Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hitting the Wall

My wife and I watched a great movie this weekend. Run Fat Boy Run. It's about a guy that leaves his pregnant wife at the altar for a whole lot of jacked up reasons, numero uno cause he's a poser, but mainly he's scared that he's not enough of a man for her. We pick the story up 5 years later where he is working to get her back and through the course of the story realizes that he needs to change, to commit to what he says he's going to do and be and it's all played out around this idea of him running his first marathon (in 3 weeks, having never run before!!)

I digress...

Towards the end there's this scene where the main character "hits the wall" in his first marathon. Now, I've never hit the wall in a run, but I've definitely hit it in life.

Paul writes, "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ."

There's the wall.

This is one of those ancient texts that just isn't easy for us to swallow. I say I believe those words and yet when push comes to shove, I don't really act like it. Rubbish? Do I really consider everything in my life as second to Christ? And not just second but far enough down the priority list to be counted as LOSS, liability, crap? That's what's so hard. I believe the verse, but don't always connect that belief to my actions. What I've got to remember is that I don't have to figure it all out and I don't have to do it all on my own. Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (there's another one of those verses...) And so I trust and push against the wall with all my might - knowing that in reality, it's not my strength that will cause the wall to crumble but His.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Mentoring Project

Little shout out for one of my fav authors, Donald Miller. If you haven't read Blue Like Jazz or Searching for God Knows What - you are missing out! Donald has recently started a new non-profit and below is a video commercial.

If you'd like to find out more about mentoring or his non-profit, here is a link to a his blog, Donald Miller, and more specifically a link to a post that talks about the ministry.
Here is a direct link to the Mentoring Project!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Day Away With God

On the 11th, I took a day (err....ended up being about 3-4 hours in the afternoon) to get away and spend some time alone with the Lord. For me, alone with the Lord, doesn't necessarily mean alone alone; sometimes it does, but this time, I holed up at a table upstairs in Sisters Coffee Co. and just prayed and meditated on the Word. Below are some notes from my time.

The drive, even just the drive to Sisters was so refreshing. I needed to spend some time talking to God and the car is the best place for me. That’s why I like road trips so much.

I was pretty moved by the scenery, the beauty, the sounds the smells, everything. It was a great day. I went to Sisters Coffee Co. and sat upstairs at a table with my journal and Walking with God by Eldredge.

While I did not get any solid audible word, I do believe I got confirmation that we are here to stay and that moving back to Albuquerque is not part of the plan.

“Go deep, plant roots, love your wife, love the people I am bringing into your life.”

That’s what I heard God say.

I prayed a lot for God to settle me. Settle my mind and my spirit. Relax and live with intentionality – which by the way was pretty much the theme of the entire week at the Building Champions Experience.

Micah 6:8
Act justly
Love mercy
Walk humbly

God tells me what He requires. He does it a lot – with small words and short sentences so I can get it. If I just work at getting better at those 3 things I’d take enormous strides in spiritual and emotional health this year. And…they are easy, conscise and not hard to measure.

Psalm 108:13
With God I will gain the victory. When I am facing difficulty – I can pray not only for strength but for victory as well.

I try to make things much more difficult than they need to be. That could be it's own blog post I'm sure. A couple years ago I had a statement that led my life "Relax, it's easier." That is a hard place for a driven guy to live. But for a driven guy, it's a great way to live.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Building Champions Experience Day 1

Let me begin by saying that the highlight of my day, outside of some great time in prayer and my beautiful wife is that Dennis Worden brought me a copy of the new book by Seth Godin, Tribes, which I am currently devouring!. I however, needed a break and thought I would share some of my key thoughts from today's sessions, led by the Building Champions team, Daniel Harkavy and Steve Scanlon.
The Building Champions Experience is a 4 day event located in the heart of beautiful central Oregon, where 140+ business people from around the country, all clients of BC, are being immersed in an experience. An experience that has a centrality of focus around the Core4. If you aren't sure about what that is, check out or The purpose of the next three days is for our sister company to Daniel shared about a trip he'd been on three weeks before today to New York and some of the key learnings that he took away. Here's what I got.

  • in the next 10 years, the change we will see and experience will be more dramatic than anything we've ever experienced in all of history
  • change requires adjustment in thinking and believing.
  • make tough decision now
  • don't wait-focus on financial fundamentals
  • get your business to a place of health
  • keep your talent - at all costs
  • ask intelligent questions
  • See and believe the vision; be able to deliver a courageous, compelling and clear vision to a very scared people.
  • act fast and be transparent
  • Quote "All great leaders and companies have survived at least one near death experience"
  • Lean forward

My takeaways from Daniels session were this.

1. My #1 advisor (coach) needs to be, should be and is my wife Anna.

2. In times of difficulty and confusion (i.e. NOW) I need more than ever to exhibit bifocal vision. Def. is the ability to keep one ey on the vision (looking forward to the future) and one ey on the reality of today.

3. Disciplined. Raise my level of being disciplined.

Case in point. I had a friend this week who questioned, kinda, my ideal week. He looked at it, and smuggly said something to the effect of, "Wow, you really have it all laid out here, when do you find time for other stuff." I didn't really address it at that point. But that's the whole POINT. My ideal week, matched to my life plan IS my life. It encompasses the most important callings and priorites that God has put into my heart and my life. That being said, I realize I need to be even more disciplined.

The next session was led by Steve Scanlon. Here was my #1 takeaway.

If I really want accountability...if I really want accountability...really really really want it...then I will get rid of all subtle ambiguity in my life. I will unashamedly, courageously step into disciplined, intentional behaviors that are defined and stamped in such a way as to ERRADICATE, the opportunity for ambiguity. Period.

And secondly, I was reminded of how important STORY is. It's a core part of connecting with the heart. If I am going to succeed in leading anything or anyone, I have to be able to share the story and I have to be able to share it from my heart.

I really enjoyed today. My mind is thinking and spinning and I want to get back to my book so I'll leave with this quote. I penned my first "quote" today.

"All journeys, worth traveling on, will involve pain and disappointment." Maybe in my idealistic little world, I've forgotten that, I'm not sure. But I believe it with all my heart.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Irrationally Committed

I've been following a blog by this guy Seth Godin. He's written several great books on marketing but his blog has seemingly less to do with marketing and more to do with life. It ranges from the practical insights to philosophical discussion. The goal here is not to do a book report for you on his blog but get you to check out one particular post titled Irrationally Committed. It's short. Promise.

I just found this idea of being irrationally committed (to an idea or a movement) resonated with me. In Merriam Webster the word irrational is defined as A(1): not endowed with reason or understanding (2): lacking usual or normal mental clarity or coherence B: not governed by or according to reason. Think about what we all do day in day out in the ranks of coaching and influencing people.

Are we irrationally committed to our clients?
Are we irrationally committed to our own coaching practice?
Are we irrationally committed to our walk with the Lord?

I would submit that if we're not, we probably aren't taking the kind of strides forward that we could and possibly should be. I think I'm going to have to be irrationally commited to these things if I'm going to not only stand, but lean INTO the face of adversity and struggle. "The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him... The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself... All progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernand Shaw.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Is Effort a Myth

I've finally decided to take some advice. :) I've been reading Seth Godin's blogs every day for about a month. I want to do whatever I can to get his thoughts out to a wider audience. Although he writes primarily about marketing, his thoughts center on some of the most central parts of the human experience. I.E., read this latest blog from today. Is Effort a Myth

Do we really believe that this is true? That effort = success. For most of my life I've gotten by. I skated through school, I'm fairly athletic, I can do pretty good at just about anything and somehow have bought into the lie that I can have the kind of success that I desire just because somehow I'm entitled to it.

WOW - did you catch that. Entitlement - now there's a big bad word. This sense of entitlement runs really really deep. There's a stream here in Oregon called the Metolius. Those of us from the south aren't used to seeing this kind of thing, but if you visit it, it's a "river" that runs all year round and stays at about the same temp and same flow all the time. What's interesting, to me at least, is that it where it comes out of the earth at (the Head of the Metolius) it's a river. It's crazy, this river just appears out of seemingly nowhere. Here's where I'm going with this, somehow, in the geologic processes under the ground, way deep, there is this undercurrent building, and it builds and builds until it finds it's way out and then bam, you have a river.

I think that's how this entitlement thing works. You don't see it, you don't feel it, you don't even know it's there, although, I do believe God, through the Holy Spirit points it out if we are listening, and then we are amazed when it all of a sudden shows up in our behaviors, our lives, our words, our actions...

We're entitled to nothing. We're called to serve. We were bought with a price. I am not my own. I want these kinds of things to become more and more real to me.

Do I believe that effort = success? Yes. I do believe that we get out what we put in. That we can't expect life to just give us a blank check. Maybe we get to see people on TV that somehow "skate" but like Seth says, if you cut off all the fringe folks like that, the rest of us, all of the normal people :) don't get to skate.

I guess I'm not sure exactly what I'm saying here except that I feel very passionate about this. Oh that my effort would have meaning for something great and that the River Entitlement would turn into the River of Life. That would be cool huh?