The Saddest Excuse for Mediocrity

One of my childhood friends liked to say this…

The more you study, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you know. The more you know the more you forget.  The more you forget the less you know, so why study?

He made me laugh!  I assumed that was his intent and not his philosophy because he was a good student and a good friend.  Today it’s not so funny.  I see people living their lives this way, in fear of the responsibilities that come from high achievement, excellence, mastery and proficiency.  I imagine the following thought process spinning around in their minds…

The more I prepare, the better I become. The better I become, the more I can achieve.  The more I achieve, the more people expect of me.  The more people expect, the busier I get.  The busier I get, the more stressful my life gets.  The more stressful my life gets, the less I will achieve.  The less I achieve, the worse I become, so why prepare?

In other words, this imagined sequence reflects “fear of success.”  Some will miss the irony and significance of their rationalization.  Others will just laugh it off, not admitting their fear.  Still others will simply choose to be in denial.

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The truth is simple.  This preparation formula demonstrates the reality of fear and why people settle for mediocrity.  It’s real, it’s unnecessary and it’s NOT FUNNY!  Since it’s a serious matter, we should be engaged in stomping out mediocrity by inspiring parents, teachers and others to leverage their influence to help others dispose of limiting beliefs by replacing them with empowering beliefs.  Most importantly we should be helping the young people closest to us become who they were meant to be.  That responsibility gets me up and going every day.  What about you?  Who do you know?

P.S. There is undoubtedly someone close to you that is unprepared for the future. If their developmental gaps include productivity, professionalism, relationships or leadership, then perhaps they would benefit from LEAP, my on-line course.  Learn all about it at: www.MoEaH.org.

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
God,
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.