Inspirational

Circles of Safety – Simon Sinek

The US military abounds with stories of soldiers sacrificing their lives to save each other. And when you ask a hero how they could be so brave, the answer is always the same.
“Because they would have done it for me.”
When Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last, heard about these military heroes, he wondered why you never hear stories like this in the business world. At first, he thought that the military just attracted better people. But he soon realized that it had nothing to do with the individuals, and everything to do with the environment – an observation he explained to the World Business Forum on Wednesday.
Human beings are inherently social animals. It’s the only reason we’re still alive. Thousands of years ago, we had no guns to protect us from saber-toothed tigers. Instead, we surrounded ourselves with people whom we trusted, creating “Circles of Safety,” to protect us from the dangers that lurked outside.
Today, businesses are supposed to be Circles of Safety that protect us from the dangers of our competition, the stock market, etc. But in most businesses, employees don’t feel safe. They’re protecting themselves from getting thrown under the bus – and it’s literally killing us. As low levels of the stress hormone cortisol constantly runs through our veins, it inhibits our immune systems and is a major factor in the global health epidemic. As if you needed another reason to skip work.
So how do you create a Circle of Safety? It’s up to your leaders to set the tone of your environment. But you can be a leader even if you’re at the bottom of your organization’s totem pole. Here’s how.
1. Know the definition of leadership.
There’s a reason nobody is upset that the company CEO makes more than entry-level employee. We all accept that leadership comes with perks, but that comes with a caveat. The group gives the leader all those perks because when the Circle of Safety is threatened, it’s not the entry-level employee that’s supposed to face the danger head-on. It’s the leader, the CEO. And this is why you can have a high-ranking position and not have a single person who would follow you in times of crisis.
“Leadership is not a rank,” Simon said. “It is a responsibility. It is a choice – the choice to sometimes put your interests aside for the lives of others.”
2. Congratulate someone in public.
Imagine that your company sends a weekly email congratulating that week’s best performer, and this week it happens to be you. You see your name in print, and you smile with pride. Now, imagine that your company did the exact same thing, but you were asked to stand up in a meeting and praised for your accomplishments in front of the entire company. Which feels better?
The reason you said the meeting is biological. When you’re praised in front of others, you’re flooded with serotonin. If you worked with a team and if you thank that team in an acceptance speech, they’re flooded with serotonin too.
“It’s about the public recognition that makes us feel valued and valued to the tribe,” said Simon.
Do you want to help someone feel included in your company? Is there someone who’s been doing an exceptional job lately? Congratulate them in public, and watch the company morale soar.
3. Call, don’t email.
We’ve said before that one way to cut down on the number of emails you receive is to call the sender back. It’s far more efficient and clears out your inbox. But it turns out there’s another benefit as well. People value when others take time and energy out of their day for them, because both are non-redeemable commodity. When you call instead of email, that person gets a surge of oxytocin, the ‘love’ chemical. By taking time and energy out of your day, that person thinks they must matter, likes you more and is far more willing to be nice to others.
4. Practice being nice.
Earlier, we said that leadership is the process of forgoing your self-interest for others’ sake. Good leaders sacrifice the numbers to save the people. It’ s never the other way around. But it’s tough to make the big decisions if you’re not making small sacrifices every day. So hold the elevator door open, even if you’re running late for a meeting. Help that stranger pick up all the papers he just dropped. You’ll get oxytocin, the stranger will get oxytocin, anybody who witnesses your generosity will get oxytocin – and you’ll all be better for it.
Decisions like this aren’t always easy. That’s exactly why you have to practice being nice in all areas of your life.
As Simon said, “Leadership is a practice. It is a skill. It requires hard work. You’re not a leader at work and you stop being a leader at home. It is a lifestyle.”
Ultimately, while the actions are sometimes hard to undertake, the premise is simple. Don’t be selfish. Put others before yourself. Do it everyday. In other words, according to Simon:
Be the leader you wish you had.

Written by: Sasha Graffagna

Source credit: superheroyou.com

Uncategorized

The Unequal Start

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Life, I believe, has different paths for every one of us. Knowing this important truth tackles the problem of depression and unnecessary competition.

The beginning of a thing doesn’t always predict its end. Life is a journey and it doesn’t matter how it is started, the destination can always be a sure thing.

Although all men are created equal, we don’t all have equal start. Some people have more talents than others. Some have more strengths and abilities than others. Some were born into an “already-made life”; Others were born into a “raw material life”.

The race of life is not the usual one we know of – – it’s not about who becomes first at the end of the race. It’s a very personal one!! Whether a person is successful or not, depends on the fact that he or she is able to finish his or her race successfully. That, for me, is all that matters. You may stumble and fall along the way, but always keep your focus on the finishing line of the race.

In the race of life, competition is needless. Run the race of your life at your own pace. The only person you’re in competition with is yourself. Become better than you were yesterday. Like the old African proverb says, “there’s enough space in the sky for two birds to collide.” There’s plenty of room for every one of us at the top!!

Don’t waste your time and energy on comparing yourself with others. The Good Book says that “comparing oneself to others makes a person unwise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12)

We may not all have an equal start but the good news is that we can all reach our destinations. That’s the beauty of it!

Nurture yourself, be courageous, don’t accept negativisms and mediocrities in your life. Be confident that your creator is capable of seeing you through the race. Live life to the fullest.

Article by : Princess Harmon


Uncategorized

15 Words to eliminate from your vocabulary to sound smarter

By: Prince Newman

Newsprint is on life support, emojis are multiplying faster than hungry Gremlins, and 300 million people worldwide strive to make their point in 140 or fewer characters.

People don’t have the time or the attention span to read any more words than necessary.
You want your readers to hear you out, understand your message, and perhaps be entertained, right? Here’s a list of words to eliminate in order to help you write more succinctly.


1. That
It’s superfluous most of the time. Open any document you’ve got drafted on your desktop and find a sentence with that in it. Read it out loud. Now read it again without that. If the sentence works without it, delete it. Also? Don’t use that when you refer to people. “I have several friends that live in the neighborhood.” No. No, you don’t. You have “friends who”, Not “friends that”.
2. Went
I went to school. Or the store, or to church, or to a conference, to Vegas, wherever it is you’re inclined to go. Instead of went, consider drove, skated, walked, ran, flew. There are any number of ways to move from here to there. Pick one. Don’t be lazy and miss the chance to add to your story.
3. Honestly
People use honestly to add emphasis. The problem is, the minute you tell your reader this particular statement is honest, you’ve implied the rest of your words were not. #Awkward
4. Absolutely
Adding this word to most sentences is redundant. Something is either necessary, or it isn’t. Absolutely necessary doesn’t make it more necessary. If you recommend an essential course to your new employees, it’s essential. Coincidentally, the definition of essential is absolutely necessary. Chicken or egg, eh?

5. Very
Accurate adjectives don’t need qualifiers. If you need to qualify it? Replace it. Very is intended to magnify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. What it does is makes your statement less specific. If you’re very happy? Be ecstatic. If you’re very sad, perhaps you’re melancholy or depressed. Woebegone, even. Very sad is a lazy way of making your point. Another pitfall of using very as a modifier? It’s subjective. Very cold and very tall mean different things to different people. Be specific. She’s 6’3″ and it’s 13 degrees below freezing? These make your story better while also ensuring the reader understands the point you’re making.
6. Really
Unless you’re a Valley Girl, visiting from 1985, there’s no need to use really to modify an adjective. Or a verb. Or an adverb. Pick a different word to make your point. And never repeat really, or very for that matter. That’s really, really bad writing.
If you are visiting from 1985? Please bring the birth certificate for my Cabbage Patch Doll on your next visit. Thanks.
7. Amazing
The word means “causing great surprise or sudden wonder.” It’s synonymous with wonderful, incredible, startling, marvelous, astonishing, astounding, remarkable, miraculous, surprising, mind-blowing, and staggering. You get the point, right? It’s everywhere. It’s in corporate slogans. It dominated the Academy Awards acceptance speeches. It’s all over social media. It’s discussed in pregame shows and postgame shows.
Newsflash: If everything is amazing, nothing is.
8. Always
Absolutes lock the writer into a position, sound conceited and close-minded, and often open the door to criticism regarding inaccuracies. Always is rarely true. Unless you’re giving written commands or instruction, find another word.
See Also: Technical education would be given more attention – Minister

9. Never
See: Always.
10. Literally
Literally means literal. Actually happening as stated. Without exaggeration. More often than not, when the term is used, the writer means figuratively. Whatever is happening is being described metaphorically. No one actually “waits on pins and needles.” How uncomfortable would that be?
11. Just
It’s a filler word and it makes your sentence weaker, not stronger. Unless you’re using it as a synonym for equitable, fair, even-handed, or impartial, don’t use it at all.
12. Maybe
This makes you sound uninformed, unsure of the facts you’re presenting. Regardless of the topic, do the legwork, be sure, and write an informed piece. The only thing you communicate when you include these words is uncertainty.
13. Stuff
This word is casual, generic even. It serves as a placeholder for something better. If the details of the stuff aren’t important enough to be included in the piece? Don’t reference it at all. If you tell your reader to take your course because they’ll learn a lot of stuff? They’re likely to tell you to stuff it.
14. Things
See: Stuff.
15. Irregardless
This doesn’t mean what you think it means, Jefe. It means regardless. It is literally (see what I did there?) defined as: regardless. Don’t use it. Save yourself the embarrassment.
Whether you’re ghostwriting for your CEO, updating a blog, selling a product, or finishing your master’s thesis, you need to keep your reader engaged. These 15 words are a great place to start trimming the fat from your prose. Bonus? You’ll sound smarter.

 

By: Prince Newman

Inspirational

It is important to use your time wisely


As the daylight begins to dwindle away earlier each day, I am reminded another time change is about to take place. This makes me stop and ponder how precious time is.

The older I get, the faster time seems to fly by. Birthdays and anniversaries arrive so often I can barely keep up with them. The months of my favorite seasons disappear so quickly.

The thing God values most is time. It is a priceless possession we should learn to cherish.

I often like to take a look at how I spend my time. I ask myself these questions: “Do I waste my time doing worthless tasks? Will I squander away the valuable moments God has given me by focusing on my difficulties or sulking in self-pity? Have I done anything good for God today?”
Positive things I could do include helping someone else; showing my mate some love and respect; or letting my children know how much I love them.

One of the greatest ways to show God our gratitude is to use our time wisely. Starting out our daily schedule with prayer and a Bible verse can help us line up our day with God’s plan. It can make a difference in how efficient our day flows.

Making a list and prioritizing activities for the day ahead can help us to keep our priorities straight. As we check our list throughout the day and cross off completed tasks, it gives us a sense of accomplishment.

Also, learning to say no to unnecessary tasks without feeling guilty can help us utilize our time better. Setting limits on the amount of time spent on phone calls or refusing to gossip about others or not going over our problems time and again with friends can give us a few precious moments of time back with our family.

Disciplining ourselves to stick with our agenda (whether it be work or time to relax) whenever possible, makes us feel wise with the use of our time.

Article by: Annettee Budzban

Spiritual Growth

The Purpose Driven Marriage

Article by: Sam House
Rick and Kay Warren have been married for almost 30 years, and Rick calls Kay his best friend. But they’ve had to work hard to build a marriage that glorifies God. And at times, perseverance was the only thing that held their marriage together.

“Our first two years of marriage were the most difficult,” says Rick. They were really tough. And we would have divorced, except a) we were both committed to Jesus Christ and b) we both agreed divorce is not an option.”

Today Rick is pastor of Saddleback Community Church in Southern California, one of the largest Southern Baptist churches in the country. He is also the author of the bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life.

Rick and Kay don’t pretend to have a perfect marriage. They’re honest about their struggles and God’s faithfulness. They also have a compelling burden to help others find real meaning in their marriages.

Finding Purpose in Marriage

So what is a purpose driven marriage, and how do couples find it? “It starts with a purpose driven life,” say Rick and Kay and three couples from Saddleback who recently studied The Purpose Driven Life. They agree that for couples, the result of two spouses’ living purpose driven lives should be a purpose driven marriage, one that serves and honors God.

According to The Purpose Driven Life, God put each of us on earth for five purposes: to serve, to share, to worship, to grow, to connect. “Life is simpler than you realize,” says Warren. “[God’s purpose] is what matters. This is what’s going to last for eternity.”

Holy Rather Than Happy

On their journey from a toxic marriage to a godly one, Rick and Kay learned how to have a marriage that not only matters, but also serves God’s purpose.

“A few years ago, Rick and I read Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas,” says Kay. “I can’t remember the exact quote, but the book brings up the idea that perhaps marriage was meant to make us holy rather than happy. That was like running into a brick wall for us.

“We learned earthly relationships are never enough. They leave you hungry. They leave you dry and empty sometimes, even in the best of human relationships,” says Kay. “So coming back to the idea that marriage is perhaps to make us holy rather than happy, we realized that even with struggles and conflict, even as much as we loved each other and cared for each other, there were still times when it just wasn’t enough. That drove us back to God.”

“God’s purpose is to make us like Jesus,” says Rick. “God didn’t exempt His own Son from criticism, misunderstanding, loneliness, and fatigue. If He didn’t exempt Jesus, why should we expect Him to exempt us?

“When people say, ‘Why am I having all these problems?’ I answer, ‘Because it’s earth! This is not heaven, OK?’ God is not promising heaven on earth if I become a Christian.

“God is far more interested in my character than in my comfort, and that is particularly true in marriage. I am convinced that the number one way God makes me like Jesus is through marriage. Nobody has a greater impact on me than Kay.”

Marriage Is Hard Work

Rick explains the unusual start of their marriage. “When we married, we were in love. We knew God put us together, but we didn’t know each other. We got engaged real quick, after eight days.

“Then I moved to Nagasaki, Japan, as a summer missionary. She went to Birmingham, Alabama, as a summer missionary. When that was over, she moved back to Fresno to finish college, and I moved to inner city Los Angeles to be a youth pastor.

“So we spent our entire engagement apart from each other. And when we got married, it was like, ‘Now, who are you?’ We discovered we are opposite in every fiber of our being except our commitment to God and His purposes for our lives.”

“For awhile, nothing worked – absolutely nothing!” Kay adds. “We fought about everything we could possibly fight about.”

“About big things,” Rick affirms. “Communication, in-laws, sex, money, and children. And we were striking out on all five.”

“We were and are such different personalities. I’m intense, and I kept trying to get him to talk to me. But the more I tried, the more he went in some other direction,” Kay reflects. The only thing that kept their marriage together was agreeing that divorce would never be an option. Learning to appreciate their differences was hard work.

Kay says, “We certainly were not thinking, Oh, God is using this to make us holy. We were saying, ‘God. What’s going on? We love You, we love each other, we’re trying to follow all the rules, and we try to do everything [right] – and this is our reward?’ There was no sense of ‘God is doing something great here’ as much as it was survival.”

From Pain Comes Great Ministry

Rick points out, “The Bible says you are shaped to serve God, and one of His purposes is ministry. Your greatest ministry, without a doubt, comes out of your greatest pain. God never wastes a hurt.

“Second Corinthians 1 says God takes us through problems and comforts us so we can then turn around and comfort others. Well, now we know why we had all those marriage problems. God gave us a ministry of helping thousands of other marriages. And we decided from the very first that we were never going to fake it, that we weren’t going to pretend we had this perfect marriage, but that people would grow better out of our weaknesses and out of our authenticity.”

“People will say, ‘You don’t know what it’s like,'” adds Kay. “We can say, ‘I do know what it’s like to wish with my entire heart that one of two things would happen: either he would die or God would say divorce is OK.’ And I know what it feels like to believe there is no hope; it will never be different; we are doomed to live this way; things are unbearable; and there’s no way out. I do know that. I don’t know anyone else’s exact circumstances, but I am here to tell you God has an answer, and there is definitely hope.”

We’re Created for God’s Pleasure

Glenn and Elizabeth Styffe were among the first to see how the message of The Purpose Driven Life impacts marriage and family.

“The goal of a lot of Christians is to have a good marriage and good kids. Those are fine goals. But the truth is, you can spend all your time doing what is good and miss the fact that your purpose is to bring God pleasure,” says Elizabeth. “I am designed to bring pleasure to God. I mean so much to God that He wants to spend eternity with me. If I value my husband and children the way God values them, I will see them [that way]. This helps me realize that this is not all there is. Life is preparation for eternity with God. My job as a parent is to prepare [my children] for eternity.”

Glen echoes the impact of this perspective on their marriage and family. “As I become more aware of my broken state – not acting as if my brokenness is in the past – I become more dependent on God. I’m not going to be whole until eternity, yet God loves me anyway, right now – even through all of that. Knowing that I’m a current recipient of God’s grace gives me more patience with my children and my own imperfections, and deepens my love and tenderness for my wife.”

What Will the Neighbors Think?

Saddleback couple Butch and Lisa Yellot say one way you can tell if you have a purpose driven marriage is by the fruit it bears.

“It doesn’t just happen. It has to be your lifestyle. We started praying for our kids before we even had them. And we see in them the fruit of our marriage, a reflection of what God has done and is doing in us.”

Butch talks about yard-work evangelism. “We used to live across from some folks, and we’d speak when we were watering our lawns. We weren’t really good friends with them at first, but they ended up coming to our small group after three or four years. One night during our small group, they shared their testimony of how they came to know Christ. They said they had been observing us … ”

“…watering our lawn,” interjects Lisa.

“And,” continues Butch, “they said they decided they wanted to have ‘whatever Butch and Lisa had.’ They knew from talking to us that we went to Saddleback, so they started going, too, which led to them accepting the Lord.”

“It had to be the Holy Spirit,” Lisa says. “We didn’t even know any of this was happening.”

Butch continues. “Now they’ve moved to another community where they probably have their own small group and are doing the same thing themselves. But it wasn’t part of our big plan. God used our purpose driven marriage as a light in their lives to bring them to that opportunity of accepting the Lord.”

“And it’s impacting more than just their lives,” says Lisa. “It’s impacting our kids. I know our kids are watching us very closely. And even my parents, who don’t go to church, are watching us. They see us, they see how we’re raising our kids, how we interact with each other. People are watching, so we live honestly.”

For the Sake of the Family

Another Saddleback couple, businessman-turned-seminary-student Dick Whitton and his wife, Evelyn, work with young couples, helping them see how God has provided a blueprint in the Bible for a purpose driven marriage. “We don’t want to do the ‘Dick and Ev Show,'” says Evelyn.

She says when she shares the message of the gospel with people, “I don’t want them to believe me because I don’t want them to believe anybody else that comes to their door. I want them to believe God’s Word. The Holy Spirit can use the Bible and convict them of its truth. It’s the same thing in these couples groups. It’s not us. It’s what we’ve learned from God’s Word, and we’d like to share that experience with them so they can have it, too.”

With the desire to see the couples groups they lead result in purpose driven marriages, Dick and Evelyn feel a strong imperative to reach couples for the sake of their families.

“In one of the groups we led recently, there are 23 children now,” says Evelyn. “We phase out of the groups [to start new ones], but they stay together, and we get invited back for all the parties. When we go, we meet parents, brothers, and sisters of people in the group, but we also see how these young families have become community, spiritual family, for each other.”

You Need Two Things for Balance

Rick Warren is adamant about God’s desire to use believers. “We believe you need a ministry in the church and a mission in the world. Those are two things you need for balance. Your ministry is your service to believers, and your mission is your service to unbelievers.

“The way we say this is, ‘The Great Command of the Great Commission will produce a great Christian.’ If you want to summarize the purpose driven idea, it is: a great commitment to the Great Commander and a great commission will produce a great Christian and a great church. It also produces a great marriage.” He continues, “I think the church and marriage are two tools God uses to balance His purposes in our lives so that we do both the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.”

Fitting Into God’s Will

What advice does Rick give Christian young adults as they try to gain perspective on all the possibilities of a purpose driven life – and a purpose driven marriage? Rick says, “When kids like my son Josh and his friends get to the young adult stage, the most important questions are: How do I find God’s will in a marriage partner, and how do I find God’s will for a career?”

Those are the two biggest issues, but according to Rick, they are really secondary: “Given the right situation, there might be 20 or 30 different people for you to marry, although there is no one right person. If that were true, all it would take is for one person to marry wrong, and the chain would be broken. So there is no one person for you to marry, and the same is true of careers. There’s no one right career. There might be dozens of careers that would all be in God’s will for you. God would say, ‘Your choice – doesn’t matter.’

“What’s more important,” Rick continued, “is, are you fulfilling God’s purposes? Are you marrying someone who’s going to make you more like Christ? Are you getting a career that’s going to make you more like Christ? That’s going to give you a ministry and give you a mission, allowing you to share with a world of believers and unbelievers?

“Take the focus off of God’s will for my partner and God’s will for my career, and start focusing on what you know to be God’s will already. God wants me to become like Him. God wants me to love Him. God wants me to love other believers. God wants me on a ministry and a mission. If I focus on those things, then there’s a lot more freedom.”

Serving God’s Purpose

Rick claims Acts 13:36 as his life verse. “It says that David served God’s purpose in his generation and then he died. I like that verse because it says what David did: He served God’s purpose. He did what was eternal, but he did it in a contemporary situation, in his generation. He did what never changes in an environment that was constantly changing. Then he died. The only thing that matters, period, is that I complete my mission. That’s a purpose driven life.”

Marriage is a tool God can use in a purpose driven life. If you are married, you probably have a great story about how you met or decided to marry your spouse. Your choice to marry your spouse expressed your love in the most profound way you could. You believed life would be better, different, matter more if you were together. As great as all of that is, the key to having a marriage – and a life – with purpose starts with God’s purpose and His desire to treasure you and see you live to serve and honor Him now and in eternity. God wants you to have a purpose driven marriage.

Culled from:  http://m.lifeway.com/Article/marriage-The-purpose-driven-marriage

Spiritual Growth

WHY WHAT YOU SPEAK MATTERS


If you’re like most teenagers, you’re speaking a lot of words everyday. You might be texting friends, posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or talking to friends in the hallway. The fact is, you’re using lots of words all day long. On average, a person speaks between 10,000 and 25,000 words a day. That’s a lot of words!
With so many words coming out of our mouths all day long, its understandable that God puts a lot of importance on the words we speak. For example, in Proverbs 18:21 it says, “Those who love to talk will experience the consequences, for the tongue can kill or nourish life. ” (NLT). That’s a pretty strong statement on the importance of your words.

When you’re in math class and find out you missed 10 problems on the homework assignment, what comes out of your mouth? Do you say things like, “AHH! I’m so dumb…I’ll never get this!” Words like that will shut off your success in school.
The words you speak are important.
The words that you speak every day, even the smallest words, are important. They set the course and tone for your life. If you don’t like something that is happening in your life, pay attention to the words that you’ve been speaking regarding that thing or situation. Perhaps you need to begin to speak words of life.
Words will direct the course of your life, so begin to pay attention to what you’re speaking.

Pray: God, I choose to pay attention to the words that I speak each day. I ask you for your help in speaking words of life over me each day. I know that my words are important and I choose to speak words of life every day. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

By : Hawk Nelson