Recently, there was a frantic knock at our front door. Our new next-door neighbors were throwing a house warming party and their propane grill was not working properly. The neighbor was concerned because her tri-tip was not going to be finished cooking in time and she wanted to borrow our grill. She was frustrated because she had a full tank of propane and the grill was warm but the flames and heat were low. As she described what was happening I said, “Ahhh….I know what your problem is. Your regulator valve is tripped.” I walked next door and within a minute or so, she was back to cooking with full heat. Now before you think I’m some barbequing genius, I only knew this because the same thing has happened to me on several occasions. Read more!
I’ll never forget my dad helping me to learn to ride a bike. He would help me balance myself, but eventually, I would go around and around and flop over. That’s when he used a phrase that I have often heard in my life. He said, “Timmy, your problem is that you are not building up a head of steam. Get a head of steam and your balance will get better.” It sounded like wise advice, but I didn’t have a clue as to what that meant. He explained, “A head of steam is what it takes to get those old steam trains rollin’.” Later I realized that what my dad was talking about was momentum.
Momentum is what gets things moving, and sustained momentum is a powerful force. Whether it’s a snowball rolling down a snow-covered mountain or a train moving down a track, momentum is a self-perpetuating, potent influence. Athletes and sports fans know this and so do effective organizations. Without a “head of steam,” churches and organizations often languish and become stagnant. But with momentum, churches and organizations overcome problems more easily, and have a greater sense of excitement, confidence and hope. Momentum is the accelerator of any organization. Read more!
Years of weather and wear were showing on our facility. We raised money to do exterior repairs, put on a fresh coat of paint and give the entire facility a facelift. But in a few short months, the cracks in the stucco that had been repaired returned. Support beams started cracking and crumbling more significantly than before and much of the work we had completed was for naught. We called in more construction experts and we were given some alarming and difficult news. The issues with our building were not just cosmetic. Our facility woes were the result of an inadequate and failing foundation. We had spent thousands of dollars on much needed exterior repairs, however, the exterior repairs would be worthless if we did not work on the issue that was unseen…a failing foundation. Read more!
Recently, I was able to check off another bucket list item. My wonderful wife, Jen, purchased a ticket for me to attend an NCAA Men’s Basketball Sweet 16 game to watch my beloved West Virginia Mountaineers. Although the outcome was not what I had hoped for, I had an incredible experience. As I watched I was reminded of the importance of a game plan.
Effectiveness and success in most endeavors requires thoughtful preparation and thorough planning. Sometimes success and effectiveness may happen unintentionally, accidentally, but most often success comes to those who have a carefully thought out game plan. A game plan is a strategy or a series of steps that a team must follow in order to be able to accomplish its goals. Read more!
This morning, I remembered an exercise in one of my doctoral classes. The professor gave the following instructions: “Students, get comfortable, close your eyes and get ready to think. I am going to set a timer for one minute and I want you to think about whatever you want with the exception of cotton candy. Do not think about cotton candy. Think about anything else you desire. Ready, set, go! Get to thinking!” Chuckles soon broke the silence in the classroom. Why? Well, guess what we started thinking about? Cotton candy of course.
This was a powerful illustration on how our minds work. When we try to suppress or subdue our thoughts we actually think more about those thoughts not less. Our thoughts are powerful and they shape our lives. Our thoughts influence how we feel and ultimately alter how we act. They form our realities, determine our values and define how we view others and ourselves. Read more!