weapons of self-destruction—going deeper December 21, 2009Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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Upon further reflection, contemplation, and response to your comments, there seem to be a much deeper level of WSDs than we touched on in the initial article. These WSDs are far more serious and have far reaching consequence. For your sober consideration then… —
- Pretending— putting on a façade, playing a role, as if you were in a stage play. Whether this is a façade of faith or the sham of success, it remains, nonetheless, a pretension of life that prevents you from becoming the man/woman God intends you to be.
- Believing yourself to be someone you are not. This goes a step beyond #1; for it is not a pretension— it is a delusion, a self-deception that you come to believe as true which is not true. This kind of reality-fantasy, if allowed to continue, can cause a disruption between grasping what is real and what is un-real.
- Ignoring observations— Being part of community is essential to lead a life with unambiguous perspective. We all need the commentary, critiques, and compliments of others to gain a clearer understanding of who we are and how we fit into the whole. Balance. Otherwise, we will most naturally grow a higher opinion of ourselves than is deserved.
- Embitterment— Harboring resentment for wrongs done to you in the past will devour your spirit, your relationships, and your joy. Personally, the hardest thing I live with is the lack of resolution in relationships. Some, I still live with…, but not with any sense of contentment. Learn to let go.
- Fear— What is it that chains your soul to the floor and keeps you from trusting ? Trusting yourself, your skills and abilities, trusting those around you, those you work with…, God? Fear is the great destroyer of hearts, the dungeon of the mind, and the dehydrator of the spirit. I do not treat this WSD lightly; but I know full-well that unless you face your fears directly you will remain trapped within them.
- Insignificance— If, in your mind, you are not making a difference, you are not important to anyone, anywhere, and you believe your life is of little to no value to anyone, then you will eventually evaporate into emptiness— a blank page in the history of family and society. If you believe this, then you are truly out of touch with real-reality. NO ONE is insignificant!
- Loss of faith— No belief in anything. This naturally (eventually) leads to cynicism, depression, and an extreme sullenness about life.
- Living life as if there were no God— Of all the weapons of self-destruction this one (to be sure, there are more) is the most destructive. Faith is, well, a matter of faith, based on belief in historical reporting and accurate recording of events; it is also the response to those compiled coincidences in your life that point to some divine intervention, whether you like it or not. Some people believe there is no god; but it is wiser to live life as if there were, with all the blessings and consequences that belief entails.
- Living without relationships— A life of isolation will be a brief one. If you want to destroy your soul drop out of community and tell yourself you can make it on your own…, alone. You are already dead.
- Deciding not-to-love— Whether because of an earlier broken heart or betrayal, or a fear of being hurt again, deciding not to love will also destroy your soul. If you are incapable of loving you will most inadvertently become unable to receive love as well. What then is your life but the production of things.
May this list of WSDs encourage you to eliminate them all from your life.
Have a nice week.
weapons of self-destruction December 14, 2009Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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EmPulse for Week of December 14, 2009
weapons of self-destruction
We’ve all met someone who seems to have a built-in self-destruct button. They make consistently bad decisions; some of them life threatening. We worry about these people; we try to help them; and, sometimes, we stay as far away from them as possible. Their personal annihilation often drains the life out of those around them.
Much more delicately, however, each of us fabricate our own weapons of self-destruction. Not intentionally, of course, but we do it nonetheless. Here are a few WSDs I’ve observed in people.
|· Over-commitment||· Short-changing on sleep||· Peopled-out|
|· No time alone, down-time||· Work is life: life is work||· No time for even one friend|
|· Afraid to adapt, change, grow||· Constant headaches||· Loss of life’s excitement|
There are more WSDs, to be sure. But these are the most obvious to others; if we’re honest, we’ve all sensed some of these signs in ourselves at one time or another. The question is what we DO about them. Here’s my next list for defusing some of these devices and lessening the extent of damage they can do in our lives.
1. Take stock of your life. Not just a cursory band-aid review, but a full-fledged assessment of who you are and what you are doing. You may want a sounding-board person to help you establish an honest perspective on yourself.
2. GO TO BED! Sorry, you DO need 8 hours. Talk with your doctor about a sleep-aid if necessary.
3. For a time, limit the people in your life to a balance of feeders and drainers. i.e.- you need to be fed as you give out.
4. Get away. Go for a walk (daily, alone), go to a hotel (no TV), get out in the woods…, something.
5. Create a life that is separate from work. Anything. Take up knitting! Snow-football. Watch-making. Anything.
6. You have to have at least one friend with whom you are completely safe. Find ‘em, feed ‘em, laugh with them.
7. Start by brushing your teeth differently, then shift from boxers to briefs & vice-versa. Try doing something completely unusual for you. Hug people you’ve never hugged before. Smile at your enemies; send them gifts. Anything!
8. Headaches are our body’s cues that we are pushing too much. [Some people can push more than others.] Go to a medical doctor and get some perspective…, and some proper medication.
9. If nothing in life excites you any longer you are in the grasp of some form of depression. You need to talk to a professional counselor, psychologist, etc. more than anything the loss of a zest for life will destroy you. DO NOT let this WSD run its course.
Remember, it is never too late to regain your equilibrium in life. Our Creator did not make us to fall apart; that’s our doing. Let Him help rebuild your life into something remarkable, full of life, and maybe a little outrageous!
Have a nice week.
curious leadership December 7, 2009Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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EmPulse for Week of December 7, 2009
Leadership in times of stability, predictability, and prosperity is a lot of fun. But that is not when leadership is most critical. It is most critical when times are unstable, uncertain, and people are facing the loss of their livelihoods and homes— like in wartime, or in a depression, or, now.
It is in times like these that men need to become men of honor, whether we feel like it or not. It’s called rising to the occasion, doing what’s right, taking on the mantle, etc. Most of us find it easier to cast blame than to create a solution. Women, likewise, need to stand up and become involved in LIFE. Not just business, not just child raising (which men must take on just as whole heartedly), but the deeper issues and fabric of life. Women lead with a perspective that men cannot fathom; we are fools to proceed without their take on life’s issues.
To lead in dismantled times we need a certain mix of curious ingredients or our strength will grind to powder under the churning. Here’s my list of what great leadership will need in uneasy times.
- Time to ponder—If we are caught up in too many daily issues and decisions we lose perspective on critical issues. Leaders need perspective; and that means time alone to think, to wonder, and to strategize a course of action.
- Trusted followers—We need people to whom we can delegate responsibility (along with commensurate authority) of important tasks. Then walk away from them, trusting those tasks to honorable hands.
- A rock-solid core—Know who you are. Be certain of it. If you’re not sure, then your leadership will falter.
- A true friend—Some people I know do not have one person they can count on no matter what. How do they ever make it through life!?! Find someone to trust and trust them unreservedly.
- Forgiveness—Be able to genuinely forgive those who’ve betrayed or wronged you. You cannot move beyond it if you don’t. Don’t let resentment devour your heart.
- Be quick to say you are wrong—If you are right all the time something must be wrong. You get the point.
- Consultants—Yes, consultants. Def.- People smarter than yourself who are not in your shoes. Surround yourself with them! You need some people who will tell you the truth.
- A higher risk-level—It’s rough being the one to make the tough calls. New commitments, people to be let go, compromises, expenditures on the uncertain. Yeah, that’s what leadership does. Get used to it.
- A deep, quiet, secret life of prayer—If you’re doing any of this without God then you are amazing! You are not alone, though; many Christians do amazing things without God. I wonder what it might be like if we both trusted God more for the truly difficult decisions in life? Spending more time with God, alone, isn’t going to do any damage.
- Ask yourself one question at the end of the day—“What did I do today that truly made a difference?” The more days you can look back and see the great things you have accomplished, the more assurance you will have that your leadership is needed in this world. Keep it up.
Please feel free to add to this list… .
Have a nice week.
Cognitive Dissonance December 4, 2009Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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In 1957 social psychologist Leon Festinger first proposed the theory of cognitive dissonance after the publication of his book When Prophecy Fails, observing the counterintuitive belief persistence of members of a UFO doomsday cult.
“In psychology, cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling or stress caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a fundamental cognitive drive to reduce this dissonance by modifying an existing belief, or rejecting one of the contradictory ideas.” (Wikipedia)
Oddly, we live in an era wherein cognitive dissonance is embraced as normative. Facts do not have to reflect reality; truth is personalized and resident in each individual, specific to their experience alone. Your truth does not have to be my truth. Those truths can be contradictory and both held as “absolute” for each individual. Sadly, contradictory “truths” can be held in conflict within one individual with seemingly little concern for their conflicting juxtaposition.
This has led to many individuals shifting realities. When one reality begins to feel less that true, that is the cognitive dissonance grows too large, people merely shift into another reality where conflicting truths or facts can be held in opposition more comfortably.
This is nuts!
People who live in this cognitive dissonance for long periods of time begin to develop a form of personality disorder that slowly eats away at their core values and their ability to perceive reality (“real reality”, as Francis Schaeffer coined in 1963) accurately. Their worlds become fanciful fantasies to avoid the admissions that they may be wrong about…, well, just about anything.
People would rather live within this pathological play-ground than face the real world around them and admit they can’t always cope. It’s a form of self-preservation, self-protection, really. And there is nothing wrong with anyone trying to protect themselves from the onslaughts of postmodern stress.
God understands this. He offers an alternative solution to this reality-shifting— a place of safety “in” Himself. Is it so difficult, for the Christian or otherwise, to truly trust in the God who made them and accept that shelter of safety He provides?! As long as evil flourishes in this world Jesus Christ’s atonement will be necessary for all. I know I need it.
What do you do to protect yourself? Where do you feel safe? What is the basis of your significance? Please, get with the program. You’ll feel so much better.
Have a nice week.
insightinfusionimplications December 2, 2009Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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It’s in those frantic, life-is-too-full periods of life that flashes of insight come to us more frequently. Granted, having an incredible insight while sitting on a beach as tropical breezes blow over you is the preferred way of receiving an insight, it is more likely that they will hit you when you are too involved to take note of them. So much has been lost to human innovation due to a loss of a momentary insight that might have cured the common cold, rid the world of political positioning, or developed a galactic hyper drive. Carrying pen & paper (PDA, SmartPhone, voice-recorder, etc.) with you just might save the world.
Insights are wonderful things; they spark the imagination, solve problems, create new realities, gadgets & industries. They move the human race one step further away from the cave. Some people seem to have more insights than others: they are people who are always imagining— imagining different ways of doing the same things. The wheel comes to mind, as does language, the alphabet, the printing press, the assembly-line, the computer, the internet, and deciphering the dynamics of cross cultural communications.
There are serious implications for people who receive an infusion of insights. [Not for those who came up with the Slinky, the Barbie Doll, or the trashcan for chewing gum.] For theirs is the responsibility to invent and utilize their day-dreamed devices in ways that benefit society, & the world’s peoples. But how does one go about the responsibility of bringing their insights to invention and usefulness? Here are some ideas—
- Surround yourself with other insightful people. You probably do this anyway, but if you don’t , well… . Working alone will never carry your idea to fruition.
- Find practical people who know how to make things work! For example— clever assistants (like mine…, and no, you can’t have her), lawyers, financiers to back the development of your idea, marketers , and patent officers that will protect your idea.
- Get used to rejection and failure. What was it Thomas Edison said about the light bulb? He hadn’t failed 10,000 times; he just learned 10,000 ways how not to make a light bulb. You know Post-it Notes, Velcro, the Hamburger—they all took decades to catch on. So be willing to admit it when you don’t quite get it right. Now try it again.
- Learn patience.
- Believe in what you are doing. Find people who believe in you and in your idea.
- Don’t let it consume you. Remember to breathe, spend time with family & friends. (I find that creating 2-3 new ideas at the same time provides me with more balance & reality checks than working on one all consuming idea.)
Remember what Jesus said, “For to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48) Create wisely, with gusto; enjoy yourself while you’re at it.
Have a nice week.