Know It All

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Insecurity takes many forms. Identifying it as it’s taking place is done only by those mature enough to have experienced it themselves and healed from it. Telling someone all that you know on a given subject is often a sign of insecurity. Likewise, receiving someone’s over communication as insult to your intelligence only points to your own insecurity.

Speak only what is needed, and receive knowledge with grace. You will find more people ask for your knowledge and more people share it with you.

Awkward Loves Company

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courtesy of www.awkwardfamilyphotos.com

If you’re socially awkward, people will steer away from you.

If you’re socially awkward and know it, people will accept you you.

If you’re socially awkward and point it out in a self-aware manner, people will identify with you.

If you’re socially awkward and help other socially awkward people be okay with their awkward selves, you’re Tony Robins.

Understanding who you are and being willing to accept your own faults makes you more likely to accept the faults of others. Instead of hiding all your faults and pretending to be perfect, why not accept your weirdness and lower your standards of perfection for yourself and those around you. It might just make you a hero.

Why Budgets Don’t Shrink

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When a good employee finds a way to save money, he pats himself on the back. But his manager is thinking how he can leverage that savings for other needed items.

The CEO, however, is trying to find greater profits for his shareholders and wants to find ways to increase efficiency with that savings.

Either way, the budget doesn’t shrink – until the market forces it to.

The Blame Cycle

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To avoid being wrong,

Blame the person.
Blame the system.
Blame the unknown.
Blame the universe.

Or take the blame and offer to help fix the problem – even if it wasn’t your fault.

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received

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When I was growing up, I went to an incredible counseling organization called Daystar Ministries in Nashville. They really helped me verbalize the difficulties I had as a kid who was dealing with a very traumatic illness. In our groups, I joined about 6 or 7 other kids my age who were dealing with divorced parents, trouble at school or any number of things that made life difficult.

One of the great things about being in a group of other kids was that I had the opportunity to learn how to interact with them with the guidance of a professional counselor. At the time, I Jim Knestrick was leading my group and he was a godsend. As we began to learn to ask each other questions, we had to think of ‘yes and no’ questions, as well as ‘deeper’ questions. What this did was force us to listen to what the other person was saying and find ways to probe further into those topics to draw out of them what was going on. The benefits to this line of thinking are enormous. By asking someone else to expound on the words they’ve already said, rather than refocusing the conversation back to yourself, it lets the other person know that you’ve been listening and you’re engaged.

In short, this was the advice: “When someone else is talking to you, think of a question to ask that will keep them talking.”

It’s this advice that makes it easy to be around people, to talk and to listen. It’s also what makes me value another person as a friend. Their ability and willingness to ask a question not only makes me feel valued, it means they find what I’m saying interesting.

Adding to this, I find that one of the most missed pieces of a conversation is the validation of a point or statement. A simple, “Hmm.. that’s interesting,” or “Wow, that’s amazing” goes a long way. Then the transition from there to a follow up question feels natural and caring.

The Tender Heart of a Woman

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In my experience, the heart of a godly woman is tender, sensitive and kind. Men, we must do our part to speak to that heart in the way that heart understands love. It’s one thing to love her like you know how to. It’s another thing to love your woman in the way the she understands love. Recognizing the difference and being willing to adapt is a sign of your maturity and strength.

Embrace the Underdog

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Embrace the underdog in you. A steady, confident, improving individual will seem to come out of nowhere after years of training, but they have staying power. The highly gifted can draw big bucks with little training, but if the consistency and character isn’t there, they fall quickly.

If you are not the best in your field, keep improving and keep in mind that each practice, each new lesson you learn through failure, each time you say to yourself, “I’m going to figure this out”, puts you in a place of victory and prepares you for the long haul. Performers will talk down to themselves and refuse to learn the hard way because the expectations on their gift have defined them, not their persistence in learning a craft.

If you see a performer, tell him he’s a great person and you’ve suddenly become his hero.

Answers Coming

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In time, you will see. In time, you will understand. In time, you will look back and trust for the future because you saw the past get taken care of in my capable hands.

-God

We are living in very interesting times. The heavens seems to be shifting in front of us and aligning for His purposes to be done on Earth. It’s like watching the seasons turn, but instead of watching leaves fall, or grass turn green, I watch the lives of friends and loved ones bud and change, and grow suddenly. Those who are surrendered to His purposes all seem to be experiencing significant change.

What’s interesting is that much of this change is bringing about things we’ve cried out for in our lives. Whether it’s healing, relationship, job change or otherwise, the face of God is turning our way. He has heard our cries and is answering us.

It was desperation for change that forced us out of the comforts of our homes. It was hope that God would heal the land that lead us to believe. It was faith that brought us to our knees to plead for His will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Through all the doubt, through all the waiting, our answers are coming. Soon.

Why I Write

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This blog is not for other people’s reading pleasure. It’s not meant to make money, it’s not used to further an agenda.http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/images/broken_windows.jpg

This blog keeps my life in alignment, to reveal the broken pieces that I try so hard to hide in real life.

How many times have you wished you could test your thoughts out in the world to see if they were normal, but were too afraid because of how you imagined people would react? My life has been so consumed with protecting my identity, a false image of someone who has it together, that I forsake the person who lives only in the brain matter.  That person who feels every range of emotion, but only physically displays a filtered, watered down, muted version of those emotions.  They simply aren’t safe.

This blog allows those emotions to find a home. It’s relatively obscure and yet offers a level of risk that makes me uneasy so that I get out of my comfort zone with each post. It provides a place for me to be totally honest with the world, while not having to have these conversations with people I meet on a regular basis. This blog is far more therapeutic than for the pleasure, entertainment or informing of an audience.  If someone doesn’t like what I write, it’s okay. They don’t get a vote in my joy.  I write for me.  It’s the only way to  remain sane. I write to release the pent up words that my mind can’t construct verbally. It gives me a way to slow down my thoughts and not bore someone to death.  But if this bores you, STOP READING.

All this allows me to keep my outward life and my inward life in alignment. I feel that as long as I’m being honest online, any pretenses or false identities I wear in front of other people, the two equal each other out. I’m not two-faced, but when you deal with pain on a regular basis, you must hide it for your sake and for the sake of those around you. It’s just not practical to present that side of life to friends and family and ask them to deal with it.  That’s not fair.  It’s also not fair to have to hold everything inside.  So this is my life.  Written.

A Wanted Generation

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“It’s better to be wanted and never gotten than to be gotten and never wanted.”

These are the words that flow through my mind on a daily basis. It’s part of what protects me from being hurt by the people around me whose approval and desire I covet.

As I think about the bar that I just left, and my mind slowly recovers from the extreme sensory overload, I think about what this generation is longing for. All I saw were a few friends and a bunch of people waiting to be noticed by someone else — ideally, someone who will increase their social status.  It’s all very primal, really — a petri dish of life-sized bacteria, waiting for osmosis to occur among its cells.

We all want to be wanted, and no one wants to admit that they want someone else. That is evident through the ridiculous lengths we go to make ourselves look beautiful or handsome, while maintaining an heir of mystery so others will seek us out and not force us to risk our hearts, our image or false sense of invincibility. It’s a cycle that is as equally self-defeating as it is paradoxical.

Our eyes are constantly bombarded with images of what “beauty” is, conditioning our minds to want what is attractive according to the world’s standards. If we live in the civilized Western society, capitalism has taken its toll on our perceptions through fantastic marketing and billions of attention-getting dollars.  It’s all to get us to spend our money on something we wouldn’t want unless someone told us that we wanted it.

Meanwhile, our parents are getting divorced in droves, our kids are suffering with countless self-esteem/self-image issues, and our definition of love is so completely distorted by our experiences that believing there’s a God who is Love doesn’t even compute in our finite brains because we have no grid for what true love looks like. The criteria is basically, “Can I live life better than my parents?”.

One less abusive word?  A marriage that lasts a few years longer? Less yelling at each other? More watched soccer games and piano recitals?  Is that what a greater love looks like to most of us? Where does this leave us?  It leaves us with an emptiness that is satisfied temporarily by the belief that we have lived slightly better than our biological predecessors, not ever tasting the joy of pure love.

It’s no wonder that single people are so far behind the previous generation in getting married. We want to be wanted, but not gotten.  If we’re gotten then we are forced to be known. And if we are known, experience tells us that we will be rejected or our closeness will result in pain of some sort. Therefore, it’s much easier, and actually makes more sense to never commit to anyone while getting the physical need for sex fulfilled in a variety of ways and giving up on the built-in need for companionship and love.

As a single person, I can’t speak for married people, but I would imagine that marriages deal with many of the same issues.  The two parties involved were just able to overcome one aspect of relationship that the single person hasn’t — the willingness to be gotten.

I know this is an extremely negative post, but it’s not meant to be. It’s meant to try and meet people where they are, to understand the mindset of many of my peers and myself so that I can take steps to change a belief and alter a behavior through forgiveness of myself and others.

We have an opportunity to change that. By encouraging one another, by opening up our lives to the people around us, by intentionally being kind, bold and caring, we can change the culture a little at a time so people know that love is available in its truest form, and that it’s okay to be gotten.