Why You Should Focus on Habits

Importance of Habits

“We are what we repeatedly do.” – Author, philosopher, and historian, Will Durant

The past few years have brought increased focus surrounding habits and habit formation and for good reason: Habits define us. As habits are formed, so is our behavior. A Duke University study reported that around 40% of actions are habitual. Our habits determine who we are, what we do, and set the course for our life.

Habits Save Mental Energy

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Five Powerful Reasons to Journal

Five Powerful Reasons to Keep a Journal

I love the idea of journaling, but struggle to do so. I started to journal many times, maybe even purchasing a special notebook. After a few days of consistency, I would miss a day, or two, which turned into a month and then I’d stop.

Over the past year, I’ve gotten more consistent. I find the practice helpful and, at times, transformative.

Maybe you’ve thought about journaling, but haven’t been convinced. Here are the top five reasons which helped me develop the habit. Continue reading “Five Powerful Reasons to Journal”

Steps for Pursuing Purpose

More Art than Science

If we were created for purpose, why do we struggle recognizing it?

Finding my purpose hasn’t been easy and I don’t think I’m completely there. Instead of knowing my purpose, I feel like I pursing it.

Many excellent resources are available both online and offline to help with purpose and values discovery. Some of the resources can be quite expensive, even offering retreat experiences. Other resources, such as blogs and online articles, are free. Coaches and gurus will help us as well.

Finding resources will only get us so far. Our environment plays a vital role as well. We can have the best resources, but being able to focus and limit distractions can make or break our ability to discern our purpose.

Here are some important steps which aid in our pursuit of purpose: Continue reading “Steps for Pursuing Purpose”

Why You Need Purpose in Your Life

Desperate Times

Most of the time, I simply live life. I thought living was enough. For me, living meant that I did what I thought needed to be done. I was too busy living to worry about my purpose and the “why” of life. Who needs reflection and thought when there’s so much to do?

Socrates said, “The unexamined life isn’t worth living.” I can’t remember when I first read his statement, but it stuck with me. I had no idea what his point was. I was living an unexamined life and it wasn’t too bad. I was wrong.

David Henry Thoreau expresses a similar sentiment when he wrote, “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.” Of course, we may not believe we live desperate lives, but more and more Americans and others in developed countries suffer from depression, stress, and anxiety than ever before. We may not want to admit to our desperation, but it is becoming harder to deny. Continue reading “Why You Need Purpose in Your Life”

How to Schedule Creative Work

In a previous post, I wrote about managing energy instead of time. This article addresses how we can schedule our day to maximize our creative work.

Maker and Manager Schedules

Paul Graham is a programmer, writer, venture capitalist, and extremely smart with degrees in philosophy and computer science from Cornell and Harvard. After reading his 2009 Article, “Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule”, I began to realize that energy wasn’t the only consideration when viewing my work and schedule.

In his article, Graham asserts that those who manage and those who make (create) view time and schedules differently. A manager’s schedule is a series of hour, half-an-hour, and sometimes even 15 minute time blocks. Such a schedule works well for a manager because meetings can easily fit within those time blocks. Continue reading “How to Schedule Creative Work”

How to Produce Your Best Work

NOTE: This is part one of a series covering how to do our best work. This article addresses time and energy management. The next article covers two scheduling concepts.

Hats Galore

As a pastor, I wear multiple roles or “hats” if you will. I am a communicator, a teacher, a leader, a manager, a facilitator, a coach, and a follower. At times I encourage and other times re-direct. I am a writer, both of sermons, newsletters, blogs, and studies. Sometimes I am a community organizer, counselor, spiritual director, and listening ear. I am also an administrator and a strategist. I’m a prayerful presence in a hospital room and a vocal presence for justice. I’m called on for my opinion in many different matters whether I am trained, educated, or familiar with those areas or not. My StrengthsFinder results indicate that I am a learner. I’m also a father, husband, brother, uncle and to some a friend.

For those who wonder what pastors do during the week, take your pick!


Continue reading “How to Produce Your Best Work”

Extend Your Coaching “Reach” with Video Conferencing

Extending Coaching’s Reach

Traditionally coaching has taken place face to face. Coaching face to face allows the coach to notice nuances of facial expression and body cues. In order to coach face to face, however, the client and coach must be within driving distance and that distance must be taken into account when scheduling other coaching sessions. Telephone has been another option which addresses some of the geographic challenges, but forfeits the ability to see non-verbal ques.

While coaching in person may be the best option, the introduction of video conferencing addresses geographical restrictions and allows the coach to notice facial and body ques. Coaching via video conference extends the reach of the coach, creating new possibilities for coaching both individuals and groups. This article will explore a few tools for long distance coaching. Continue reading “Extend Your Coaching “Reach” with Video Conferencing”

Five Transformative Books

In a previous article, I addressed the power of finding clarity. I mentioned that a coach could have helped me find clarity, but for most of my life a coach wasn’t an option. Perhaps you are at a place in life where a coach isn’t an option. But what if coaches came in a variety forms? What if coaches weren’t limited to those we could see and talk to?

I have found mentors and coaches living over the past 1500 years. While I can’t talk to them, their thoughts and inspiration are archived in the writings they left behind.
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The Power of Clarity

Quiet Desperation

I wouldn’t say I had bad habits as a young pastor because I really didn’t have habits at all, at least not intentional habits. Instead, I had an image in mind of what good pastors did and tried to live up to that image, yet I was not consistent or intentional about my life. Clarity of purpose didn’t come easily.

Like many reading this, I didn’t have the luxury of a mentor or coach guiding me. Even though I went to seminary, that was for education, not direction. For the nitty gritty stuff of life, I was on my own. Instead of intentional living, I was living by trial and error and living by trial and error wears thin over time.
Continue reading “The Power of Clarity”