Cultivate a Spacious Life

A FREE E-book to Help You Avoid the Traps that Steal Your Margin

CRAFT A RULE OF LIFE FOR 2024

Personal Assessment

How Emotionally Healthy Are You?
Take a free 15 minute personal assessment now!

*We respect your privacy by not sharing or selling your email address.

Personal Assessment

Close

Tag Archives: courage

"Quitting" in Asian Culture

Jiji Harner, from the Philippines, assisted me in my “I Quit” seminar in Singapore. I thank her for gathering these insights and helpful observations through her experience as a Filipina and her diverse experiences as a professional counselor. Quit being afraid of what others think…poses a much greater challenge in Asian Culture compared to Western culture.  You could see the puzzle in the faces of the participants. “If I quit being afraid of what others think – then who will I become?”  The desire to please and submit to authority has been inculcated in our minds. To undo this tendency is almost impossible because it is considered disrespectful, bad and ungodly to not do what those around you expect of you. To varying degrees Asian cultures tend to be other-directed, thinking: “How will others view my actions?” Instead of self-directed: “What do I think of my action?” People in Asian cultures tend to be. Read more.

Learning from Angelina Jolie

For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than the are the people of the light. (Luke 16:8) I was deeply moved by a front page article in the New York Times yesterday, along with Angelina Jolie’s editorial a day earlier, about her courageous decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. She writes: “On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved…I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience.” While Angelina does not, as far as I know, consider herself a Christ-follower, we can learn a few things from her. Leading out of brokenness and vulnerability is powerful. She went public on an issue few Christians have been willing to talk about. We are imperfect human beings with limits. Beautiful and rich as she may be, she humbly acknowledged that she is. Read more.

Clean Pain and Dirty Pain

Examples of dirty pain are found throughout Scripture. The Israelites wander for forty years in the desert due to their unbelief. Jonah finds himself in a stormy sea as he runs from God’s will. Abraham experiences years of pain after birthing Ishmael rather than wait on God. Much of our dirty pain in leadership comes from a failure to wait and listen to wise counsel. Hasty staff hires, half-formed plans, sloppy meetings, a turbulent spirit due to a failure to set boundaries, rushed sermons – are a few examples. We don’t learn in dirty pain because we are defending, denying, and avoiding.  It is the pain of repeating the same mistakes.  I know it well. Examples of clean pain are also found throughout Scripture. Jesus struggles with the Father’s will in Gethsemane.  Paul’s pleads to remove a thorn in the flesh. Abraham climbs a mountain to obey God and sacrifice his son. Clean pain. Read more.

Canaries and Our Integrity

Early coal miners didn’t have the special equipment miners have today to measure carbon dioxide in the air, so it was impossible to tell if the gases were building up to dangerous levels.  Miners started to use canaries (they were highly sensitive to gas in the air) to test the air quality in the mines. The canaries would chirp and sing all day long. But, if the carbon monoxide levels got too high, and the canaries were no longer singing, miners would know that the gas levels were too high. Soon the canaries would have trouble breathing, swoon, and then die.  Miners, who had gone into the mines looking for gold, would leave the mine quickly avoid being caught in an explosion. Many of us leaders want the gold of great fruit out of our leadership. Yet if we are not sensitive to the carbon monoxide, i.e., the integrity gaps in ourselves, our churches,. Read more.

Self-Identity as the Key to Discernment

Augustine once said that God is always trying to give good things to us but our hands are too full to receive them. Roslyn H. Wright, a Director of Field Education at Whitley College in Australia, visited me in NYC recently. The following are reflections out of her work with seminary students around “Incarnational goal setting”: 1. God’s calls us to courageously lead out of our ‘true self.’ “The problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self” (Thomas Merton). God gives to each of us a “manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” with a unique working out of that gift in the Body and the world. The forces, internal and external, that move us away from that place of leading from within are enormous. 2. Prayer, particularly the Examen, along with a trusted community, is the foundation for. Read more.

Top Five Regrets of the Dying

What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day of life? Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in with the dying. She began to ask them their most common regrets at the end of their lives. Ware writes, “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.” And among the top, from men in particular, is ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Here are the top five regrets of the dying that she discovered: 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. She notes: “When people realize. Read more.