains,
Author and professional speaker Danny Cox advised, "The important thing to remember is that if you don't have the inspired enthusiasm that is contagious - whatever you do have is also contagious." People can sense your underlying attitude no matter what you say or do. If you have an expectation for your people to be successful, they will know it...

Once people recognize and understand that you genuinely want to see them succeed and are committed to helping them, they will begin to believe that they can accomplish what you give them to do. (p.85)
In conclustion, Maxwell encourages us to empower, saying,
If you head up any kind of organization - a business, club, church, or family - learning to empower others is one of the most important things you'll ever do as its leader. Empowerment has an incredibly high return. It not only helps the individuals you raise up by making them more confident, energetic, and productive, but it also has the ability to improve your life, give you additional freedom, and promote the growth and health of your organization. (p.88)
Now I'm going back to bed.

Friday, July 06, 2007

listening over imitation

"Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery. "

-Dr. Joyce Brothers

listening over imitation

"Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery. "
-Dr. Joyce Brothers

becoming a better listener

In Relationships 101, John Maxwell has a helpful chapter on becoming a good listener.

He shares THE VALUE OF LISTENING, saying...
- LISTENING SHOWS RESPECT
- LISTENING BUILDS RELATIONSHIPS
- LISTENING INCREASES KNOWLEDGE
- LISTENING GENERATES IDEAS
- LISTENING BUILDS LOYALTY
- LISTENING IS A GREAT WAY TO HELP OTHERS AND YOURSELF

He then gives some helpful tips on HOW TO DEVELOP LISTENING SKILLS
1. LOOK AT THE SPEAKER
2. DON'T INTERRUPT
3. FOCUS ON UNDERSTANDING
4. DETERMINE THE NEED AT THE MOMENT
5. CHECK YOUR EMOTIONS
6. SUSPEND YOUR JUDGMENT
7. SUM UP AT MAJOR INTERVALS
8. ASK QUESTIONS FOR CLARITY
9. ALWAYS MAKE LISTENING YOUR PRIORITY

Thursday, July 05, 2007

leadership and trust

"People will tolerate honest mistakes, but if you violate their trust you will find it very difficult to ever regain their confidence. That is one reason that you need to treat trust as your most precious asset."
- Craig Weatherup (PepsiCo chairman and CEO)

"Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy."
- Norman Swartzkopf

"Character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible."
- John Maxwell

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Pareto Principle (The 20/80 Principle)

The Pareto Principle or The 20/80 Principle is a common idea in business speak. Exactly how does this relate to Christ and the Church must be prayerfully considered. For what its worth, here's The Pareto Principle explained by John Maxwell:
Twenty percent of your priorities will give you 80 percent of your production, IF you spend your time, energy, money, and personnel on the top 20 percent of your priorities...

Every leader need to understand the Pareto Principle in the area of people oversight and leadership. For example, 20 percent of the people in the organization will be responsible for 80 percent of the company's success. The following strategy will enable a leader to increase the productivity of an organization.

1. Determine which people are the top 20 percent producers.

2. Spend 80 percent of your "people time" with the top 20 percent.

3. Spend 80 percent of your personal development dollars on the top 20 percent.

4. Determine what 20 percent of the work gives 80 percent of the return and train an assistant to do the 80 percent less-effective work. this "frees up" the producer to do what he/she does best.

5. Ask the top 20 percent to do on-the-job training for he next 20 percent.

(Leadership 101, pp.51-52)

seven habits

I've been reviewing a lot of leadership literature that I've read in the past five years. A few years ago I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Strangely enough, the most important thing it taught me was how to keep a Day Planner. That's no small help by the way! I know that the author Stephen Covey is a Mormon, which should make an evangelical Christian a bit skeptical of his teachings. However, most of his writing in this book is descriptive before its prescritive (although it is that as well). Covey is saying this is what effective people already do. One can without stretching the imagination find these principles already prescribed numerous times in the Bible. Anyway, here are those 7 habits:
1) Be Proactive.

2) Begin with the End in Mind.

3) Put First Things First.

4) Think Win/Win.

5) Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.

6) Synergize.

7) Sharpen the Saw.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

helping people w/in your organization set goals

Maxwell's guidelines for helping people within your organization set goals regarding their contribution to the organization:

- Make the goals appropriate. (Keep the intended job in mind, as well as the larger organizational goal.)

- Make the goals measurable.

- Clearly state the goal. ("When goals have no clear focus, neither will the actions of the people trying to achieve them.")

- Make the goals require a stretch. ("When goals don't require a stretch, the people achieving them won't grow.")

- Put the goals in writing. ("A study of a Yale University graduating class showed that the small percentage of graduates who had written down their goals accomplished more than all of the other other graduates combined. Putting goals in writing works.)

(Equipping 101, pp.62-63)

the leader's responsibility

"A leader is great, not because of his or her power, but because of his or her ability to empower others... A worker's responsibility is doing the work himself. A leader's responsibility is developing others to do the work."
- John Maxwell (Leadership 101, p.38)

love em before you lead em

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Leadership begins with the heart, not the head... Needless to say, you can love people without leading them, but you cannot lead people without loving them."
- John Maxwell (Leadership 101, pp.35-36)

juggling life

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends and spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”
- Brian Dyson, CEO Coca Cola Enterprises

adding value

Almost five years ago I remember hearing a John Maxwell talk about Adding Value to Others. The main points have stuck in my head. I just found out how to access many if not all of Maxwell's INJOY Life Club talks for free at The Global Pastors Network. Here are the main points of that talk.
1) We add value to others when we truly value them.

2) We add value to others when we make ourselves more valuable.

3) We add value to others when we know and relate to what they value.

4) We add value to others when we do things that God values.

becoming a better believer in others

In Relationships 101, John Maxwell talks about how we can become effective encouragers of others.

He states: "Believing in people before they have proved themselves is the key to motivating people to reach their potential".

He offers these four facts about having faith in others:
1) Most people don't have faith in themselves.
2) Most people don't have someone who has faith in them.
3) Most people can tell when someone else has faith in them.
4) Most people will do anything to live up to your faith in them.

Maxwell then offers some suggestions to how to become a better believer in people:
1) Believe in them before they succeed.
2) Emphasize their strengths.
3) List their past successes.
4) Instill confidence when they fail.
5) Experience some wins together.
6) Visualize their future success.
7) Expect a new level of living.

hold on loosely

I just snagged these two quotes from Ray Pritchard's website.


“I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands.”

- Corrie ten Boom

“I have held many things in my hands, and have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”

- Martin Luther

Unbelievable!

Click here to read how God's Spirit is transforming lives, through the faithful service of one of my personal heroes in the faith.