It has been noted many places, by many more notable than I, that a core characteristic of leaders is their ability to make quick decisions. The thing that makes them a leader is that they are far more often right than wrong. Those who are fighting change, or simply can't keep up will often criticize those who possess this skill. They may try to accuse the leader as making snap judgments, as seeming to be a know it all, even arrogant, but what can't be refuted in the end is the results that flow from the decisions that were made.
Process flow charts stop at the triangle that represents a decision. They start again once the decision has been reached. Everyday our decisions move us forward or stop us in our tracks.
If you feel like you are stuck, if you feel like you are being held back, then lead yourself. Make the decisions that will move you forward. I am not suggesting you do that vacuous of data, but I am suggesting you find a way to stop making excuses and find a way to make a decision.
Another great night of recording, I think I have finished tracking for the February song of the month. It most likely won't be available until late next week. Completely different sound and feel from the January song (Beautiful For You) which is available for download and viral social networking!!
Have meetings about today so I will be listening to a rough mix in the car at times while driving. I hope you are enjoying the January song of the month, and I am getting really excited about releasing February. Did I mentioned it is a love song to go with the holiday…..
I love how learning can build on learning. I have always been uncomfortable with the thought that the church is primarily an organism rather than an organization. Years ago, when I was a pastor coming into the church from the financial services industry, I was delighted to find a tool for analysis (like a balanced scorecard) called Natural Church Development. Although it taught a philosophy very much in line with the Biblical view of the church being the metaphorical body of Christ, an organic metaphor, it showed how many organizational principles can be pulled from scripture to instruct us on how to set-up church.
So given that introduction one would ascertain that my view is in line with NCD which is a church is both organizational and organism. I do think, however, that many churches are failing to grow and thrive or achieve their mission at any size because they neglect the organizational side of things.
To put it this way, is the human body "man" or "machine"? To me this is a 100% yes to both. There is so much that goes on in my body that keeps me a alive that I have never mentally or physically initiated. Hunger pains, breathing, my heart moving blood, and we know the minutia that follows. Add to that the thought I have just gleaned from The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Anchor,that we are "mere bundles of habits." This is actually a quote from Harvard Psychologist William James. In his book Principles of Psychology James points out that there are countless learned habits that we use in our day to day life to streamline decision making and make a day bearable. Things like getting dressed, brushing our teeth, eating or drinking, and how we do all those things from a motor skills perspective. Kind of overwhelming if you think about it, which fortunately we don't.
In essence we have taught ourselves many process and procedures to create harmony and flow in our life. Overarching that is our spiritual being, our personality, how others see us and interact with us. We really are man and machine.
To me, the hard work of the church that many are missing, is the formation of those "invisible" habits by building and teaching believers how to love thorough interaction or how to be selfless and to serve.This is not so we do them by rote in the negative sense, but rather, so the necessary "processes and procedures" are ingrained and part of who we are so our spiritual being can actually focus on and achieve the relational interaction necessary.
Does it feel like sometimes the world is against you? The circumstances are just not helping you get things done? I think it is all about perspective and having a longer view.
I just lost a night and a day to sickness, and in the process slept 18 hours straight. That hasn't happened since I got back from two weeks of camp as a kid (during which I am sure I didn't sleep but a wink!) The has really challenged my short term goals. I could feel like things are conspiring against me to prevent me from getting things done or, I could appreciate that my body is now on the upswing and do the little things – incrementally that it will take to ship.
Time to push through.
One of the sub-themes I am trying to be transparent about on this blog is my current musical journey. My goal this year to produce a song a month has wrapped in it two larger goals. The primary goal is of creation, forcing myself to get the many songs I have competed or nearly completed into final form. The second is monetization, which I suppose is most artists goal with their art.
My distribution network is iTunes (and all the major digital stores), but iTunes does not market for you, you must bring them the customers. So I am blogging, not simply about music, because I feel hearing that I recorded this part or that part day after day would be boring, but also about all the things I am learning that are speaking into some of my other goals this year.
I related that my goal was to sell 2000 downloads of Beautiful For You, but that I obviously needed your help in terms of networking to the greater sphere which is our social networks combined. It is true I need advocates and patrons, so I am simply continuing to share my vision and story and to ask for help.
One of the risks I am taking is I am going to share the good the bad and the ugly. So when I get the first sales figures (not until the end of this month) I will share how we have done together. I am praying/hoping for good results!!
A good story I can share is that the traffic in terms of visitors to my site and blog has dramatically increased since my output on this blog has increased. Between my website and blogcast I estimate about 600 or 700 people are coming to the site over the course of a month. That is up many times over last year, so a good start there!!
Thanks to the many who keep coming here, I hope to keep you amused by this story, entertained with my music and add value through some of my other thoughts. 'Til the morrow.
The last several months have been a lead up to this year for me. Long hours when combining all things together, day job, music, church activity etc. The reality is that there is no end in sight. I see this pace for the next 10 years at least. That’s a marathon. In the meantime, there are sprints. I have my second song of the month to release by next week. Massive projects at work, family commitments and additional goals on top of that.
One of the things that I am finding is that if I am diligent about creating space to relax well, it energizes the rest. I work weekends and evenings, that is my reality. But I get great family time, church time and time for myself as well. How is a long story, and it is tailored to me. The question is, if you are looking to do more, are you working at creating space for learning, growing, and yes rejuvenating so you can be more?
As I continue to grow and learn on the subject of how to be happier (one of my goals for this year) I thought I would pass on a practical highlight again from the book I am working through by Shawn Anchor (The Happiness Advantage).
A counterfact is an imaginary scenario that our mind creates to help us analyze a situation. The example Shawn uses in his book is as follows: You walk into a bank full of 50 people, men, women and children to do a deposit. Several minutes into your wait a gunman comes in to rob it and shoots you in the arm. No one else was injured. Is that a fortunate or unfortunate circumstance?
To answer the question your mind forms up other scenarios to decide. One who considers it unfortunate might say, "of all the banks in all the world with the statistical probability that I would be the one person shot, very unfortunate". One who considers it fortunate might say, "no one including children were even hurt or killed and I simply got a "flesh wound", how fortunate for all".
His point here is that one of the practical ways we can own a more positive happy life is to choose, even train ourselves, to find a positive counterfact in difficult times. It will radically affect the way we see and live life.
So it is February…how did January go? Did you start working out? Are you still working out? Did you ship anything? Did you start your way to your goals for this year? If you haven't done anything or much, do not give in to discouragement. Today is the day to analyze what is keeping you from one of your goals. When you discover it, you have not discovered an obstacle, you have found your key to success. Develop a plan to go around or through it, and get something done on that front this next week.
If you have started down the road and are succeeding, celebrate, enjoy! Then do the same analysis, except if you have broken down an obstacle, make sure you know how. Don't let the old way creep back in because you have succeeded. Stay firm, build good on good, and re-commit to doing more this month. The process is to create right actions incrementally towards the greater idea or goal.
The next 11 months are going to be brilliant, own what you want to accomplish.
How to get from our starting point to our end point? When I worked in the financial services field as a salesman, I remember so many of the most successful people recounting their way to "the top". The grinding it out in the trenches as it were. There were very few rocket ship stories. It took them all a few years, or the equivalent in hours worked, to get there.
What struck me the most is that it was the little things they all did. Emails, returning phone calls, making cold calls, keeping things ordered and never letting up. It really did not seem like rocket science. So how do you stay motivated to do the mundane, because it is the hard work of creating and building that leads to success, and frankly, it never changes. A trick is to break the little things down into increments.
You want to send 50 emails today – just do 5 right now. You want to redecorate your house on a dime, spend 15 minutes tonight surfing the web for sites that give tips on that, gather ideas for your next step – tomorrow. Progress is not only encouraging, each little increment builds until you have shipped one little thing, one goal, you win!
If you are having trouble getting started, break your goal down and do something…just a part of a little thing, and keep "shipping" those increments. Write down your progress in a notebook. In a week, you will be smiling!