Letting Loose of Your Control

Have you never thought it? Spoke it? Lived it?

2015-04-24 08.33.22“It’s often easier to do it myself than to allow someone else to mess it up!”

Still, there is something to be said for unlocking your control and allowing for different, even if imperfect, results.

This is hard to do. Even for me.

I often wonder if it’s because I am introverted and would just as soon as do it myself, or if there is a part of me that hates to see others do it differently than I would have?

Nor am I a micro-manager. I simply want results that I can live with!

My insight on this does not mean that I will do it better, only that I will have complete control – even if I am slower, and less perfect.

There was a day when I hired computer operators who had the potential to be much better than I, and with proper training and motivation it was enjoyable to see them excel.

Some months or years ago, I found this lock in my toolbox of computer parts. I do not remember acquiring it, nor do I remember the combination. It looks like I have been working the four dials attempting to discover the code, and unless I am willing to work through the 10,000 options if the numbers can be reused in any dial, or the 5040 options if a number can only be used once in the combination series (Math answer found here!), then I would probably we smarter to hand it off, or discard…

For this lock, I did not have sufficient memory of algebra to come up with the number of permutations, so I allowed someone else to do it for me. See, I can let loose of some of my control….

In a webinar with Michael Hyatt last night, one of the major points he noted was that it was okay to “outsource the difficult stuff”… To which I add, it’s not just the difficult stuff but also the time consuming stuff that ruts out my carefully crafted daily schedule!

And somewhere during my research yesterday I found that there were digital Executive Assistants who could take tasks off your plate and do things for you that takes up too valuable time.

Both of these ideas allow you to keep focused on what you do best!

Maybe that’s where letting loose of your control actually works to your advantage.

Knowing what you do best, and that which brings you the most satisfaction and financial gain should be where your focus lies. Everything else needs to be considered something that can be reassigned!

Your time is valuable, and the amount of it is the same for you ever week. 280 hours. Take away your sleep, relaxation and work hours… What do you have left?

If your tasks overwhelm you, what are you willing to give up for the sake of completing everything on your plate? That is why you should consider what you need to let loose of in your life. What is it?


Guest Postings

Welcome to my world!

GuestsI have been writing blog posts for over 5 years now. It has been a learning process. Some weeks the words just flow, but in the beginning it was hard to see purpose for writing, after all, most of the writing at the time were school papers, pages and pages of documented and cited words.

In fact, my final Masters exit interview was providing all of my papers to the Doctor who was over the program. Not just my instructor, but someone who would evaluate my writing and for all I knew he could keep me from graduating!

So, when it came to blogging I did not want to simply write, I wanted to say something of value. Something that came from my heart and my incredible brain! I have a brother who is an excellent author and speaker, and my son and daughter who are great story tellers and authors.

Here I am, somewhere in between great talent, but wanting to share to who ever… well, to who ever might find a few moments to read. I am continually surprised when my stats show people around the world tagging into a post, and it looks like they occasionally return to read again. In fact, several of the countries have names that I do not even recognize!

In my world I come across people who have great thoughts and hear them occasionally at church, at the dinner table, and over the miles through the phone and email. Several of them have given me thoughts for past postings and without naming names I always noted when the words I write find roots elsewhere than my own mind. My cousin in Texas, Lyn, has given me some really great insights and thinking points for a number of my blogs.

This past week I thought about giving a voice in my blog and offered it to someone who has given some great thoughts at church. An email arrived yesterday with a beautiful thought and I will post his written words in a few days.

To my friends across the nation, send me a thought, a devotion, a challenge – and I will write and post your thought in my blog and let you be my guest blogger!

Blessings all!

Self Controlling

We have all been around controllers!

Air Traffic ControllerNitpickers. Micro-managers. Controllers of everything around them. Generally, not a fun person to be around.

Of course, there are some controllers that are good for all of us. Air Traffic Controllers are very important to our safety!

Still, it’s the personality of the role of a controller that we struggle with. Just ask any teenager!

But there is an aspect of controlling that we need to be aware of:

Self Control –  restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires

Without self control we are generally loose cannons. In olden times, cannons on a sailing ship where corralled at a shooting port. If it ever slipped its moorings then it was a dangerous rolling weapon of mass destruction. A loose cannon.

Wise Solomon even taught we need to exhibit self control, which is strange because it seems he was out of control on some aspects of his life!

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
(Proverbs 25:28 ESV)

When you lose control you open yourself up to destruction. There is a chink in your armor. Influences outside of your control invade your domain and wreck havoc with your image, power, personality, and emotions.

Yet the opposite personality has an equal number of issues. A controller is often brash and rejected by others. I worked for a man who never saw this personality quirk in himself, yet all of us who were direct reports felt the lash of his controlling attitude. It brought out the worse in us, and I could tell you stories about this!

There must be a balance. You cannot control everything around you, but you can be in control of self!

The Apostle Peter mentioned self control one time, but the Apostle Paul references it twelve times in six different epistles! Must have been important to the early church.

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. (2 Peter 1:5-9 ESV)

Notice his challenge: Make Every Effort! Self control, along with faith, virtue, knowledge, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love. Self Control is important!

The Apostle Paul continually told the church in Corinth, Galatia and Thessalonia – Practice Self Control! He preached the same message to his protege, Timothy. In fact, to Timothy he says it is a God given spirit of “self control” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Here’s a key. I speak from personal knowledge, and I do mean personal! You cannot be in control of self without having tools to help you learn control, and some measurement to determine if self control is working. I am a pack rat, and a collector of all things that make no sense. Over the years I have not wanted to get rid of things that may mean something later on. From coffee mugs, to key chains, and even maps, I collect things that mean something for a time.

Coffee mugs often showed where I traveled, key chains because they were often free, and maps show me where I would love to travel to!

I unloaded my enormous coffee mugs some years back, and kept unique ones. Key chains are in the process of going out the window. But maps will probably be with me for a while!

What I have learned is that my personality throws every effort into something when I decide to get involved. From learning to fly, or completing my college degrees – I jump in with both feet and get completely wet!

It’s an all or nothing approach. At the age of 19, I married my bride and for nearly 41 years we have enjoyed being best friends. This will never change, even though friends come and go.

I think the resulting measurement is the amount of clutter you have around. Not in the hoarding sense, but more in the control of space.

One last thought. I read an article of a family who lived and traveled the world by sail boat. With all the ports of life, and the limited space available, a conscious decision was made to never add anything to their boat without something being taken away. This saved them from clutter, and from spending money just to have a souvenir. Hmmm….


First: Control is the Key

How Many Rainbows Do You Need?

Four Rainbos by Amanda Curtis - Long Island NY
Four Rainbows, Amanda Curtis, Long Island, NY

We often think of the Pot of Gold found at the end of the Rainbow.

Yet, I have seen the foot of a rainbow between me and my neighbors house, and there was no pot. No gold. No riches. No wealth.

You do not “luck” into a pot of God. Very few people accidentally find Wealth. There was a couple in California that found a stash of gold coins on their property that was there for a long time, but this is an unusual event. (Click Here to read story.

Still, we keep looking and searching and hoping.

I wonder, if we were to put the same effort into hard work to make wealth – what would our results be?

Think about Benjamin Franklin who said, “Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” and this is basically a re-quote from William Lowndes (1652-1724), a former Secretary to the Treasury of Great Britain, who said, “Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves.”

Watching the little things in life and managing them well, will probably help you manage the large things.

I am finding that there are some secrets to being successful in this venture, and some of these secrets require great discipline to accomplish.

Over the next few blog posts I want to share with you the various secrets I am working through in order to properly organize my world. They will not be new, nor will they be in an order that is critical, but they are helping me find control and organization.

Some of your “issues” may be similar to mine. I deal with organization, control, clutter, distractions, documentation, collecting…. Just to name a few. Letting loose of some things, but hanging on to others. Finding what’s important and managing life around me so that those important things get ordered properly.

Bishop Franklin Jones was often heard repeating a mantra that I hear in my head often: “Keep the main thing, the main thing.” There is a bedrock of truth here that we often allow our cluttered lives to camouflage. We hear it. We know it. Yet, it is lost in the backdrop of a busy life.

Colin Powell says, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

So, hope you stay tuned for the next few days….


ReHash, ReHearse

One More Time…Again…

AgainBoth Rehash and Rehearse have similar meanings but are really two different words.

Rehash, either as a verb or a noun, essentially has the connotation of reworking old material to be used again and has it roots in dealing with literary applications. Hmmm…. Written material being reworked and reused.

Rehearsal can also be a verb or a noun, but relates to going over something again as in preparation for future use. It’s etymology comes from an old French word describing a harrow or a rake dragging over the ground. “Re” simply says to do it again. Over, and over, until it’s ready for future use. Hmmm… It’s actually a farming phrase…

Yet both have the concept of redoing something again. Either from thinking about something old and possibly reusing it for the future, or from going over something again and again until it is prepared for the future.

Why do we rehash and rehearse?

Rehash is taking something old and making it different than before, and then using it perhaps over and over in newer forms until it is all used up. In one way it’s like taking left overs from a meal and reusing them over and over in future meals until there is nothing left to use.

Rehearse is practicing something over and again until you feel like it’s ready to be used a final time. Getting it right is the reason for rehearsing.

Different words. Different uses. Different outcomes. Use it up, or get it right to be used.

I read a quote of Michael Jordan this morning.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Notice. His statistics are focusing upon being “in the game” and not the thousands upon thousands of practice shots from the first time he ever picked up the ball. Sometimes, in your “production” of life, all  the hours and years of practice still do not produce the results you are trained for.

Tiger Woods took a leave from the game of golf this past February. He is far from his prime, but his game was not as perfect as it had been in prior years. Many reasons, but the one thing I took note of this past week was a comment from a golf analyst who could tell the difference of the way Tiger played his game at the Masters. He was playing different than before. New body movements. New clubs. And a return to a style of playing of earlier and more successful seasons.

I think about this as I rethink this past weekend. What could I have done to have better results? How do I “rehearse” for better results next week?

We all know of Einstein’s famous quote: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

When your results are sub-par, you do not repeat the same pattern or plan as you move forward. You do not get into the next “game” and expect different results if you did not improve your rehearsal of your plan to produce.

You know that old joke: “Pete and Repeat were sitting on a fence. Pete fell off who was left? Repeat.” Then you keep saying it over and over again until the answer is different, right? Well, the answer never changes if you never make a change to the joke.

A quote from the weekend sort of sums up my plan for the future:
“I asked @JohnCMaxwell what he learned from SUCCESS. He said, “Not as much as from failure.” ~via Dan Rockwell

What Do These Stones Mean?

Those of us who have been around for a while….

…Remember Zig Ziglar from his positive approach to life, leadership, and commitment to a better way of living. Some of his books and audio files are in my library. His way of speaking is something I remember from auditoriums where he is presenting his message, and I sit enthralled at his style and delivery.

His son, Tom, is following in his footsteps and posts regular messages from his dad’s archive.

Ziglar - 001This morning, Tom sent out this tweet, and it simply grabbed me and made me think about the validity of the foundation we are building on. Honesty. Character. Integrity. Faith. Love. Loyalty. Each one a valuable commodity to spend generously everywhere we go, and in everything we do.

IMG_6228Again, I think about the foundation to the temple in Jerusalem, and the strength those long and massive beams portray to those of us walking beneath the Western Wall. Not just the blocks seen above ground, but those buried deep to the bedrock, giving strength and stability to the generation of stacked blocks above.

I think about my fore-bearers who have laid foundation to country, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I think about God who built the foundation of all life and the building blocks that are so minuscule you need special equipment just to know that DNA exists, and I am sure there is more there that we just have not yet found.

Jordan River
Jordan River

Then my mind roamed to the story of Israel finally leaving the wilderness and entering into the promised land. As they crossed the Jordan River,

“Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, …. ” ~(Joshua 4:4-7 KJV)

Then ye shall answer them.… Stones we build our lives upon require an answer as to their meaning. Without teaching and training we do not simply “know” the definitions of such words.

Honesty. Character. Integrity. Faith. Love. Loyalty.

These never come into question, when we learn them, use them, live them before everyone, and then teach them to the next generation that follows. Because, our children will ask…. And we better have a good answer!



A strange word, hiatus.

2015-04-16 13.47.09It’s first known use is about 1563, but it comes from the Latin hiare which means, strangely, “to yawn”…. It is used to indicate a break or a gap in some regularly paced object, or an interruption as in timing. Thinking of it like this, then I guess a yawn is a break in our regular breathing schedule!

Guess it works…

Still, it’s been a few days since I’ve written a blog post. Guess the writing has been on hiatus. Why? It’s been a rough few days of dealing with bronchial issues. Not that I need my breathing apparatus to be working properly in order to write, but the issues have messed with my sleeping habits. Sleep for an hour or so, and then wake for an hour or so, and this went on for several 24 hours periods of time!

The real problem with my hiatus is that my schedule was disrupted. I normally write in the early morning hours before the day gets away from me. It’s part of my morning routine that includes thinking about the world around me, some private scripture and prayer time, and then writing to include some spiritual application. My writing may not always pose a spiritual thought, but deep down inside it’s there.

So, sickness is at bay. Rebounding in action. Writing here I come.