This past week, I, along with a colleague, began a leadership program for a group of nurses from the local hospital system. The first class is an introduction to leadership and what makes a great leader. We incorporated a heavy dose of self-reflection into this day, including time to write a personal credo.
It is Advent season. Many know this, we are lighting a new candle each week at church. What many may not realize is that “advent” means “coming,” a time we celebrate the coming of God to earth–Emmanuel, God with us. This month in my small group, we have been looking at the Christmas story as told by Luke. A theme that I caught the first week and have continued seeing throughout has been “the unexpected.” Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever thought about momentum? It is a force of movement. Some definitions define it as a quantity of movement. Momentum has been on my mind recently. Often when I think of it, Newton’s First Law of Motion also comes to mind. This law (I had to look it up) states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.
As I have thought about these things, a few things come to mind. I share them in hopes that you will find value in these questions as well.
- Do I have any momentum? Yes, I must conclude that I am moving, and since I have mass I must also be a force. Personally, I have delineated six to seven areas in which I would like to build momentum. This leads me to my next question that often arises.
- Is my momentum in the direction I want it to be? In most of those areas, yes, I am moving in the directions I desire. But there are some that are not.
- What outside forces are acting upon my momentum? There are many: demands of others on my time, expectations I feel like I need to meet, commitments I have made somewhat foolishly, and more. I recently read The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. In it, he has a chapter entitled “Radical exclusion and the Quest for Abundance.” Things like the “to-don’t” list and defining your purpose so succinctly that you are able to say “No” to those things that are distractions.
- How can I change to avoid those forces? Building new habits. After reading Chris Guillebeau, I picked up The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I just began reading this book yesterday, but am learning how habits are formed and cravings begin. What are the cues in my life that lead me into those habits that are unproductive? Which leads me to my final question.
- How can I create momentum in areas where it is lacking? The easiest answer is to simply take the first step. To create momentum, I need to create movement. No movement = no momentum. Easy to type, difficult to do.
So, my goal this week is to find an area of my life and create positive momentum.
I am curious, what momentum-killing forces do you experience and how do you avoid them?
Have you ever worked with a sales person who would just not listen to you? I just had this experience and I felt bad for the poorly trained soul on the other end of the line.
I just got off the phone with student from one of my alma maters. It is phone-a-thon time for that institution, when the development office hires students to chat up some alumni, help them recall great experiences from their college years, then ask for a donation. I get these calls from both of my alma maters and we usually give to one of them. This call was from the one we usually do not give to. I was there only a year and my connection is with a very few individuals and not so much to the institution. Read the rest of this entry »
One of my favorite roller coasters is the Raptor at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Probably my second favorite used to be right behind the Raptor in this photo–the Blue Streak. There are many reasons the Raptor is one of my favorite coasters. The biggest has nothing to do with the coaster itself.
The biggest reason the Raptor is my favorite coaster is because of a conversation I had while waiting in line. It was the summer of 1996 and the Raptor was in its third season at Cedar Point. My future wife and I tried to get there each summer while we were dating, it was less than two hours from her home, so an easy trip. That summer we had been dating for about two years and would be married that winter. The line for the Raptor was long, probably close to two hours. This was fine because it meant that my future bride and I could stand in line and talk for that long. On this particular trip, I remember talking about our future together and the dreams we each had.