I knew it would be a big commitment.
As part of leadership development, employees that have been identified as having great potential are given “stretch assignments” that put them in situations that will push the boundaries of their knowledge and skills. These experiences broaden their professional horizons and cultivate new traits, equipping them for the next steps in their career progression. Writing for thirty-one days on the same topic has been a such a stretch assignment for me. (Heck, just writing for 31 days straight was a stretch!) This goal seemed to sit barely on this side of the line between possible and impossible. Yet, here we are, thirty-one days and posts later. Read more
And I’m not proud of it.
Nor am I proud of quoting a Britney Spears song. But that’s beside the point.
Today in Bible study we looked at Colossians 3:18-4:18. This is one of those passages. One of the submit passages that induce eye-rolling and consternation across female populations. Our discussion time was rich; we grappled with the text and our culture.
And then it was time for me to teach it.
A few minutes into the lecture one of the ladies stood up and walked out.
Just like that. Gone. Read more
Think there could be an upside of always seeing the downside?
I’m starting to think there might be.
Over the last several weeks of writing, I’ve noticed how often my expectations were exceeded. Though I went into situations anticipating the worst, very often I was surprised by a much more positive outcome.
- A difficult conversation with a peer was received with grace and dignity, despite my concern it would elicit defensiveness and anger.
- Despite being late for a commitment, which I was certain would hinder the progress to be made (due to the meeting’s time constraints), we met and exceeded the expectations of our agenda. Read more
Do the words we speak to others matter?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. –Philippians 4:8 NIV (emphasis added)
This part of our verse has the widest variance in translation. The NIV (above) renders it “admirable” but reading some of the other translations will add to our understanding: Read more
A few quotes on optimism to start your week off right.
Some worth a laugh, others will make you ponder:
The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.
– DIETRICH BONHOEFFER, Letters and Papers from Prison
Optimism is not only a false but also a pernicious doctrine, for it presents life as a desirable state and man’s happiness as its aim and object. Starting from this, everyone then believes he has the most legitimate claim to happiness and enjoyment. If, as usually happens, these do not fall to his lot, he believes that he suffers an injustice, in fact that he misses the whole point of his existence.
– ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER, The World As Will and Representation
The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
– JAMES BRANCH CABELL, The Silver Stallion
Always borrow money from a pessimist, he doesn’t expect to be paid back.
– AUTHOR UNKNOWN
Which one speaks the most to you?
This post is part of a 31 day series entitled “Think on these things: Learning optimism.” For a full catalog of all the posts, visit the first page in the series by clicking here.
It took 2.5 hours in a local department store.
Seriously. 150 minutes of running from one part of the store to another, all in an effort to secure complimentary clothing for our bi-annual family portrait session. In a fairly uncharacteristic move, I’d left this chore to the day before the shoot. Nice. Must have something to do with how much I deplore shopping.
To coordinate clothing for five different bodies and tastes doesn’t seem like it should be that difficult. It’s not like there are 12 of us or anything. Read more
I love lists.
Love, love, love them. I do have some digital lists, but many are still the old fashioned paper-and-pen variety. They decorate my kitchen counter and cupboards, my dashboard, and my desk. (Can I call this a decorating scheme?) I’ll buy cute pads of paper and always try to have an array of pens to choose from.
Today I felt defeated as I perused my list. I even wrote a new one to clean it up and make it all pretty-like. (Didn’t help.) It was overwhelming to see how much must be accomplished in the next 48 hours… on a weekend, no less. My reason for writing lists isn’t even all that cheerful: I know I can’t remember what needs doing! Read more
Sometimes it’s just there in black and white.
As part of a leadership exercise, I recently took the Strengths Finder assessment to determine my top five strength themes. While no inventory can adequately categorize a person (because God made us as unique individuals), it always fascinates me to see what a researcher will identify about me from my answers to a series of questions. And often how accurately.
My results from Strengths Finder (SF) were no different. I actually giggled aloud at some of the statements in the synopses. And how readily they pertain to my pessimism. Check it out: Read more
I confess I find this word in Paul’s list to be the least connected to all the others in Philippians 4:8.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (ASV, emphasis added)
Not that I don’t like lovely, mind you. I sure do. It’s just that when I hear the word, I always think of something pretty, or aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Occasionally, I hear it used to describe a particularly charming or kind woman, as well. And my definition isn’t too far off of Merriam-Webster’s: Read more
No news is bad news in my little world.
I found (yet) another place where my pessimism reigns: communication. Specifically, the lack thereof. To me, the absence of information can only be interpreted negatively. Though there are juvenile aspects to this tendency (likely the residue from middle school girls’ tactics of ignoring someone when mad), I recognize that a large portion of it is simply my bias:
- If a lengthy period of time elapses between communication with a friend, I routinely begin to wonder whether something is amiss in our relationship.
- When someone offers feedback on a portion of my work, but doesn’t mention another aspect, I assume they didn’t appreciate the part they chose not to discuss with me.
- After posting a new blog, and receiving no comments from readers, I immediately believe the content didn’t resonate with anyone and therefore wasn’t valuable. Read more