What’s Your Calendar Made Of?

Is your calendar a friend or a foe?  Does it make your life more or less stressful? If you use it to optimize your time, to strategically prioritize your activities and to be your accountability partner, it’s your best friend.  It’s your worst enemy if its main use is reminding you how busy you are and manufacturing excuses for turning down opportunities!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I behave as if my calendar is a large chunk of granite where I carve my upcoming activities. A rock calendar might seem friendly because its solid and stable.  On the other hand, the limitations of living life according to what is carved in stone is a life of confinement and missed opportunities.

The rock calendar philosophy is a limiting belief that can spread confinement to others. How? Suppose an opportunity comes along that conflicts with something you’ve already blocked out on your calendar. You know how much work it takes to change calendar entries carved in stone. At this point it’s simply too late to change the calendar.  Then factor in the human tendency to project one’s  own feelings onto others (i.e. I assume others will feel the same as me.) “If it’s too late for me, it’s too late for everyone else. I won’t bother them because I care about them.” You just made a decision for someone else and took away their right to choose without asking simple questions such as: “Are you interested? Is this important to you?” The truth is, you are probably justifying your decision based on your limiting belief, your assumption and your paradigm. How self-centered is that?

Why do human beings make assumptions about what others think, feel and need? God knows everything, but I don’t and you don’t. So why do we behave as if we are the all-knowing God?  I guess it’s easier to assume rather than ask.

Here’s my conclusion: A stone calendar is NOT your friend. Your true friend is that sense of loss that challenges your limiting beliefs and helps you discover and adopt a better paradigm, such as knowing why our decisions don’t have to be limited by a rigid calendar?

I’ll leave you with the following question and three principles:

What are the long-term consequences of living life
according to a stone calendar?

Three Principles That Make Your Calendar Work Better:

  • See your calendar as flexible, not rigid.
  • Learn the difference between urgent and important. Then assign high priority status to only those which are both urgent and important.
  • Schedule immediately that which seems most important.  If it turns out to be less important, reschedule as necessary to make room for something you know IS important.

Learn more about the mission of  CrossAbilities! and
the Ziglar Legacy Trilogy at: www.CrossAbilities.com

Faith and Freedom

During this long weekend of celebrating, let’s take time to reflect on the privileges we enjoy as Americans and remember the many patriots who helped make it possible.  Among the many we should be most thankful to is Almighty God who continues to bless us, in spite of our lack of gratitude, our arrogance and our self-centered nature.

As we continue goosestepping toward a totally secular nation we need to pause and rethink the decisions we’re making as a country regarding what God teaches through His Word.  While seeking to be inclusive of all forms of belief, we’ve eroded the very foundation of America’s strength.  On this path, collapse is only a matter of time.

“Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.”
— Ronald Reagan

Why is this so?  A culture that worships athletes, entertainers, comfort, wealth and pleasure above a relationship with the God of the Universe, cannot remain free.  This is true both individually and collectively as “we the people.”  Cultural idolatry is an unholy alliance between a self-centered, pleasure-seeking electorate and a power hungry governing body that will promise anything to perpetuate and grow its own power.  Each increase in power results in loss of liberty and one step closer to  a voluntary form of enslavement.

“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God;
it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”
— Bible, Romans 8:7 (NIV)”

 “Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. How is it possible
that society
should escape destruction if the moral tie is not strengthened
in proportion as the political tie is relaxed?
  And what can be done with a people
who are their own masters if they are not submissive to the Deity?”

— Alexis de Tocqueville

American culture has changed radically over the last 200+ years.  I wonder if historian de Tocqueville would recognize America today.

“The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in
their minds,
that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other;
and with them
this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith
which seems to
vegetate in the soul rather than to live.”

— Alexis de Tocqueville

Is turning our backs on God an effective strategy for human progress?  I say, “no!”  Yet, we’re on the same circular path that the Old Testament records.  It looks like this.  God blesses His people.  The people rejoice.  The people become complacent, taking God for granted.  The people succumb to their own selfish desires.  God punishes the people, which includes the consequences of their own actions.  Out of desperation, the people repent.  God forgives.  God blesses His people.  Decide for yourself where America is in the cycle.

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of
neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

— Bible (NIV), Romans 8:6-8

A friend of mine once said, “We would be better off if we would just forget about all this God and Jesus stuff.”  He had it backwards, upside down and inside out.  Our spiritual sleep is what put us in the current mess.  We need to wake up.  He NEVER sleeps.  What we need to do is welcome Him back into our once faithful country by inviting Him into our own hearts.

Freedom: the gift whereby ye most resemble your Maker
and are yourselves part of eternal reality.
— C.S. Lewis

There Oughta Be a Law!

A recent post on Facebook got me thinking about the Federalist Papers.  You know, that collection of writings from the days of our country’s founding that inspired public dialog about the form of limited government we should establish.  This led me to thoughts about the founders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and observers like Alexis de Tocqueville.  It’s sad to think about how far we’ve drifted from the founders’ intentions and dare I say, what God intended!

Here’s my conclusion.  Until more people take full responsibility for their own lives and their families’ lives we will be hopelessly stuck in a culture that is defined by a philosophy summarized by three phrases: “There oughta be a law…there oughta be a government program…there oughta be regulations…”  Let’s please stop looking to government for solutions to every problem!  Instead of Uncle Sam, we should be looking to Father God.

Development Beyond Learning

What is Development Beyond Learning? Those who visit here will recognize it as the name of an international development company, named for the philosophy that there is an important difference between learning and development.

Specifically, what is this “philosophy?”  Is this My New Philosophy?  Maybe it’s new.  Everything is new for someone who is hearing or seeing it for the first time.  It certainly is “my philosophy” in the sense that I claim it as my belief.  But, I didn’t invent it.  Simply stated, development is both learning AND the change that occurs when learning is combined with action, application, and new beliefs, attitudes and behavior patterns.  Here is a summary of my thoughts about learning and development:

  • Learning without implementation leads to mediocrity.
  • Learning without implementation is both incomplete and selfish.
  • Development is who we become.  Therefore, development without implementation does not exist.
  • Learning occurs at events and from life itself. Development is a way of life.
  • Much of learning is an accidental response. Development is an intentional cause.
  • Learning is both unavoidable and necessary. Development is optional and life-changing.
  • Both learning and development are time-consuming, sometimes difficult and painful, rewarding, and always necessary for success.

Development is personal, begining on the individual level.  It is also organizational.  When enough individuals change, organizational change occurs.  Development Beyond Learning, the company, is concerned with both types of development.

On this Thanksgiving Day, while reflecting on the many blessing for which I am thankful, I kept coming back to Development Beyond Learning. I am thankful for the friendships and business relationships with Gary, Josh, Elana, Jackie, and all of my Australian partners as well as for Ohio teammates Terry, David, Michael and numerous friends, allies, clients and collaborators who are passionate and committed to raising the level of leadership in America. I would never have guessed there would be so many committed to this cause and willing to engage with me.  I am thankful for the desire I have to continue developing myself, which was kindled by my parents and teachers and continues to be fueled by my family countless others. I am thankful for the opportunity to lead through my writings and through the development programs and workshops we provide.

This post is dedicated to you, hoping you’ll be inspired to rediscover and give thanks for your many blessings today and every day.   Will you join me in making development your philosophy and thankfulness your practice?