Archive for the ‘Growth’ Tag

Being Remembered   2 comments

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Yesterday I heard a sermon which had as one of its points that each of us is remembered by name by God.  I was grateful to hear that message because it provided comfort for me.  That statement has resonated in my mind for the last twenty-four hours.  So as I sat down this morning to write my post, I decided to spend a little time thinking about why I was comforted by those words and why they are resonating with me right now.

When a politician is coming to the end of her or his elected time in an office, many of the political pundits begin to speak about his or her legacy.  What is it for which they will be remembered?  What type of legacy will be left behind?  We hear of individuals who want to secure their legacy through some sort of contribution(s).  When donors give to an institution they often have their names engraved on something or placed on a building or room within a building.  (Granted, the big the gift, the bigger the recognition)  All of this speaks to the human desire to be remembered.

I confess that I have such a desire.  As I think about my legacy, I definitely think about my two sons.  I am very proud of the young men who they are becoming.  I am pleased with the influence that I have, and continue to have, on their lives.  They are to me the greatest legacy that I can ever leave.  In addition to them, I desire leaving a legacy which encompasses having a positive impact on the lives of other people.  I want to be remembered as someone who helped another person grow and become who they are called to be.  I have always desired to assist people in growing in faith, growing in their skills and abilities, and growing in their perception of themselves.  I realize that in some situations I have lived into that desire and in some situations I have failed in that desire.

So today, I want to know for what you desire to be remembered.  I also want to remind you of the truth which I heard in the sermon yesterday, you are always remembered by name by our Lord.


Growth Challenges   Leave a comment

By looking at the title of today’s post, one might assume that I am going to write about either a growth hormone issue or the issues related to increasing the size of an organization.  However, my intent is neither of those sets of issues.  Instead I decided to title today’s post as I did because I want to put forth the idea that challenges in our lives present us with a great opportunity to grow personally.

Many people find the negative aspects of challenges in life.  They allow the challenges to discourage them, some even to the point of depression.  Challenges become something to avoid or minimize.  This can lead to not being willing to take risks or take on increase responsibility or involvement.  Honestly, everyone dreams of a challenge-free life (and as a believer, I know the reality of that is coming).  However, we all know that life as we experience now cannot be challenge-free.  We all will face challenges in our personal and professional lives.  This is the current nature of humanity and human interactions.

Today, I want to propose to you the idea of looking at life challenges as the doorway to growing as a person.  I began thinking about this after a recent conversation with my mentor and very close friend.  We were discussing a challenge in my life.  I was leaning toward a negative perspective of this challenge.

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I was looking at the challenge as a win-lose scenario.  However, he presented the perspective of viewing this challenge as a gift; a gift that would allow growth in the situation.  After the discussion, I had a more positive view of the challenge.  For me, the key difference was seeing what potential growth could take place in my life and my relationships because of the challenge.

If we are able to look at challenges as an opportunity for us to grow, then I believe that challenges will not be something to avoid but something to embrace.

Risk Averse   1 comment

One of the pitfalls that many organizations and individuals encounter is that they can easily become too risk averse.  What I mean by that is too often the fear of failure or a desire not to lose what has already been gained can lead organizations and individuals from avoiding taking on risk. In order for movement or change to occur, there is some level of risk which must be assumed.  However, too often in the culture of today, people run the opposite direction from anything which appears to be “risky.”

Now let me be clear, taking haphazard risks is never a good idea.  Yes, on rare occasions this approach may still lead to success but that is the exception, not the norm.  However, taking on some level of calculated risk is frequently necessary if progress is going to occur.  Progress means heading off of the status quo.  Whenever a person or organization moves from status quo, there is automatically some risk which is assumed.  The amount of risk being assumed and for what purposes must be measured and a decision regarding those items must be made.

Probably the greatest risk that people want to avoid is the risk of failure.  We tend to have a strong aversion to failure.  No one ever really likes to fail but failure can be a valuable learning tool.  If we fail and learn from that failure, we will grow and it can help us to progress in the areas of success.  Failure is truly only negative when we do not learn from those failures and we repeat the same actions or decisions which caused us to fail.  (Unfortunately, institutions often struggle to learn this.)

This whole process of thought came about during the study of a passage from the Bible which I am doing today.  So I encourage you to read Matthew 25:14-30.  I also encourage you to explore being a little more risky.

Continue to Grow   2 comments

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One of the goals that I have for my life is that I will continue to grow.  Now it should be obvious that I am not wishing or expecting growth in my physical attributes (I am too old to grow taller and striving to not to grow rounder).  Instead, I want my growth to occur in the areas of knowledge, perspective, and attitude.  I view this type of growth as being vital to continued life.  The question is how to work on continued growth.  So here are some actions that I take which I perceive help me to grow:

  • Read often (newspapers, books, magazines, blog posts)
  • Listen to others (both those who share your views and those who disagree with your views)
  • Take advantage of opportunities to see different geographical areas (in communities, in our nation, in the world)
  • Experience a variety of volunteer opportunities
  • Create regular times for contemplation

I believe a combination of these actions have helped me to continue a growth process in my life.

What would you add to the list?

Always Learning   Leave a comment


learning (Photo credit: Anne Davis)

Today I am reminded of the great value of learning.  My thoughts begin with conversations in which I participated in last night.  One of the members of the group shared some insights that triggered potential opportunities in my mind.  Then again this morning, I was having coffee with my regular coffee buddies and  learned some information of which I was unaware.  As I have reflected on these conversations, I was struck by how I continue to learn in all types of settings.  That reality excites me.

An old saying comes to my mind:  “You are never too old to learn.”  I feel so blessed that I have the ability to continue to learn.  I also feel blessed that my fear in asking questions has reduced.  Maybe it is because of maturing, but I have found that I no longer have quite the level of fear that I once had when asking a question.  I no longer seem to be afraid of being considered less intelligent because I ask a question.  In fact, I have come to realize that I lack wisdom when I do not ask the questions.

I also have a higher comfort level in stating when I do not know something.  Again, it is probably because life has taught me that there are things in which everyone lacks knowledge.  With all the resources now at our disposal, both human and digital, there is always opportunity to find answers.  I find that listening to others and hearing input from various perspectives helps me to grow exponential in my knowledge.

This applies to my faith questions as well.  Faith is a very complex human understanding.  Faith has so many components and is impacted by a wide variety of experiences and concepts.  I always tell others that questions are a very positive way to grow your faith.  I greatly enjoy engaging in faith discussions with others.  I find every time that I do, I learn and my faith grows.

I am grateful to the Lord for giving me a mind to think and learn.  I am grateful to the Lord that learning never ends.  I am grateful to the Lord for questions and for the knowledge shared.

What will I learn today?

Another Year   1 comment

Happy Birthday!

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Well, it is that day of the year when I change my answer to the questions on forms about my age.  Yes, you got it — it’s my birthday.

So today seems like a good opportunity to reflect on how I have grown and/or what I have learned over the last year.  Here is a brief list:

  • Life has value in the relationships that you have which are meaningful.
  • It takes discipline to start a new habit or practice.
  • If God brought you to it, God will get you through it.
  • You never know about tomorrow so find the joy in today.
  • Doing the unexpected can reap wonderful rewards.
  • People may surprise you the most when you think you have them figured out.
  • Keeping your edge requires you to do more than just get by.
  • You never reach the point when you cannot step in a new direction.
  • Memories have an interesting way of sneaking up on you.
  • Never be afraid to risk and fail because without the risk there will never be a change.

By far this is not a complete list but instead the thoughts that come to me as I sit here at my desk on my birthday morning.

Thank you to all the people who have helped me grow in this last year.  Thank you to all who have been following my blog.  I will strive to continue to grow throughout another year and I hope that the number of followers and comments on my blog posts will grow also.

God bless this day!

Posted March 16, 2012 by thoughtfulbeliever in Life

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