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6 entries from May 2013

Are you a slave?

Are you a slave?

It seems absurd to ask that question, doesn't it? Some may even think it seems too insensitive given the number of actual slaves in the world today. But let me explain.

I have seen countless people come through my office doors who are slaves. Some are willing slaves. Some recognize that they are slaves and want to get out but don't know how. Some actually know the way out but they don't want to pay the price that is required for freedom.

What enslaves them?


I cannot tell you how many people I have met who are slaves to their anger. They are owned by it. They can't get free of it.

They're angry at their parents or their spouse, or an ex something or other.

Anger consumes them.

It infects their body.

It literally changes them for the worse.

It started with legitimate hurts. Oftentimes, a series of prolonged hurts. This isn't about diminishing those hurts or pretending they don't exist.

This is about being free.

The problem is that anger becomes something of a friend. It literally keeps them warm during the day. The thought of giving it up terrifies them.

They are slaves.

Their life is not their own.

The very thing they are trying to keep (control), they give away for an illusion.

What about you? Are you a slave to anger? Do you know someone who is? How have you dealt with hurts that lead to anger in your own life? Let me know in the comments below.

What kind of leaders do we want?

I used to know a guy.

He died at an early age from cancer, four years after his wife died from cancer.

Because of the nature of his story, it went into a book.

A really good book, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. More than that, it helped me grow.

Through our quirky world of social media, this author and I became the vaunted Facebook friends.

Yes, that means we’re close. /sarcasm

Through the random postings of this Facebook friendship, I discovered that the author actually had family pretty close to where I live and made the occasional trips to these parts.

I asked if he would be willing to meet. He said yes.

He was very kind. He offered free advice on the world of publishing and was very gracious.

A few months ago, he rolled out a new product. He also messaged me on Twitter about being in the area. I suggested we meet if he had time.

Crickets ensued.

Not a big deal, although I thought it was weird that he had messaged me and then went dark but figured he probably accidentally messaged me.

Then I messaged him about his new product with some questions that I had. I also offered to swap him 30 minutes of his life for a free cup of coffee.

He told me that he had to decline the offer for coffee.

Which is fine.

No, really, I think if it had ended there we would have been good. But, of course the conversation went on. He told me that his time was his most limited resource and that he could serve me best by coaching me that would be great.

Here’s my question, do you believe him that he wanted to meet for coffee but couldn’t?

Can I be honest?

I’m not sure if I do.

Not because I think he intentionally lies.

But because I think we’ve conditioned leaders to say this type of thing. We’ve made it so leaders can’t tell the truth.

“The truth is I don’t really want to meet with you, but I will be happy to sell you my product” just doesn’t go down as well for most people.

We’ve created an agreement that dishonesty is better because it’s kind.

I’m not sure I agree.

I think it’s worse. I think most people can handle the truth.

Am I making too much of nothing? I could be.

What do you think?

Let's Talk about Change: Myths vs. Reality

Let’s talk about change.

Why is change so hard?

Why do so many people set out to change and fail? Why can two people in almost the exact same situation go through the same change interventions and one actually changes, and one doesn’t?

I think there are a lot of reasons that answers these questions. But I’m curious what you think.

There are a lot of myths about change out there.

I think three of the biggest myths are the following:

  1. Change is easy
  2. Change happens in a straight line
  3. Change is short
  4. Change happens without relapse

When these myths drive our view of change, we set ourselves up for failure and frustration. It is important to have a real and clear understanding of what the change process is like before we embark on attempting to change anything.

In reality, change is often more like the following:

  1. Change is hard
  2. Change runs all over the place in a series of non-sensical loops.
  3. Change is often a really long process.
  4. Change often involves overcoming many relapses.

What about you? What has your experience with change been? Tell me in the comments below.

What do you think? A question written to me recently

What do you think about the quote below? Someone wrote it to me last week and I have recieved permission to share it with the greater world wide web. :) What do you think about what he’s saying? Feel free to comment and tell me your thoughts. Please deal with the topic, and not the person. Thanks.

Please consider...I would be very interested in your thoughts on the following.

When parents with children at home speak of wanting to find a job or being in a job that brings great meaning and purpose to their lives...are they effectively saying that being a parents is not the most meaningful and purposeful things about their lives? Do we live in a culture where one's work is the most important thing...where one's work is their primary source of identity and value as a person? If that is so, is not such a concept an enemy to the family system?

Trust is not earned, it is given. What happens when it is given.

When a relationship has trust as a pillar, it becomes a relationship that can withstand the slower seasons of marriage.

What happens when trust is the driver of a relationship. Before I answer that, let me ask you a question. Take a few moments to answer and see if you can remember a few real life instances that back up your answer. When something is said in your relationship and it can be taken either in a good or bad way how is it taken? Relationships that have trust as a pillar tend to be far higher on the taken in the best possible way.

Trust is assuming that the other person is doing the best possible thing for the relationship and each other.

Mistakes happen and more easily processed because the trust factor. Mistakes, fights and missteps will always be a part of every relationship’s narrative but trust helps each person navigate those problems.

My sense is that no one expects perfection but when a lack of trust enters the relationship, fear begins to run rampant in the relationship.

Trust is the antidote to the relationship poison that is fear.

Trust is built one step at a time between two people.

But trust is not earned. I know, I know. You just told me that I’m wrong as you read those words. You may even be considering just walking away and ranting. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Trust is given.

There is always something more we can make the person do to “earn” our trust. There is always something more that we can hold out over them. Ultimately, we have to decide to give trust or to withhold it.

I have to give my wife trust and she has to give me trust or there is no trust.

I think this is one of the biggest problems with relationships that are in trouble. The person who has been hurt (often it’s both) waits until they feel like the other person has earned their trust. What they typically mean is that they are waiting for the other person to do something that is going to make their fear of being hurt go away.

But it will not.

In order for trust for to be trust it has to be given with the possibility that it will fail. It has to scare the person who is giving it. If it doesn’t bring a little fear, it’s not trust.

Eventually, of course, trust becomes part of the relationship to the degree that there really is no fear. This is the relational equity aspect that I talked about earlier. As trust builds and the relational equity grows the trust becomes a bigger influence or driver in the relationship.

When this happens, love and respect can grow like roots for a healthy relationship.

The best free parenting you have to give is….

“One of the hardest tasks that parents face is making sure that they still run the house when kids come along.”

I read this quote and thought about my own interactions with parents and my own parenting. I agree. Especially, in our society there seems to be so much emphasis on the effect that parents have on parenting.

And there is no greater source of free advice. But that’s what I want from you. What is your best free parenting advice?