A Path, A Guide, A Life

I’ve been thinking …

Life is complicated. We learn from each other how to navigate this thing called life. We first learned from parents, then from teachers, coaches and for those fortunate enough to partner up with one, a mentor who articulates important life-enhancing behaviors. We glean knowledge from listening and from watching others. The common thread in how we learn is guidance woven through every aspect.

We need guides to teach us things we may never understand without the wisdom of people willing to share from their experiences. We need guides to pour into us from their wisdom.     

To look forward and not back;
to look inward before stepping outward;
to grieve a little for what is lost but be thankful more for what is still here;
to plant seeds of encouragement in the dirt that is sometimes dark and heavy;
to be grateful for what is before presuming the best of life is yet to be experienced;
to be careful how you live your moments because they become your memories.

Do you wonder how to get from where you are to where you want to be? Seek a guide who has already forged the path and found success.

Anyway … That’s what I was thinking.

This vignette is written for Five Minute Friday. The prompt is GUIDE. The rules are to write for five minutes without overthinking, without editing, and let the words come from your soul.


Out of the Question: How Curious Leaders Win – book summary

This book, Out of the Question: How Curious Leaders Win seemed tailor made for me. I’m a question asker, note taker, contemplative listener, and a life-long learner. The authors Guy Parsons and Allan Milham wrote this book for leaders who need to engage with their teams and improve results through optimal interactions. From leadership styles to productive conversations, it’s all here in this one volume. These authors expertly portray with clarity the differences between Knowers and Learners. They basically focus on Leaders who are called Knower Leaders or Learner Leaders, but they also bring into the picture unique ways to be a leader of Knowers and Learners.Out_of_question_book cover

The authors also talk about the power of the pause. “Ask yourself how often, when things don’t go according to plan, you pause to reflect and learn before charging forward.” If you want to have a productive conversation turn off the reactionary noise, and pause.

“Asking questions is a way to take a trip through uncharted territory as opposed to be trapped on a prescribed route.” The idea of a journey rather than a trip is enticing. As long as the destination is known, the trip becomes more of an adventure when the specific course is undefined. This is, in essence, the advantage of always learning and being grounded in a learning mindset.

The key for the leader is to be a Learner Leader and cultivate a learning culture in their organization.  If you are a leader, being a Learner Leader will keep you on track to engage, inspire, innovate, and win.

To read more about this book, the full summary is posted at bizcatalyst360.comhttp://bizcatalyst360.com/out-of-the-question-how-curious-leaders-win/

Learning to Wait

Yesterday at work I had to go to Protection Services. No, it’s not what you think. When I walked in, my ID badge was printed Exp 7/31/13 and when I walked out the date was changed to 10/1/13.  While I’m thankful for the work, I’m surprised by the third extension. This was not in my plan and once again I find myself asking, what is God thinking? Where is this going?  The truth circulating in my head was Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Have you ever been there? Grateful but finding the path hazy? Maybe you’re like me and make lists in your mind about what this could mean. Here’s what my human mind suggested. I need more time to learn and work toward my goal of producing online training. That’s got to be it.  But what if it isn’t?

In fact, Psalm 135:6 was written for people like me who try to second guess God.  “I know that the Lord is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods.  The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.” Could it be that the reason my contract was extended is because God said that’s what pleases Him; so be it? My logical mind tries to piece the irregular pieces of the puzzle together and make them fit into my picture, my design. For the past 156 days I’ve been praying for a specific job and God says wait.  One thing I’ve learned, at great pain I might add, is that when God says, “Wait! Stop getting ahead of me.” I know how to tug a little harder on the reins and slow the fired up canter to a lingering plod.  I still remember the tiny snap as my heartlight turned on in the year 2000.  At that time I was reading one Psalm and one Proverb each day. I was praying for something specific then too and getting very impatient for the answer to come cascading into my life.  I wanted to work from home and was praying about finding another job.  Psalm 27:14 was like a brilliant light when I read “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”  So I waited and waited and waited – then God did the miraculous.  I was able to keep my job, but work from home.  Who would think that there would be a need for someone to work offsite to test websites and my home was the perfect ’offsite’ solution?  “Wait, I say, on the Lord.”

We all know how to wait, don’t we? It’s not easy to wait.  Give me patience, Lord, but hurry!  My dad used to say don’t ever pray for patience while you wait. You’ll get tribulation.  As it turns out, that’s Biblical. Don’t believe me? Take a peek at Romans 5:3 “we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance.”  I wouldn’t say I ‘glory in tribulation’, but I have enough practice in waiting that I’m almost certified.  Learning to wait. Learn to recognize the benefits of waiting.  God has a plan – Jeremiah 29:11  God’s plan is based on His perfect will – Psalm 135:6   God will give us a stronger heart, stronger faith – Psalm 27:14    While we wait we might not like it – Romans 5:3.

Here’s something to take with you today. God wants us to have a teachable spirit. The benefits are limitless when we wait, learn, and recognize what God says in Isaiah 48:17 “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”

Ready for today? Let’s get out there!