What is Prayer? Seriously?

attitude faith Nov 11, 2021

I grew up going to church. Every Sunday morning, every Sunday evening, and frequently on Wednesday night it seems my family was always there in the building. 

In that time, I heard more prayers that I can count. Some were simple and profound, but many were complex and over-the-top.  Prayer time was fidget time for me -- especially as a young boy.   But what’s interesting is that despite all my years of going to church and "being" in church, rarely did anyone talk about what prayer really is.  It was if they assumed we just knew.

Sure, we hear the Lord’s prayer, and we might be taught how to pray. And that is important, but what about what prayer really is? I've always wanted to know, “is there a bare bones basic definition that hits the what and the value of why prayer is important?”

So, after five decades of silently wondering, I'm going to throw one out there for you to chew...

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Why November Can Be Your Best Month

attitude Nov 06, 2021

If you had to pick a favorite month of the year, would November even be in your top 5?

Think about it. Most people would pick April, May, or June.  Then they’ll skip the hot months, and then pick September or October.  That’s their top 5. But November?  It often gets the short end of the stick. At least in the U.S. and Canada.

When you think November…

  • You might think the coming cold.
  • You might think fall time change and dark afternoons
  • You might think about leaves to rake
  • You might think about election flyers jamming your mailbox
  • You might think about black Friday mayhem, or people not shaving.

But what if November was much more than those things?  What if November was YOUR favorite month?

Think of the magic that happens in November

There’s lots of reason to love it, like the color of the leaves, the beautiful mornings, the electric energy of football, the smell of hot chocolate, the breakout of sweaters, or the recognition of...

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Books to Lead - "The Charisma Myth"

attitude books Oct 28, 2021

Paul and Rick crack open the top books on leadership and life on the Breaking Average Podcast.

For this week's episode the book in the spotlight is "The Charisma Myth" written by Olivia Fox Cabane.   You don't want to mis this podcast. 

 
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Squid Game - 3 Core Life Lessons

attitude stories winning Oct 09, 2021

My wife and I recently binge watched all 9 episodes of Squid Games over the period of a week. We were introduced to it by our son and daughter-in-law, when we were visiting them in Boston.

The Squid Games offers three choices that I want to share with you that can shape your life and those around you. These are Take Aways that I encourage you to look out for and to use in life and leadership. These are some of redeeming elements from watching the series – to help you and me live with greater focus and passion – and greater success. I’ll do my best to not share any spoilers, but if I do – I will try to warn you first.

Here are the lessons:

#1 Practice Empathy

This Squid Games showed me the side of what life looks like when someone is down and out. It’s a biopic of our world in the midst of covid, and unrest. Each of the Green track suited characters in Squid Games (the players), including maybe even the Pink suited PlayStation / StormTrooper like workers...

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The Obstacle is the Way

attitude courage Oct 02, 2021

I wanted to share some thoughts regarding the topics of obstacles.  I did this a few years back, but recently transcribed the video.

Here's both.

 Here's the transcript for the video above. (sorry for the typos)

--

Hey guys, hope you're doing good.

March the fourth -- fantastic day in my family at least, oldest son's birthday today. So hey, listen, I wanted to throw down some thoughts on walking the dog again, dogs plural. just rode the bike. And I was thinking about obstacles.

How many times have you been stopped by obstacles? I mean, I have 1000s of times. I've had obstacles today. I've let the obstacles rob me of my next steps, to be honest with you. But I've also found ways to leverage and get past it right. You've heard the phrase, the obstacle is the way, here's something that happened to me, I realized I was dealing with some obstacles. And I was actually the obstacles or external obstacles are internal. Okay.

I always make an excuses as to why I wasn't gonna get...

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Football Legends on Leadership

attitude leadership winning Sep 25, 2021

One of my favorite movie scenes is this clip from the movie Rudy.  I love how the players and fans rally to influence the coach to put Rudy in the game.  And I love how he leads with heart and tenacity.  It's how we should all live.

If you are a fan of leadership, then you ought to be a fan of football. Seriously!  While football may just be a game to most, there are many parallels to what it takes to live and lead effectively at home and in business;  especially college or playoff football. Football at that level reflects all the critical elements of leadership.  Consider you can find many of John Maxwell's 21 Laws of Leadership exemplified in a top 20 or playoff football team.  You'll see the law of the lid, the law of momentum, the law of teamwork, and so many more.

For many, the best part of football on the calendar is not just the Super Bowl, but college bowl games and the playoffs for the teams trying to go...

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Your "I Am" Checklist

attitude faith Sep 19, 2021

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he

– Proverbs 23:7

I've previously shared about the importance of “being transformed by the renewing of your mind.”   This effort is not a “one in a done” exercise. It takes a daily commitment.  The key is to eliminate our misbeliefs and unfounded self-limitations -- and instead think the truth.

One of the things that helps me the most is to create a set of “I am” statements.  These are statements about myself, founded on biblical truths.  These are affirmations.  Here are a few straight from the Word that you can use about you. It's scriptural truth — what God thinks about you — which is the most powerful truth there is.

  1. I am a child of God, and He is with me. – Galatians 4:6
  2. I am a citizen of heaven - Philippians 3:20
  3. I am a leader of others – 2 Timothy 2:2
  4. I am a new creation - 2 Corinthians 5:17
  5. I am a prophetic...
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Don’t Forget the FUN

attitude Sep 04, 2021

Heath Ledger, playing the role of the villainous Joker in the Batman series, had a famous line that often causes me to rethink.

Why so Serious?

It’s a great question to ponder. Admittedly, I sometimes get way too serious in my work and in life.  That serious bit, causes me to stress more, live less, and miss out on great experiences and relationships. I often realize later – usually after the moment – that I missed an opportunity to really connect and be present. 

So, what’s the antidote going forward. Well, there’s a short little anagram, which is just a fancy word for acrostic, to home in on embracing fun daily. As you can guess, it spells the word FUN. Each letter means something specific.

Be Focused

Focus – the right focus – will keep you out of trouble. Focus means to be fully present. To be aware of what’s happening in the present. Not the past. Not the future. But right now!

Focus means being attentive and motivated...

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Are You Living Like a Champion?

What if you lived life like you were training for the Olympics? What would you do different? 

That’s the question I asked myself that stopped me in my tracks.

I realized I wasn’t playing full out. Yes, there are days I’m giving everything I have – and I’m leaving it out on the field wherever I am present, but there are many days that I just don’t’ have it. There are days I just don’t give it my best and I fail to FOCUS.

Why?

It’s not because of a lack of intent. I want to play full out. My aspirations are there. The reason why I don’t FINISH is because I can get out of balance.

The balance revelation drew my attention to something called the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Maybe you have heard of them.  Here's a hokie graphic that illustrates them.  (thanks Adobe Stock)

Here are the 8 in no particular order. Each of them have an equal weight of importance and value.

  1. Occupational
  2. Social
  3. Emotional
  4. ...
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Let Resilience Be Your Super Power

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”
— T. S. Eliot

We just launched  a new three part series on Resilience on the Breaking Average PodcastHave you seen it? The first episode aired recently centers on the concept of Acknowledging the Threats.  The next episodes take it even further.  This is such a powerful principle.  Resilience is a secret untapped strength each of us have, we often just don't know it.

There's an old line from the legendary Japanese Military Strategist that sets the table.

Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.

What he's saying is spot on.  You can't be yourself and face your challenges until you know yourself.  That's where it starts.  But that's not enough.  He's also saying you can't face the enemy and defeat the enemy without knowing the enemy.  Both are vital.

There are some battles...

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