Saturday, January 29, 2011

Do You Walk the Talk?

Whether you know it or not you are judged by what you do much more so than by what you say. Effective leaders have identified a certain set of values and then live their life in accordance with those values. That is, "They Walk Their Talk". This one step in and of itself allows leaders to live an authentic rather than a hypocritical life. Max De Pree in his book entitled “Leadership Is an Art” says that leaders should have a clear statement of values that should shape their corporate and individual behavior.

The values that you identify and hold sacred influence how you behave in any circumstance and situation. You should behave the same way 24/7, whether in church or out of church, whether in the office or out of the office. If you really want to know and identify your core values just ask yourself why you respond the way you do in certain circumstances and situations. For many of us our core values have been inherited from other people in our life, from our culture, or from where we live. We respond to circumstances and situations because that’s the way we have always done so.

Are there any areas in your life that you feel you would like to improve? If so, ask yourself what it is that you do not like about that area of your life. Ask yourself why you feel the way you do or respond the way you do in that situation or circumstance. Identify the value which causes you the pain in that area of your life. Once that value has been identified you can simply replace it with another that works for you. This is not difficult but does require honesty in its approach.

If you really want to do a personal makeover ask yourself how you feel about a number of different areas in your life. For instance, ask yourself how you feel about your job, your relationships, your spirituality, diversity, God, other ethnicities, etc. Most importantly, ask yourself how you feel about you and why you feel that way. Your response to this one question can have a positive, beneficial effect on you for the rest of your life.

As you identify and modify your set of core values you will find that you will have a new worldview. A worldview is nothing more than your personal relationship with the world. It encompasses why you feel the way you feel and why you act the way you act. As you identify your core values and create your own worldview you will find yourself more often than not being able to “Walk the Talk”.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Failure Is Not Always Fatal

Do you know that “it’s not what happens to you in life that matters; its how you deal with what happens to you in life that matters”? Never think that you are the only one that has difficulties and setbacks in life. Most of the people that we call leaders today have experienced a number of failures and setbacks in their personal and or public lives before reaching that defining moment that qualified him/her as a leader.

Let me give you an example. When I grew up as a child in Chicago I never took the opportunity to learn how to swim. However as I began my training to become a Naval Aviator I found out that I had to pass a very extensive swimming test that included a one-mile swim while wearing a flight suit. Now I really wanted to become a Naval Aviator but if, prior to choosing that career, someone had told me I would have to pass that exhaustive of a swimming test I probably would have chosen another option.

As the day of the test approached I spent all of my free time practicing in the pool. On the day of the test I jumped into the pool and flunked that sucker bigger than Dallas. As a result, my entry into flight training was delayed until I could pass the test. I was at a decision point in my life. I could either choose another military career or I could learn from my failure and take the makeup test in 30 days. How many of us know that “failure is not always fatal”?

I chose to take the makeup test and concentrated on those parts of the swim where I was weakest. I found a qualified swim instructor to help me turn my weaknesses into strengths. I wish that I could say that I excelled in every part of the makeup test but I didn’t. However I did pass and that was my goal. I went on to have an exciting career as a Naval Aviator. The point that I am trying to make is that leaders learn from their failures and recognize that “success is not always final and failure is not always fatal”.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Be Strong & Courageous

What is it that is holding you back from living your life to its fullest potential? Is it fear of failure? Are you concerned what others might think? Or, are you waiting until you “straighten out” a few of the problem areas in your life before you move forward? Let me share with you that whatever “it” is will become insignificant compared to the growth you will achieve as you begin to maximize your fullest potential as a human being.

First, you must be strong in the faith that whatever you need will be supplied at the precise moment it becomes necessary. You must be strong in the belief that your personal goals are worthy/attainable and that whatever circumstance or situation in which you currently find yourself will soon become your testimony to others. You must be strong in the belief that whatever it is you wish to accomplish will benefit yourself as well as those around you.

Secondly, you must be courageous enough to do whatever it takes to live out your belief in these convictions. Sometimes this belief in your convictions requires that you take a step or two backwards before you can move ahead. Others may not understand what you are doing and why. But you will! You must be courageous enough to START NOW!

Stop looking to others for your success. Plan your work and work your plan. Be strong and courageous!

Can anyone tell me the source of “Be Strong and Courageous”?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dust Thou Art ….. But That’s Not All!

Biblical Beginnings
Do you know experts have said that anywhere from 75% to 90% of all disease in humans is caused by either diet or stress? This statement is easily verifiable by going on the Internet and entering a query into Google. These numbers lead me to believe that we can improve the health of our body by watching what we eat and being careful of what we think. In my previous post I stated that, in future posts, we would examine the connection between the body, mind and spirit. It seems to me that the body is as good a place as any to begin.

The book of Genesis states: “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7). My interpretation of this text is that God formed the body of man from inert material (i.e. the dust of the ground) and brought him to life with his breath. The above passage should lead us to believe that man is composed of material and nonmaterial parts.

Not until God blew the breath of life into man did man become alive. Therefore without the “breath of life”, the body is just inert material and as dumb as a door nail, i.e. “stuff”. It is unable to function purposefully without some type of guidance. The question becomes “who or what tells the body what to do and what does the health of the body have to do with biblical scripture”?

Health & Wellness
A restatement of the opening sentence of this post would be as follows: “We, as humans, are placing our bodies in a state of “dis-ease” by what we eat and think and how we allow our circumstances to affect us”. If this is true, then something is making our bodies place us in this predicament. I submit to you that that something is our mind.

Our mind is the thinking, reasoning part of ourselves that signals the body into action. We all know that cookies are good, but if we only ate cookies every day, after a while our bodies would become sick. As a result we try to balance what we feed our bodies with nutritious daily helpings from the different food groups. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

Additionally, my oldest son made an interesting statement on his Face book page a few weeks ago. He quoted Scipio Africanus (a Roman General) who said:”I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 96% how I react to it.” You see, my friend, much of the stress in our lives comes from how we respond to the circumstances in our lives. It is a well known fact that stress which continues unrelieved over a period of time has a devastating effect upon the health of the body.

As A Man Thinks in His Heart….
Proverbs 23:7 states: "As a man thinks in his heart, so he is."

Change your thoughts and you will change your world!

We will focus on the benefits of controlling/changing our thoughts in my next post.