Each year I have a routine where I create goals for the following year. I have a bucket list, 3 year goals, and goals for the year. I then break that down to quarterly goals to hit the annual ones, and then down to weekly/daily habits I need to create to get to said goals. This year has flown by and we’re already in the last quarter of the year. I’m not on track to hit many of my 2013 goals, and for some good reasons and for some that were just me being plain undisciplined. What were your goals for 2013? Is it possible to recover in the last quarter to hit some of those goals? Or is it time to close the door on some of them?
I’ve been following Justin’s blog and podcast for quite a while now, and I’ve heard so many people talk about Gary V, that I can’t pass up sharing this event with you!
Does social media ever feel like a waste of time? Like you’re spinning your wheels? Not getting traction? No clicks, likes, fans, or opens?
You might be making some crucial mistakes you’re not even aware of. Mistakes that could be costing you customers, web traffic, clicks, and engagement.
Good news: You can fix your mistakes.
Better news: It’ll take you less than an hour to do so.
Join the web event “The 7 Social Media Mistakes You’re Making & How to Fix Them” hosted by Think Digital Academy founder, Justin Wise.
On this web event, you’ll learn:
1) Where 80% of your social media results (more purchases, traffic, members, etc.) will come from.
2) What an editorial calendar is and why virtually nobody uses one.
3) Why “engaging the conversation” is the worse social media strategy on the planet.
4) Why online influence is more important than ever.
5) How to instantly improve your search engine rankings with social media.
PLUS, you’ll get exclusive access to a 14-minute interview with New York Times bestseller and social media powerhouse, Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary’s worked with some of the top brands in the world and shares some of the biggest social media mistakes he sees
Registration is free. Anyone can sign-up. Get more details and join this exclusive web event by clicking here.
How do you finish well? I have a hard time when it come to finishing. I am easily motivated to start, but not always to finish. As a dreamer I get really excited to start something off, and I can sit and dream of all the possibilities of what could be. I then get frustrated if we just sit and dream and don’t take action on it. The problem with me is not the concept or even starting the new big audacious goal, but my problem is that I do not finish well. I recognize this is one of my biggest hurdles I need to get over when it comes to leadership and life.
It’s really easy for me to think of a concept and begin to run with it, but it’s harder to see the concept until it is finished. I’ve failed to finish many things in my life, and it causes insecurity for me to even think about it. I can very quickly list out 5-10 things I’ve started, been really excited about, ran with, and then didn’t finish….
Am I the only one that does this? What do you do to finish well? What if we resolved to finish the things we’ve started before tackling the next new and exciting thing? What would that mean for your current state of affairs? I think for me this would mean a big growth in contentment. I need to learn to be more content with what I have and where I’m at before starting something new.
For me to finish well I need the help of others. I need people to run alongside me, and I need people to push and keep me accountable. I show way too much grace to myself when it comes to finishing. It’s easy to start feeling sorry for myself, and just ‘take a break’ aka come up short. What are the tactics you use to finish strong? Do you have people that push you to go further than you would have?
Of course I begin to think of this on the heels of telling you all I’m about to launch a new blog! How ironic! http://eepurl.com/Ekq9b
How do you refer to your organization? Us or them?
One thing I love about my job is that I talk to a bunch of different people. I get to talk to the diverse groups that come to our church, and I get to have meaningful conversations with people from other organizations as well. I have a really good memory, and tend to notice a few things. One thing I always notice is if a person refers to their organization as we or as they. The language we use is very important, and it can serve as a thermometer of where someone is at with their organization.
When I am talking to people that work with or are a part of another organization and they mention their organization as ‘they’, I typically will internally question how on board they are with that organization. I wonder why if they are a contributor to the mission of their organization why they wouldn’t take ownership and call it a we. I always refer to LIFEchurch as we when I am talking to someone. I am not the leader of the organization or the CEO or anything like that, but we work together and I put my all into it. I take ownership in the decisions of our organization.
The same goes for when I have conversations with people from inside my church. When they talk about it as you guys, or use they instead of saying we, I tend to assume they aren’t all in yet. I know this is a big assumption, and it could really mean lots of things, but that’s the story I tend to gather. And it could mean they aren’t ready to say we, and I totally get that.
Think about this sort of language. Are you a we person? Or a they person? If I am way off base for these assumptions, let’s chat about it.
I need your help.
As you know I am continually trying to grow and learn. I want to be a better human tomorrow than I was today. One of my main goals this year was to become a better communicator. One way I communicate frequently is in written word through email, and of course this website. If you could do me a quick favor and read a blog post or two I’ve written here, and give me some constructive criticism. Tell me what you think I could improve on, or just some tips that you think would make me a better writer.
Yes I’m giving you permission to tell me some places that I suck at in my communication! Please help me grow, and I promise I will improve and give you, a reader, my best possible content.
And if you don’t want it public, just leave the post anonymous. Or email me at email@example.com.
Who are you? I often challenge the students I work with each week to find their identity in Christ. I think this is a valuable lesson and part of growing up, but what does identity mean? Can you give me a list or sentence or even a book that tells me who you are? I’ve struggled with this for many years.
When I was in high school I was an athlete. But I never wanted to be labeled just an athlete, because I felt I was more than just that. I was also a student, but who isn’t when you’re in high school? I was also a son, a brother, a friend, a boyfriend, a jerk, and many other things. These things were activities I did, and not necessarily what defined me. I don’t know what did define me exactly.
When I went to Masters Commission I remember the first day being asked if I was there for the music institute, the dance program, or to be in the band. I was none of these. The guy asking then proceeded to ask me why I was even there then if I wasn’t going to be a part of one of those. This also caused me to struggle internally to find my place and figure out my identity while there. (I’m not sure I ever told anyone of this conversation, and I’m sure the guy has no idea it even happened, but the beauty of my memory is I can tell you his name, and the exact location we were when it happened, and even who else was sitting around the table)
Now I am a youth pastor. I am often introduced as the youth pastor at LIFEchurch. There are many stereotypes and expectations that go with this title, and I do fit some, but not all of them. I struggle a lot with this identity, as I want to shout out I am more than just a youth pastor. I don’t know why I feel this way, but it’s just something inside of me I feel and I think it’s okay. I think it’s okay to struggle with our identity. To be honest I always want to be growing and changing anyway, so as that happens I think my identity is being developed as well. Which leads me to believe that identity is not a static entity, but rather it is being constantly updated and developed much like the history on our web browser. Each person we encounter, each life change we go through, each failure and success we have our identity is updated.
So who are you in this moment? Who do you want to be? You do not have to be the same tomorrow as you are today, but what will you do to update this identity?
This picture may just look like a bunch of shoes to you, but to me it looks like Unity. Coming up in a couple weeks we are doing a big event that we call Servolution. At Servolution we will be giving away school supplies (provided by other organizations), haircuts (done by professionals from inside and outside the church), shoes (donated by our church and others, including the ones in this picture provided by the North Liberty United Methodist Church), and a bunch of other stuff will be happening from our church and other organizations and churches. The event is meant to be an expression of love for our community. The idea is quite simple. We want to cause an uprising- a revolution of service.
I love seeing organizations and churches play well together. I love being great friends with pastors of other congregations in my community. I love the unity here, and I’m so thankful I get to be a part. My challenge to you today, is how can you be more unifying in what you do? How can you work to bring together your ministry, program, or business to serve with another organization? It is so worth the effort of getting to know others and work with organizations that may have some different views than your own.
BTW It’s way more impactful to serve with others than just doing your own thing all the time.
Most people will think this is about food, but it’s not. What voices are you taking into your life? Are they primarily positive and voices that will build you up? Or are they voices that tear you down? I listen to a lot of audio files each week. I subscribe to 10 different podcasts, and listen to many of them weekly. A few of them are monthly or less, but I listen to them because I want to grow. I do not want to wake up tomorrow the same person that I was when I woke up today.
I am always trying to grow, and I think you should desire to do the same thing. I think the old phrase, “people never change” is a bunch of crap. I believe people can change. I know I’ve changed. Not simply because I willed myself to do it, but because of the God I believe in has changed me. And he has changed me so much that I continually desire to grow and change even more.
All this change is great, but I think some of it will come down to having a plan. And in that plan setting up things that you will take in. If you are constantly taking in junk, your life will reflect it. If you take in challenges and inspiration it will cause you to grow. In the same way that our body must be put under challenges to grow stronger (Think weight lifting) our mind and soul must encounter challenges to grow too. Are you reading things that challenge you? Are you listening to things that will help make you better? Are you being intentional about how you grow? Make a plan, and then follow it!
According to my Strengths Finder test I am an input guy. To me this means I collect information (and I collect a few other random things, but that’s a different post). I am constantly scavenging the internet, books, podcasts, and other things for information. I love to read and get lost in a book. I love listening to podcasts (I subscribe to about 10 of them). Through all these modes of information I hear a lot of stories.
I hear stories of life change. I hear stories of great successes, and I stories of great failures. I will on occasion hear stories of great heartbreak, or of great love. But I’ve found the best stories in all of these are the ones that are actually lived out. The stories that come from a real live person and they are saying,”This is the crap that actually happened to me.” These stories have so much power. Some of these stories happened on purpose, and some of them came by what seems to be random chance.
Everyone loves a fairytale. We love the adventure and happy ending that goes with it where a prince rescues a princess and all that exciting jazz. But it’s not real. Life is messy, and we all have junk. It’s how we overcome that junk that makes the story worth telling. I’ve overcome quite a few crappy things, and they make me better for it. They also make a more fun story. Some things I’d have changed, but my story helps make me who I am, and that I wouldn’t change.
As I think about this idea it makes me want to share my stories more. It also makes me want to hear the stories of others more too. What is your story? What are the crazy rides that you have been on? I’d love to hear some of them, please share!
Hugh MacLeod created the drawing. He is one of my favorite artists.
Maybe the phrase “you are an artist” is cliche now. But if you haven’t been able to grasp it quite yet, I will chime in my thoughts too. Hopefully you will realize the power of your inner artist, and work to start unleashing it.
I recently listened to the audio version of the book The Icarus Deception. The author, Seth Godin, has an incredible way of challenging the mind, and I highly recommend checking out the book. In the book he talks of the Greek tale of Icarus, and the implications of the tale to those hearing it. The tale has a basic ending where everyone is supposed to be obedient to those above them. They are to do what they are told, and to obey all instructions for their life. They should not betray or challenge the instruction or they will surely die or surely fail.
Godin poses the thought that an artist will challenge the rules. The artist pushes the limits, and the artist will inspire others to go further. Godin gives many characteristics to what an artist is, and what an artist must do to be one. He says that just because someone paints does not make them an artist. They must give their art away to others. Artists are generous people. And something is not art unless it is open for others to experience. A song never shared is not art, it is selfish.
He goes on to say that art is not just music, paint, drawing, writing, singing, dancing, etc. But art is leadership, speaking, serving, or any other craft that has the capability to be given away and inspire others. We all have some art or gift that we can give others. My art is occasionally writing (but not that often if you see when my last post was), but more often my art is speaking. I speak on a weekly basis, and each time I speak my hope is to inspire some sort of change in people. I know other people that they have an incredible art behind the way they serve others or love on people that seem to be unlovable (or by cultural standards).
What is your art? How can you give it away? What is holding you back from challenging the rules in how your craft is done? Push the limits, and break some rules.
I challenge you to figure some of these questions out and share it with those around you.