Gnatpew

Musings and Insights for Life, Relationships, and God

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

How to Slow Life Down

Life speeds by at a breakneck pace when it is only comprised of routine.   Have you ever paused in the month of March and thought, “Christmas seems like last week…where has time gone?”   We judge time based on special events or markers in life.  For example, “We ate at that restaurant after vacation but before Rick broke his arm.”  If there are no special events to interrupt routine we look back and time is nothing but a blur of familiar activities.

The key to slowing life down is to be intentional about inserting unusual events into your life.  This doesn’t mean expensive or time consuming…just kick routine and do something different.  If you are running short on ideas ask a creative friend for suggestions and open your mind to the possibilities. Not only will it make life slow down but it will probably make you a more interesting person as well.

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Best Negotiating Tip

Here’s a great negotiating tip that can be used anywhere and every time…listen.  That’s it.  We tend to be overly concerned with getting colleagues, customers and spouses to see it our way and “buy” our view or widget.   We often arm ourselves with facts and figures to make a convincing case and/or prove our point.   Remember, we cannot influence someone’s mind or viewpoint if we don’t first know where their mind is or what their viewpoint might be.  More effort invested in understanding means less effort convincing.  I don’t know about you but I don’t like being convinced very much anyway.  I do like it when someone understands where I am, what my challenges are and then provides thoughtful insight or alternatives.

Soul Questions

John Ortberg once asked a man he considered wise, “How do you assess the well being of your soul?”  Although I want to know, this is a tough question for me because I know my heart is wicked and I also have a tendency to be dishonest with myself.  The wise man was quick with a reply and he said he asked himself the following two questions:

  • Am I growing more easily discouraged these days?
  • Am I growing more easily irritated these days?

These two questions pierce me because at the foundation of a healthy soul is God’s love and his peace.  If I am experiencing his peace then I am less likely to veer into discouragement.  If his love is expanding within me I am less likely to feel pangs of irritation.

How is your discouragement and irritation level these days?

You can read more about this in Orberg’s book, The Me I Want To Be.

Comparison, Competition, Inspiration

Comparison with others gets our eye off the script of the story God has designed and calls us to live.   It fuels inner energy to be like another broken, fallen human.

Competition with others drives us to be better than another broken, fallen human on some real or imaginary scorecard or scoreboard.

Inspiration from another broken, fallen human ignites us to grow within our story and maximize our own gifting and strengths.

How about reducing comparison and competition with others and choosing to be inspired by those living well?

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