I've heard it said.
Maybe you've said it yourself.
To be honest, I know I've said it!
"That's the best I can do."
If you're like me you know that whatever it is, it really isn't the best you can do, right?
The fact is, the best we say we can do isn't really the best we can do, is it?
What will you do better today? (I've made it simple to Tweet - Just click HERE!)
You have a cluttered TO DO list, don't you?
So much to do, but no time left for the things that are really important.
For getting closer to your Creator.
For connecting with your spouse and children.
For getting lost in your own thoughts.
For learning something new.
For pondering life's mysteries.
Does that sound about right?
Posted in Communication, Creativity, Encouragement, Health - Emotional, Health - Mental, Health - Spiritual, Husbands, Inspiration, Marriage, Relationships, Self-Discipline, Self-Help, Self-Improvement, Time Management | Permalink | Comments (0)
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George Carlin asked a great question:
"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"
This isn't just about driving--although that is an excellent example--but about the way we view others in terms of how they worship, what they eat, what they drive, how they earn a living, their musical tastes, their entertainment choices, the things they read, how they spend their money, how they raise their children, the things that motivate them, and...well you get the point.
The list is endless. There really is no limit to the areas in which we are willing to judge others.
Here's an idea. Just for today, determine that you will not judge those around you.
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"Why do some of the sharpest leaders step up in the workplace but flake out when they walk into their home? Is it fatigue? Work overload? Or are they just out of their element?" (Dave Stone, Southeast Christian Church)
We also know the stories of Average Joes like you and me who get so busy "providing" that they forget to provide what their mates and kids really need and crave--a close relationship with their husbands and kids.
Dave Stone, author of Building Family Ties with Faith, Love, and Laughter and Raising Your Kids to Love the Lord, suggests three critical times when you can lead your family in Leadership Begins at Home, over at Michael Hyatt's blog:
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Do you remember being a little kid?
Other than my chores, I had not a care in the world.
I followed the space program closely and have fond memories of waking early on the West Coast to watch the televised--In "Living Color!"--launches of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions with my mother. These were exciting days as the nation responded to President Kennedy's urgent call to land a man on the moon within the decade, but the threats that prompted his call to action escaped my attention. Duck and Cover! was just a game.
Maybe I should have put more effort into my studies, but I generally didn't let school work interfere with my fun time at home.
Instead of worrying about the past, present, or future, I simply played. I played all the time, even when I was supposed to be engaged in serious work!
Posted in Blogs, Creativity, Family Fun, Fathers, Health - Emotional, Health - Mental, Health - Physical, Health - Spiritual, Husbands, Marriage, Raising Godly Children, Relationships, Self-Improvement | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Would you like to share your ideas more effectively?
How would you like to do a better job expressing your feelings?
Do you want deeper, more meaningful relationships?
Would it be a good thing if you could sell more of your products or services?
There is incredible power in that simple, two-word, question. That's what!
Let's step back a few years and I'll explain.
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Violating my own rules for productivity this morning, the first thing I did was to open Facebook.
For those of us who haven't figured it out yet, that is exactly the LAST THING we ought to do if we want to get great things done and create epic products. But that's a topic for another post. Not this one.
This post is about the barriers we build.
Did you notice I titled this, "What Barriers Have You Built?" rather than, "Have You Built Barriers?"
That was intentional.
We all build barriers--to business, to open and honest communications, to personal relationships, to feedback--and it is important to identify and demolish them.
So, getting back to my Facebook visit, here is what prompted me to write this today. One of my colleagues, who also happens to be a Facebook friend, posted a link with the short comment, "Interesting read." Those are two of my favorite words--interesting and read--so I clicked the link.
Here is what came up:
I didn't click the link or read the story, and The Washington Post advertisers did not get access to my eyeballs today.
This Washington Post Social Reader "offer" created a barrier between the content (their product) and me (their intended customer).
This is not just a barrier for this one click. Based on my previous encounters with barriers of this type, I will simply avoid Washington Post links in the future so I don't run into this frustration again.
It is not that I am embarrassed about reading The Washington Post or unwilling to share, but rather that I dislike being manipulated.
Whatever their purpose, The Washington Post has essentially--and most likely unintentionally--blocked me from their site. They don't have a corner on the market for words and I can find plenty to read elsewhere.
This begs the question: What barriers have you built?
When it comes to your personal relationships:
When potential customers visit your physical or virtual place of business:
Of course, we can find plenty of conscience-easing excuses for these barriers.
I am a busy person, so I have to read when I am at the table with my family.
I have a lot on my mind, so that's why I don't engage in conversation.
I am an important person, so what you have to say doesn't really matter to me.
You're just one customer and I have others, so I don't mind driving you away.
I have to take inventory, restock my shelves, chat on the phone, or whatever, so I don't have the time or energy to smile, welcome you, or offer assistance.
Good employees are hard to find.
Whatever your excuses are, they are just that, excuses. Excuses are not the same as action and they don't really excuse anything. In fact, rather than excusing anything, excuses only prolong the inexcusable.
Don't make excuses for the barriers you've built.
Instead, take a step back and look at things from the other side--through the eyes of your spouse, kids, friends, customers--and then tear down every barrier you find.
What ideas do you have to help the rest of us demolish the barriers we've built? What works for you? Click HERE to share.
Technorati Tags: barriers to business, barriers to communication, communication, customer service, Facebook, godly children, husbands, leadership, marriage, parents, relationships, Social Reader, The Washington Post, wives
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The U.S. Constitution states that among other duties, the President "shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient..." (Article 2, Section 3)
George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address on January 8, 1790, and every President since then has done the same. While the specific timing for the delivery of the State of the Union is not specified in the Constitution, since 1934 it has been given each January or February.
As husbands and leaders in our families, this is likewise a suitable time for us to consider the state of our unions. In fact, I would be willing to argue that the most important question you can ask yourself right now is, "What is the State of MY Union?"
At some point in the past, I suspect you promised your wife that you would love her, be faithful to her, have and hold her from that day forward, for better or worse, richer or poorer, and in sickness or health.
I also suspect that you didn't put an expiration date on that promise, but instead told her that you would keep your solemn vow until death separated you.
What is the State of YOUR Union?
Have you kept your promises?
Take the opportunity today to honestly assess your marriage.
There are a lot of ways to do this and many places to start, but here's a way to kick things off.
First, rate the condition of your marriage relationship in these broad areas using a scale of 1 (i.e., I could not do any worse) to 5 (i.e., I am so perfect that it hurts; there is no room for improvement):
You were honest with yourself right? Good, because now I have a suggestion that might actually scare you. If you do this, you will be well on your way to a better understanding of the state of your union.
Ask your wife to also rate you in these same areas using a similar scale of 1 (i.e., you could not do any worse) to 5 (i.e., you are so perfect that it hurts; there is no room for improvement). Listen, don't just spring this list on your wife. Tell her what you're up to. Explain that you are trying to assess the state of your union and that her input is of utmost importance in the process. That said, here are the questions for your wife:
Now that you have your self-assessed ratings and those provided by your wife, find a place where you can reflect on what you see. Don't get defensive or proud. Instead, consider ways in which you can improve the areas rated at the low end of the scale and how you can continue to meet your wife's needs in the areas with high ratings.
After you've had time to digest the ratings, talk with your wife openly about what you've learned. Ask questions and listen to your wife's answers with an open heart. Listen to learn.
Find out what you can do better and refuse the urge to derail the conversation. This is not about you pointing fingers or making excuses, but rather about you taking steps to improve the vitality of your marriage. It's about you acting with integrity and keeping the promises you made on your wedding day. Ultimately, this is all about you improving the state of your union.
So, what is the State of YOUR Union?
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