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Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Blog, Life |

What Does It Mean to Be Generous?

What Does It Mean to Be Generous?

If you haven’t already heard, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have pledged to give away 99% of their net worth to charitable causes over their lifetime.  If you’ve read about it already, you’ve likely also seen the wave of articles such as this one picking apart the couple’s generosity due to a variety of reasons, such as the tax benefits and the nature of the organization the money will be pledged to. When was the last time any of those writers gave away 99% of their net worth? Yes, there is truth in what they are writing.  Yes, there are clear advantages in the manner in which the Zuckerbergs are handling the donation.  Does any of that devalue the $45 billion that will be given to do good or the motivations of the givers? It brings to mind the question, “What does it mean to be generous?”  And in a culture that isn’t inherently generous, but rather quite consumeristic, I think we struggle with answering the question.  During this time of...

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Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Blog, Life |

Be a Daily Learner

Be a Daily Learner

I came across this quote in an article I read a few years ago: There is divine beauty in learning… To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. – Elie Wiesel The quote by itself is spot on.  But if you know the person it is attributed to, it becomes much more powerful.  From Elie Wiesel’s bio on the Elie Wiesel Foundation website: Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, which is now part of Romania. He was fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. His mother and younger sister perished, his two older sisters survived. Elie and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before the camp was liberated in April 1945. When I was fifteen years old, my biggest concerns revolved around sports, acne, and my daily ability to corral my hair.  I...

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Blog, Life |

A Focus on Giving Thanks

A Focus on Giving Thanks

Is seems that so much of our culture is focused on the negative.  Even the people that are supposed to be carriers of positivity and peace appear to be much more interested in turmoil and strife.  You don’t have to spend much time in this atmosphere of malaise before you begin to feel its effects, seeping deep into your bones, robbing you of the joy and contentment that once shined brightly within you. It’s depressing. As difficult as it can be at times, we must make the choice to see the world through different lenses.  Our focus must be steady and sure, otherwise our gaze will drift and our resolve weaken.  Its no easy task to be ‘other than’ what appears all around us. But then things that really matter are seldom easy to attain. So in a month where more of us turn our attention toward things we’re thankful for, at least more than what seems usual, I’ve made the commitment to be intentionally thankful.  It’s part of an overall...

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Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Blog, Life |

7 Deadly Assumptions #4: Others Understand Things the Way I Do – Leadership Network Blog

7 Deadly Assumptions #4: Others Understand Things the Way I Do – Leadership Network Blog

Our next Deadly Assumption in this series is the assumption that “others understand the issue the way that I do,” and it’s a killer when it comes to collaboration and strong strategic decision-making.  Deadly Assumption #4 was made famous a few years ago by the dynamic decision-making duo, Chip and Dan Heath.  In their book, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, the Heath brothers wrote about a phenomenon called The Curse of Knowledge.  On the surface it doesn’t sound like much of a ‘curse’.  After all, who wouldn’t want to have knowledge?  But once you understand it, you realize the impact this assumption has on our decision making is anything but a blessing. In their book, the Heath Brothers give the illustration of a Stanford University graduate student in psychology named Elizabeth Newton who illustrated the curse of knowledge in 1990 by studying a simple game in which she assigned people to one of two roles: “tapper” or “listener.” Each tapper was asked to pick...

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Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Blog, Life |

Why Do We (I) Do This?

Why Do We (I) Do This?

Yesterday I was struck by how I felt… Now normally if I were to start a sentence that way, it would be followed by a description of something wrong.  Or a picture of something I did to myself.  But yesterday I felt great.  It was enough of a ‘greater than usual greatness’ that I noticed.  In fact, it stopped me in the middle of my day as if to say, “You really need to pay attention to how good you feel right now.”  Physically, emotionally, spiritually…I felt amazing. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to recognize that my good feeling wasn’t the result of anything I had done.  It was a pretty routine day.  I realized right away that it was from God.  A peace.  A blessing.  Calming presence.  Good.  Have you ever had one of those moments?  An instance of the presence of God in your life so obvious, so tangible?  I paused and gave thanks for it.  And as I began to push ‘play’ on my day...

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Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Blog, Life | 3 comments

You Need a Push (and So Do I)

You Need a Push (and So Do I)

As you probably know, I jumped into CrossFit at the beginning of the year to try and revive my waning fitness routine. Mission accomplished! I’ll write more on that later, but I wanted to share a recent experience from CrossFit and relate it to life.  Last week we were doing a METCON that involved 3 rounds of hand-stand pushups (wall walks for me), a 5 Bear Complex, and a 200 meter ‘sprint’.  The ‘buy out’ at the end was 3 muscle ups or 15 ring rows.  I chose the latter.  During my last round I was spent.  I was down to the final 200 meters and my ring rows.  With about 100 meters to go, I was through running.  I wanted to walk.  I wanted to stop. I walked. My resolve was diminished, I didn’t care about time, I would be content just to finish. About that time, I heard someone coming up behind me.  As he got close, I heard the words, “You’re almost finished, buddy.  Come on.”...

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