Forgiveness

You forgive not in order to change the other person, but simply to follow Christ.

Br. Roger of Taize
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Switch

The bigger the change you’re suggesting, the more it will sap people’s self-control.  And when people exhaust their self-control, what they are exhausting are the mental muscles needed to think creatively, to focus, to inhibit their impulses, and to persist in the face of frustration or failure.  In other words, they’re exhausting precisely the mental muscles needed to make a big change.  So when you hear people say that change is hard because people are lazy or resistant, that’s just flat wrong.  In fact, the opposite is true:  Change is hard because people wear themselves out….  What looks like laziness is often exhaustion.

from Switch by Chip and Dan Heath

Beginning in Vulnerability

Why is the blank page so scary (or even the “empty field” of a blog post)?
Writing the first word is terrifying, even if it is a trite cliché or a quote. Staring at the blank page is paralyzing…
There is a certain purity and beauty to the blank page. How could my words improve upon the simplicity and the silence of the page? That is what paralyzes, at least what paralyzes me. The marks on the page are flaws, blemishes on the simple beauty of the blank page.
Yet the page calls out for writing. Its blankness exists to be marked. It waits for the pen. It waits for meaning. The page is pure potential that begs to come into actuality. The beauty of the page is an incomplete beauty. The page exists to be marked.
It is this tension between the purity and safety of the blank page and the call of the page that makes the act of writing so difficult and yet so rewarding. Julia Cameron says,

“Writing is like breathing, it’s possible to do it well, but the point is to do
it no matter what.”

I agree. Writing, like breathing has its rhythm and there are times when the pen must be put to the page or the fingers to the keyboard. Communication must happen and, like breathing, if it is held in too long, the writer in us will die.Beginning to write is like any beginning. It is a risk. It makes us vulnerable like an infant. Yet, one must begin as an infant. It is the only way, unless you are a Greek god like Athena who sprang fully grown out of Zeus’s head. We are not ancient deities. For us, vulnerability is the only way. Everything begins with vulnerability.
John writes, “In the beginning was the Word…” This Word is Jesus, who becomes a vulnerable infant and places himself in our hands. Jesus breaks the silence of God and becomes helpless. God risks everything. He is not content to rest in his simplicity but takes the chance of loving and communicating that love to us. All beginnings can be acts of love if they begin in vulnerability. I hope that as I begin to write I can write with love and vulnerability. May my pen (and my computer keys) be blessed with gentleness, joy, and gratitude.

Creating You & Co. by William Bridges

I actually just skimmed this book pretty quickly to see if it is worth reading. It certainly is. The book is made up of three parts. The first part offers the reasons why everyone needs to “learn to think like the CEO of your own career.” This summarizes much of the material found in Bridges book, Jobshift. While not completely convincing, it does make a strong case for thinking differently about making money… beyond simply “getting a job.” The second part of the book, I found the most helpful. It offers very concrete activities and exercises to identify your DATA (Desires, Abilities, Temperament, and Assets). The concreteness of these exercises is their greatest strength but they must be done, not just read. The third part of the book addresses the final step of turning your DATA into money. This section also has some activities and is very practical in covering the basics of marketing yourself. This practical book is worth reading and may change the way you think about how to make money.