Don’t you hate it when you feel disconnected from your spouse? When it just feels like there’s a distance between the two of you – whether emotionally, geographically, or spiritually. Fortunately, you can learn how to reconnect with your spouse. And it’s not that hard.
Sure, we’ve all been there. Well, those of us who have been married more than a few weeks have been there. Those times when conversation is difficult. Or when it feels like you’re missing each other. When there have been misunderstandings. Continue reading →
I know, all that detail is probably not all that important to you, but here’s the deal. This book is really kicking my tail. It’s making me think about the way I approach life and how much stuff I have and why I have it. Excessive stuff. It’s making me think about my (sometimes bad) attitude in light of the fact that God has richly blessed me and I’m surrounded but stuff nearly as far as I can see. It’s made me see a little of the excess in my life.
Now, I’ve been working with the idea of a more minimalist life for several months. I’ve subscribed to a few blogs and I’ve known that I have more stuff than I need and that often my love of stuff is stealing my joy. I know that my life is cluttered. Yours probably is too.
The struggle, though, is knowing how to approach it. Sure, there’s a part of me that likes the siren call of Zen minimalism. But I don’t really buy into the Eastern mysticism thing. And, devoid of that, my only foundation is (or was) not being wasteful and trying to make myself happier. Continue reading →
This will be a quick one because it’s just a reminder of what you already know. But, if you’re like me, sometimes you need a reminder.
“Always do the most important stuff first.”
In terms of ordering our lives, there will almost always be more to do than time to do it. And more options than our ability to choose, so being able to prioritize is critical.
When I was growing up, that usually meant that I had to finish my Algebra homework before I could watch TV. When I was in college it meant that I needed to finish my homework before I could go play pool or watch TV (I didn’t do as well with that sometimes). And now it means that I always try to put what’s most important in the first part of my day.
Last week I told you that it was OK for you to unplug. However, that’s not going far enough. You need to unplug.
Of course, saying it is the easy part, actually unplugging is difficult. It’s especially difficult if you’re afraid you’re going to miss something important. However, especially in terms of your electronic interactions, you can use technology to collect stuff that’s important while you’re unplugged. Then, when you plug back in, your important stuff is, in the words of Richard Marx, “right [there] waiting for you.” (yeah, I’m that old)
Yes, I did just put an Instagram picture of a toilet on my blog. It illustrates something: filters change everything.
What is common or even unclean can take on a new life with a different set of filters and a different perspective. That’s why it’s so important for us to pay attention to what filters we use.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
So, here’s the question for you: what filters are you applying to your life?
Do you feel like you’re missing out if you ever unplug? Like you might miss one important status update or offend a friend by missing a tweet? As though you’re a bad citizen and friend if you’re a few hours (or a couple of days) late to find out that a friend is engaged?
Well, if so, here’s your free pass. Use it wisely.
It’s a Place
Social media is a virtual space – a place or a destination. I think of it like going to church or to Starbucks. While you’re there, you can interact with people and do stuff together. And, unless you’re a community life director, you don’t need to worry about it while you’re gone. Continue reading →
If your efforts to network look like this, you might have a problem.
In this view of networking, people and relationships are utilitarian. They’re used and not honored. While you might achieve a level of success using this method, it dehumanizes, devalues, and dishonors people.
I want to hear what you have to say about influence.
What is Influence
It seems like many people equate influence with popularity – and popularity can certainly be part of influence. Online we use tools such as Klout and PeerIndex to measure influence (if it’s really influence at all). And we use social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to spread our message.
But I question whether that’s more influential than just sitting down to have coffee with somebody. After all, sitting across the table with your friends or someone who’s asking for advice, looking them in the eye, and holding them accountable for their actions (and allowing them to do the same) is a lot different from scheduling quotes from Mark Twain, Ghandi, and the Bible.
This is for real
In fact, just today I was sitting down with a friend to discuss business strategy. Sure, we could have handled it by email (and we did email before and after our lunch). We could have tweeted back and forth. But there was a certain immediacy and intimacy in the moment. There was a certain earthiness and power in being together.
Sometimes, especially in Christian circles in the United States, it sounds like we expect God to “miracle up” some success for us. As though he’s a genie in a bottle, who exists to fulfill our every whim. But that’s not what Scripture says and it’s often not our experience, either.
Rather, success requires that you work really hard to become really good at what you do. That’s not to say that relationships and opportunities aren’t important. They are. But you also have to work really hard. That’s just the way it is. Continue reading →
Have you ever wondered if Facebook cheapens your relationships? Seriously, have you thought about whether you’re building relationships or just serving some narcissistic need to feel informed, important, and connected? About whether you really care about people or are simply using social conventions to get ahead in life?
Note: If your approach to Facebook and other social media is just lead generation and selling stuff, you probably won’t care about the rest of this post. But if you value relationships and care about your friends and acquaintances as people, keep reading and then leave your opinions in the comments.
I love Facebook.
I think Facebook (and social media in general) is great. It’s great that I have an easy way to keep up with my friends from high school and church and to meet new people. Sure, there are some things that just can’t be replaced – like being in the same place at the same time – but there are a lot of things that it does really well.
In many ways Facebook is like CRM for my friends and acquaintances. It’s how I can keep up with what’s going on in their lives (or at least what they share). It’s how I remember birthdays and anniversaries. It’s even how I often learn about prayer needs and social events.