I Will Handle It

“He knows the way I take… when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” – Job

“He knows how much I can handle, and how much I can’t. I trust him with my life. Therefore, I will handle it, and when this is over, I will be even more like he wants me to be.”

– Stu Weber / Tender Warrior

Such good words today. I’ve gone to bed, woken up, and lived my days far to anxious the last several weeks. We are in a good place, with a good team, doing good work, for good clients. We have worked long and hard to get to this place, and the path forward, even though it is somewhat dark, rocky, and hard, is well worth the effort.

I will handle it. I will stick it through. I will come forth as a better man, a better husband and dad, and a better leader. There may be no magic moment when it all clicks and the waters turn crystal clear, but I’m not here to live in the easy. I’m here to raise myself and others into our full potential, to blaze a trail, and to be part of bringing a possible future into reality.

I will handle it. I will see it through.

GPS – Read or write for pleasure for an hour a day

Image Goes HereGOAL: SPEND AN HOUR EACH DAY READING AND WRITING FOR PLEASURE

GOAL SUMMARY: I dearly love to read and write for pleasure. Yet both seem to somehow lose their place on my priority list when other things “come up.” Is this because they’re really not that important to me? I don’t think so, because I definitely miss them in my life. Is it because I simply don’t know how to prioritize them so that they are a part of my life, no matter what? Maybe. I suppose this GPS will help me if that’s the case. Perhaps part of the reason I don’t read or write for pleasure as often as I should is because I don’t feel I deserve to enjoy a block of time like that each day. Now there’s an introspective thought. I could probably write for an hour or more just on that one.

Regardless, this is one of at least three goal planning sheets I’m working on this week. I’ve both broadened and narrowed this one already today. It initially was going to be “Spend 30-60 minutes reading each day.” That then got changed to “spend an hour reading each day” because as I think about what I really want, not just what I could probably squeeze in, it’s more then half an hour a day. I then added the writing and the “for pleasure” aspects, because there’s plenty of reading and writing that “need” to be done each day, and I honestly don’t want that to “count” toward a meaningful personal goal. Stuff like this GPS might count, because I enjoy it, but at the same time, it’s not really intended for my own release or growth.

So here we go…. my Goal Planning Sheet to help me turn this bit of a dream into reality.

GOAL:

Spend an hour a day, every day, reading or writing for pleasure.

TARGET DATE:

MM/DD/YYYY

TODAY’S DATE:

August 25, 2010

REWARDS FOR ACHIEVEMENT:

  • I will have at least an hour a day of “me time” to relax, unwind, and either fill my mind and heart with something I want to read abou, or, to clear my head an put my heart into written words.
  • As I read more, I will find new insights into topics that matter to me.
  • As I write more, I will develop ways of communicating what is in my head and heart into words, which drives them home more than just leaving them “stored” there.
  • I will develop my writing skills and produce material for later use, which will develop my potential for writing a book, devotional, or articles in the future.
  • I will develop reading skills, fill my mind with a steady flow of new ideas, and increase my horizons of understanding as I have time set aside each day. I will not limited to “must-reads.”
  • I will further develop the “trail” of my life that I or others can look back on later to see where God has led.

CONSEQUENSES OF NON-ACHIEVEMENT:

  • I will read and write spuratically, either too much or too little.
  • If I spend too much time on pleasure reading and writing, other areas of my life will suffer from lack of attention.
  • If I don’t spend enough time on pleasure reading and writing, my heart will go stale from lack of new input or from having too much “stuff” inside that is not allowed to be let out
  • I will continue to lose control of the hours I have each day.

AFFIRMATIONS:

  • I gain much insight from reading. I love to interact with books, and find things in them that I can use to build up my own life and those of others.
  • I write for my soul in a way that expresses it to others. I express thoughts that are important to me in ways that communicate my thoughts and intents to others, encourage them to consider how what I write may apply to their own lives, and in ways that I can come back to later and revisit.

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE
DELEGATED TO

SOLUTION

No “blocked off time” to read each day

  1. Read and write first thing in the morning.
  2. Read and write as the last part of my day.
  3. Schedule time at the beginning of each day or week to read, based on the planned activities of the day.
  1. Schedule some time for each day of the week to read or write, preferably first thing in the morning or during a block of time during the day.
  2. If the schedule does not work, rearrange it.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE

DELEGATED TO

Lack of variety in reading materials

  1. Have a reading plan that is always planning 2-3 books into the future.
  2. Have 2-3 books going at once, depending the place or time of day I am reading.
  1. Create an online reading list on my blog… what I’m reading, what I’ve recently finished, and what’s next.
  2. Pick a variety of topics, and do not read the same topic more than once out of every three books:
    • Matters of the Heart – Ransomed Heart
    • Being a Man, Husband, and Father
    • Historical Stories / Biographies
    • “How To” books on topics I’m interested in
  3. Have one book at home, and one at the office.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE

DELEGATED TO

Inbalance of reading and writing each day

  1. Consider before starting to read or write what it is I want to accomplish during the time I have.
  2. Read at least 3-4 times per week, and write at least 3-4 times each week as well.
  3. Spend at least one day each week just reading, and one day each week writing.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE

DELEGATED TO

Reading or writing for pleasure begins to require more than an hour a day.

  1. Cut back.
  2. Look at why it’s requiring so much time. Is it becoming more than just for “pleasure” that I should be planning into part of my day?
  1. Stick to the block of time I’ve allotte dfor now. 7 hours a week is a lot more then I have been reading.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE

DELEGATED TO

Literally do not have time to read or write some days.
  1. Have an audiobook in the car or on my PDA/IPod
  2. Be content to end my day with writing one good sentence.
  1. Put an audiobook on my Ipod or Blackberry so I can have it available wherever I am.
  2. Keep a journal by my bed to write a brief something at the end of the day when I just haven’t had time to do any reading or writing for myself.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

 

POSSIBLE OBSTACLE

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

ACTION STEPS

MUST-DO DATE

DELEGATED TO

Reading or writing for myself takes time away from my family.

  1. Evaluate what else I’m doing for myself. Spending an hour each day building into my own life is not a lot to ask. Perhaps there are other areas that could I am already doing that will fit into this goal, such as Daily Bible Reading.
  2. Confront the issue with my family, if I truly am not being “allowed” (by myself or others) to spend time developing my own heart.
  3. Perhaps I have too many other things I’m doing for myself. Evaluate whether these are “seasonal” and should be allowed to interfere for a SET amount of time, or whether they are more/less important than the goal, and cut one out.
  1. Make it a priority to set this goal in motion in the early morning hours, when I have the most time “to myself.”
  2. Share this goal with my wife.
  1. xxx
  1. xxx

 

So there we go… Did I miss any obstacles? If I do these things, will I accomplish my goal? Will this goal lead me toward my dreams of reading, writing, and sharing my thoughts in a more influential way, such as writing a book, creating a year-long devotional, or filling my heart and mine with thoughts that motivate and get me through tough circumstances?

Mental Development

“Don’t go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” This Ralph Waldo Emerson quote has been a favorite of mine for many years. Up until now, though, I always pictured it as me venturing forth into some great unknown, some grand mission outside of my little “realm.” It wasn’t until the past month that I’ve begun to see that the place where there is no path is actually many parts of my own life. I am in a time of transition right now, with work, with family, and above all else, in my personal life. I have entered into a coaching relationship with a brother named Mark Sturgell, and for the past month, have been learning that the dreams in the back of my head MATTER, that goals I might want to achieve CAN BE DONE, and that it’s not MAGIC. It is requiring a lot of hard work, but I’m already seeing the benefits in my confidence in who I am, who I was made to be, and what I was made to do.

One thing I’ve found over the years, and it’s rung true this past month, is that writing things down really crystallizes them for me. So I’m thinking of using my blog here to share, mainly with myself, some of the things I’m learning. Writing them down with a pen on a sheet of paper gets me started, but putting those thoughts into complete sentances, clean tables, and even before the public eye pushes me a little bit more.

Today I finished up a self evaluation on Mental Development. The mission here was to examine myself, to find strengths, potential strengths, and even weaknesses, in my mind, and in the way I think. I enjoyed this section, and will jot a few things down here that originally found their way to pen and paper.

Where I Stand Now

After completing a short survey and looking back on some past achievements / mental strengths, I was instructed to write a narrative form of “where I a stand now” as far as mental development. I was to use my imagination and enjoy my time. It was actually quite fun. Here’s the result:

It is apparent to me that I love to learn. Whether it problem solving at the office, developing a solution to a problem not fully identified, or finding better/best ways to get from one place to another, I love not just the solution, but what I experience and learn in the process of discovering that solution.

I seem to not necessarily be an idea man when it comes to original ideas and big dreams, but I can wade through the muddle of a project or even another life and find nuggets that both crystallize the concept and also make it seemingly doable. I enjoy and am good at getting to the heart of a matter, whether that means wading through personal opinions at a meeting or finding quotes that capture an idea in a book or conversation.

I enjoy being taught. Not just in the traditional lecture or discussion form, but in any way that brings me new knowledge and understanding. I can manage a lot in my head, but I do let it get a little too crowded at times.

I truly enjoy sharing these learning experiences with others, be it in a “eureka” moment or simply taking a big concept and finding where it hits close to home. I love seeing others come to realize that they too have what it takes to make their dreams become reality.

Mental Development Goal-Setting

The next step of the Mental Development process was to develop some goal categories, and after that, some goals to fit into those categories, and after that, to prioritize them. This got kind of tough, but in the end, it was extremely practical, doable, and encouraging.

CATEGORY GOAL #
Getting from Start to Finish Identify and implement a project-based method of finishing tasks that works for both personal and business areas of my life 5
Proactive Self-Improvement
Spend one hour a day, Monday – Friday, on my Sales Action Plan, and listen/read to my sales / self-improvement audio files at least 6 times per week. 1
Intentional and Purposeful Reading Plan
Spend time every day (30 minutes?) reading. Develop a place to keep 2-3 different books on different subjects so they are accessible to the points of time in my day when I have time to read. Schedule time to read as well. 2
Quality Family Time Make time each week to have adult conversations with my wife and talk about what is important to us, and learn how to set goals together, accordingly. Read to my children each day. 1
Develop and Exercise Writing Skills
Create a blog or journal entry each day on something relevant to my day. 4
Develop and Exercise Speaking / Teaching Skills
Find an opportunity to teach a group on a regular basis. 3
Seek Opportunities to Teach / Mentor / Train Individuals
Develop relationships with 1-2 specific men in my life, and seek out 2-3 specific youth as well. Make a point to add something to their life each week. 6
Develop Methods to Retain what I’ve Learned
Blog or Journal a small summary or tidbit from each day, before the day is gone forever. 4

I’m not sure if those are “good goals.” In fact, I have already have times that I have doubted they are. They seem too vague, or not related to mental development, or this, or that. But as I’m learning… If they are meaningful to me, that is what matters. And these are meaningful, stimulating, and enjoyable activities for me that would add to my life. I don’t have a clue how they’re going to “fit in” to everything else that is already going on and all the other areas I’ll be setting goals, but I think looking at these as things I can choose from down the road, or even right now, makes it all a little more doable and exciting.