Thursday, 23 July 2009

Winning On The Uphills

I found this great post by Seth Godin:

Winning on the uphills

Interesting business lesson learned on a bicycle: it's very difficult to improve your performance on the downhills.

I used to dread the uphill parts of my ride. On a recumbent bike, they're particularly difficult. So I'd slog through, barely surviving, looking forward to the superspeedy downhill parts.

Unfortunately, I had a serious accident a few years ago (saving the life of a clueless pedestrian by throwing myself onto the pavement). Downhill might be fast, but it's crazy.

Lesson learned. Now, I look forward to the uphill parts, because that's where the work is, the fun is, the improvement is. On the uphills, I have a reasonable shot at a gain over last time. The downhills are already maxed out by the laws of physics and safety.

To read the rest of the post click HERE.

Please leave a comment and share your thoughts and experiences with us.

And For those of you who love the crazy downhills...

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Mentoring & Discipleship. Pt 3

I was on Facebook wishing a mate a happy birth day and found this quotation.
Since we're on the subject of mentoring the timing is... well Divine.

“I learned a great deal about myself while watching a documentary a few years ago about elephants in a wildlife trust in Africa. There were twenty-five elephants, all of them orphans, and they had been brought to the trust twenty years before. They were becoming teenagers– in elephant years. T

The narrator in the documentary said the elephant musth cycle beings in adolescence, and normally lasts only a few days. But among these orphans, the musth cycle was disrupted and had become unusually long. These elephants were taking out their aggression on rhinos that bathed at a local mud pool. An elephant would slowly lumber down to the pool, enter near a rhino, then spear it through the side with his tusks. The elephant would then lean his gargantuan forehead into the head of the rhino, holding the beast underwater until it drowned. The filmmakers followed these orphan elephants who were always on their own, staggering about the wildlife refuge, fueled by a pent-up aggression they couldn’t understand. They weren’t acting like elephants– they didn’t know what an elephant was supposed to do with all his energy, all his muscle.

I have never killed a rhino, or much of anything for that matter, but there have been times in my life when I didn’t know exactly how to be. I mean, there were feelings, sometimes anger, sometimes depression, sometimes raging lust, and I was never sure what any of it was about. I just felt like killing somebody, or sleeping with some girl, or decking a guy in a bar, and I didn’t know what to do with any of these feelings. Life was a confusing series of emotions rubbing against events. I wasn’t sure how to manage myself, how to talk to a woman, how to build a career, how to– well, be a man.

To me, life was something you had to stumble through alone. It wasn’t something you enjoyed or conquered, it was something that happened to you, and you didn’t have a whole lot of say about the way it turned out. You just acted out your feelings and hoped you never got caught.

Watching television that night, however, the narrator began to speak of a kind of hope for these elephants. Elephant development, apparently, begins very early. Female elephants are only capable of having children once every two years, and during those two years between babies, the young are cared for obsessively by their mothers. They are fed, sheltered, loved, and guided in their learning of basic survival.

It is only at the first musth cycle that a young male elephant leaves his mother and enters into the African wild, searching for a mentor, a guide. The green pus running down his hind leg and his smell like fresh-cut grass alerts an older, fully mature male, that this is a young elephant in need of guidance. Upon finding a mentor, the young elephant’s musth cycle ends. The older and younger begin to travel together, to find food together, to protect each other– the older one teaching the younger what elephant strength is for, and how to use it for the benefit of himself and the tribe.

Watching television that night, I wondered if humans aren’t like that, too. I began to wonder if we guys were designed to have a father, whose very presence would cause us to understand more accurately what our muscle is for, what we are supposed to do with our energy.

You have to wonder, don’t you? Some statistics state as many as 85 percent of the guys in prison grew up without a dad. This is sobering to me.

And so watching the documentary, I began to wonder if those of us without dads aren’t making mistakes in our lives we wouldn’t make if we had a father to guide us. I wondered if there isn’t a better paradigm for our existence– a way of being men, a way each of us could truly embrace if it were instilled in us by a man who spoke with altruism and authority. I wondered if people who grow up with great fathers don’t walk around with a subconscious sense they are wanted on this planet, that they belong, and the world needs them. And I wondered this: Is there practical information we are supposed to know about work, women, decisions, authority, leadership, marriage, and family that we would have learned if there were a guide around to help us navigate our journey? I wondered if some of the confusing emotions I was feeling weren’t a kind of suspended adolescence from which the presence of an older man might have delivered me.

– Excerpt from To Own A Dragon, by Donald Miller (pp 31-34)

Our God is the Father to the fatherless.
We are called to represent Him to this world.
If the Christian men could begin to adopt young people in their communities... can you begin to imagine what the future could look like?

Let me know your thoughts on the subject by leaving a comment.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Mentoring & Discipleship. Pt 2

In the book Think Orange, Reggie Joiner suggest the following 5 Spiritual Growth Catalysts:

1) Personal Ministry (ie. actually being personally involved in ministry / service)

2) Spiritual Disciplines (not a word that's too popular these days!)

3) Applying Truth (not just hearing or ingesting information, but applying the truth so life change is the result)

4) Significant Relationships

5) Pivotal Circumstances

How can we apply these 5 catalysts to mentoring / discipleship / coaching?
I'd love to hear your thoughts... please leave a comment!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Mentoring & Discipleship. Pt 1

I have been reading 2 interesting books over the past 2 weeks. The first is Multiplication by Nick Klinkenberg and the second is Think Orange by Rick Joiner.
These books have stirred my thoughts once again on the topic of discipleship / mentoring / coaching... whatever term you prefer to use.

I love the Chinese Proverb that states:
"If you're planting for a year, plant grain. If you're planting for a decade, plant trees. If you're planting for a century, plant people."

I think it is safe to say we all agree with the basic concept and need for discipleship, however, it has been a complaint for long time that discipleship is a lost art.
In the West, certainly when we think of discipleship we think of a class room or bible college situation.
But how successful has this means of discipleship been?

I will leave you with the following 3 short quotes on the subject. Please ponder it and leave your thoughts via a comment.

"Over half of all Nobel Prize winners were once apprenticed to other Nobel winners."
Ron Lee Jones.

"Truth is an important part of discipleship, but our faith simply doesn't grow because we know more, it grows when we serve more."
Reggie Joiner

"If what they have heard doesn't move from their heads to their hands, it will probably never make it to their hearts."
Reggie Joiner

Thanks for leaving your comments.
I will sit on these thoughts over the next few posts... I look forward to going on a journey with you as you comment and add to my thoughts.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

My Next Read

What have been your top 3 reads this year?
Leave a comment and give us the inside info to great books.

Tim Ferriss's - Tips and Tricks To Change Your Life!!!

This will change your life... (well not really, but it will bring joy when eating hard boiled eggs!)

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

On Being Authentic

" Always be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of someone else."
Judy Garland