Mediocrity

Average Guy

What are you good at? I mean, really good? When people ask you about your strengths, what are your boilerplate answers?

Now, the dreaded weaknesses. What are those things you repeatedly tell people or God or yourself that you need to work on and improve?

Now I’m sure as soon as you read those questions, the ready answers showed up. And at some point you’ve probably had the tug-of-war about which you should work on – do you leverage your strengths or work on your weaknesses?

Uh huh.

Now take both of those mental lists and set them aside for a minute. Let’s boldly go where no one dares to go…

Let’s talk about your mediocre middle.

See, none of us are awesome at everything, and none of us is terrible at everything. A significant part of your life falls somewhere in the middle. And because it isn’t all that remarkable, you just don’t give it that much attention.

Too bad, since that’s where most of us live most of our lives. [click to continue…]

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Old compass on the beach with sand and sea

President Woodrow Wilson once said, “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forgot the errand.”

Have you forgotten the errand lately?  Maybe it’s time for a look under the hood.

At least it is for me.  And maybe for you, too.

I’m involved in some pretty big initiatives lately (you’ll be seeing more of that soon).  And those initiatives are added to an already-very-busy life. Never a day goes by when I don’t lay my head on the pillow with plenty more to do tomorrow that I left undone today.  Most days I’m fine with that.  But lately in the middle of all the time and resource challenges I’ve found myself frustrated, more tired than I should be, and actually feeling anxious about some things that should have me feeling excited and hopeful.  And in the middle it all is this nagging question:

Is this really what I’m about?

That brings me back to something I’ve been pretty passionate about for a long time – a clearly-defined sense of personal mission or purpose. [click to continue…]

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Impossible dream

The original premise of LifeVesting is, what would happen if we applied principles of financial investing to all the areas of our lives?  Some of the things we have explored in the process are:

  • There are four – and only four – things you can spend your time and money on.
  • It is possible, like the Bible’s “Proverbs 31 woman,” to position yourself so that you laugh at the future rather than worry about it.
  • God has an economy and you can be rich in it.

Nearly ten years after my son proposed the idea, it still intrigues me.  Lately I’ve been thinking about some wisdom I got from my friend Kirk the Builder.  Kirk works for a major contractor who has built multi-million-dollar facilities all over the country.  One day we were having lunch and talking about the biz, and Kirk shared some profound wisdom.

In construction, he said, people can pick any two of three options:  good, fast, and cheap.  We want all three, but we can’t have all three.

We can have good and fast, but it won’t be cheap.

We can have good and cheap, but it won’t be fast.

We can have fast and cheap, but it won’t be good.

What intrigues me about that is that the principle isn’t limited to bricks-and-sticks construction.  [click to continue…]

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Christmas 2004.  I’m pretty sure it was the last time I made the trek to Deer Bluff.  Pictures were the thing this year, and one day Joel wanted to go to Deer Bluff to take some.  It was nice to be back there, this place near the family farm that has always captured my imagination.

At one point I was up on top of the bluff and Joel was down below taking pictures of the initials carved in the stone near the small cave.  Meandering through the volcanic rock and fallen branches, I tripped over a log and fell with a thud on my stomach and shoulder.  I also hit some sort of piece of wood, and cut a couple of plugs out of my fingers.

The fingers were the ugliest, but the shoulder was the greatest concern.  Lying there, I wondered if something had been broken.  Later, my biggest fear was that I had torn my rotator cuff.  Finally, a year later, the MRI showed I had shredded the tendons in my shoulder and yes, I would need surgery.

Awesome.  So that’s what a stumbling block is.  And I was right in the middle of a stumbling zone. [click to continue…]

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Cohen is an expert crawler. 

He can cross a room lickety-split on his hands and knees. 

He’s an awful walker. 

He’s learning.  But why risk injury when he can get there safely on all fours?

His parents don’t treat his crawling ability as a special gift, however. 

It’s just a skill that helps him until the greater abilities arrive.

Same goes for you and God.  [click to continue…]

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Aiming for Average

by Andy Wood on February 21, 2010

in Insight, Life Currency, LV Stories, Turning Points

I hated Ann Finch.

Three times she sent me to the principal’s office, and two of those times I emerged with a butt-on-fire.

One time she made me stay after school in an Ann-imposed detention.  I lied to my mother and told her I needed to stay late because of band.  When she picked me up, who should be walking out of the building but Miss Finch?  She tattled on me, and then it was double trouble.

Once I ended the grading period with an 89.4 average.  She gave me a “B” for the quarter.  One lousy stinking tenth of a point!  Too bad.  She wouldn’t budge.

I liked Ann Finch.

Probably for the wrong reasons, but I liked her nonetheless.  She was so easy to pick on.  [click to continue…]

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