Saturday, February 23, 2013

Simplicity and Getting Things Done

Seth Godin writes a blog. Today he posted this:

Hooked on hacking life

Perhaps you can quote the GTD literature chapter and verse, understand lean and MVP and the modern meeting standard. Maybe you now delete your emails with a swipe. It's possible you've read not just this blog but fifty others, every day, and understand go to market strategies and even have a virtual assistant to dramatically increase your productivity.
That's great. But the question remains, "what have you shipped?"
You're saving a ton of time, freeing yourself up to... do what, precisely?
The productivity industry doesn't do this work to entertain us. They're trying hard to help you get more done better. Emphasis on done.
Striving to get smarter, better and faster helps us create our future. The risk is that merely collecting, trading and discussing the tools turns into the point.
It's possible that your next frontier isn't to get more efficient, it's to get more brave.
I like it. I struggle with this. I love tools! I love tracking and understanding and learning.  Sometimes I forget to simply do the thing ("ship").

Cool story regarding doing the thing (shipping) - we're low on Lynx registrations (next week's snow camp).  Last night I created a two paragraph regular ol email via our camper database software (Campwise). No pictures. No attachments. Not even HTML. I simply asked people to come and tell their friends. I said we'd give them a $25 discount because we aren't full. I sent the email Fri. evening. Within 2 hours, 4 more campers were signed up and I had heard from 10 parents. Today, I'm still hearing from parents about that email and a few more have signed up.

KISS (keep it simple stupid)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lent & Fasting

Each Lent, I wonder what I should give up or take on.  I rarely feel right with God for more than a couple days in a row and so Lent often seems a time to reach out to God more fervently.  This year, I was struck by  a passage in Isaiah 58 that calls into question our individual-focused routines of giving up chocolate, coffee, etc.  I suspect those small sacrifices are very good. Our heart needs them.  Yet, there is more to look toward.  Here's the passage:

Isaiah 58:6-10 NIV “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

This video then helped me along a bit further in understanding of the type of fast that is desirable to the Lord.

May we be strengthened to loose the chains of injustice this whole year and in that process, may our addictions be transformed and lost.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happy Feet

Happy feet

In the movie, a penguin named Mumble follows his curiosity to find what's "out there." Swept up by his passion he almost dies and is placed in a position that allows him influence. In this position he does what comes naturally to him. He is reminded of his gift by a small child. And so he starts dancing!

He leads the way for his tribe and his guides are his sense and what was already given to him (his God-given giftings).

In the end, being true to his gift and the journey this took him on, saved his tribe.

This is similar to how we follow God and lead others along the way. Not a lot of certainty. Not a lot of proof. Only what we've been given and a compass for the next step. Only the voice of the one that whispers in the wilderness.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Don't take that promotion if you aren't going to be happy. The problem with promotions is that they end up getting you into a new job. It's great if it's the work you're best suited for. And it might not be a great move if the work you are doing right now is the work you're most suited for.

The biblical author Paul wrote a lot about the nature of our skills and motivations (gifts given us by God). We were created with a certain set of gifts. And when we use them and work in areas that exercise those skills, we excel.

Pursue something you're good at or something you like. A lot of times they are the same thing. You will make a greater contribution to the world doing what you were meant to do, promotion or not.

For more on this watch the movie Happy Feet.

Or listen to this interview with Seth Godin.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Passion and work

A friend of mine posted this video on Facebook recently. I commented:
this is a very important issue - the nature of the deeper passion - the essence of this video - what is it you like doing? I have been uncovering the importance of a 15-year-long passion in my life and finding that it lies at the heart of what I do best at camp. And I'm learning to teach our college-age staff about the importance of this underlying love and passion and to release themselves to embrace it.
Another friend commented about God's plan. I commented
I agree! God's "plan"/way/intention/expectation for us is better than our own. In this sense, God is like a manufacturer of a product and has a full understanding of what the product is capable of and how to use it best. While this analogy is pretty weak (because products don't feel things and we do), it helps me when thinking about how best to serve, as Jesus instructed. I've experienced a deep fulfillment when fulfilling my call and at times, a lack of fulfillment when running from my call.


Where does your passion lie?


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