Defining Success

How you define success is critically important. 

Focus on things within your control, not circumstances over which you have none. 

Winning, for example, is something you have little control over. Other competitors and external factors could derail your chances. 

You’ll be crushed if things don’t pan out. Worse still, you won’t reach your full potential. You’ll be focused on beating the next guy’s potential instead of your own. 

Doing your absolute best, however, is fully within your control. You can do something about it. 

Define success in these terms. Define it by your level of effort instead of a scoreboard.

Of course, effort means nothing if you haven’t prepared. 

Make giving full effort to preparation part of your definition of success.

Redefine success to mean giving maximum effort every day to everything in your life—family, friends, work, training, helping others, etc.  

Do this and you’ll walk away a winner no matter what the scoreboard says. 

Today's Enemy And Tomorrow's Friend

While reading books, blog posts and trying to learn in general, one comes across sentences and ideas that bear particular relevance to the present. This can be remarkably stunning when the persons involved are long dead. What’s captured in those moments is the essence of human nature. That collection of values and principles hard wired into our very souls. 

Respect is one of the many shared and treasured values of mankind. You find it in every culture and people group throughout history. Respect for one’s elders. Respect for one’s family. Respect for one’s self. Respect even for one’s enemies.  

“From Cyrus through Alexander,” Steven Pressfield said, “to the Greeks and Romans and on down to Rommel and the Afrika Korps, today’s enemy was considered tomorrow’s potential friend—and thus granted his full humanity.” 

Said another way, today’s enemy should be seen a likely friend tomorrow—and treated with both dignity and respect.

How do we measure up? Are we succeeding in treating our enemies respectfully? 

It seems we are far too quick to demonize and dehumanize our rivals. 

How can we unite, work together and be friends again after such brutal attacks? 

Who wins if everyone only serves to ratchet things up in a never ending game of one-ups-manship?

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves a blind and slobbery world in the end.

I’m for ratcheting things down, lowering the temperature and introducing respect back into the conversation. 

Because the other game isn’t one we should be playing in the first place. 

It requires discipline to hold your tongue and to listen instead of speaking. It takes discipline to control your emotions and respond instead of react. 

Engage discipline. Bring it to bear on your conversations with your enemy. In the end, it might save more than your neck. It might just save your country as well. 
 

5 Ways We Want to Improve Our Marriage in 2017

The road to personal growth isn’t one you walk alone. It requires the company of others willing to both encourage and call you out when needed. Sadly, few relationships grow into something this deep and real. Most are content to swim on the surface, lacking the courage to take a deep breath and plunge into the depths of what’s really going on.

True friends like this are in short supply. When you find one, hang onto it with all you’ve got. Nourish it, water it and most of all thank God for it. Real, true, deep friendships are some of His greatest blessings. These are the people you can call no matter the hour, who will help you carry life’s burdens no matter how heavy and who’ll celebrate victories with you no matter how small.

Friends are as equally valuable to your craft as they are to your personal life. We need people to lock arms and run with. People to tell us our work is horrible and help us fix it. People who understand what we’re trying to do and help us get there.

Scott Kedersha has been this type of friend. His willingness to jump into this great writing adventure with me has been a gift. Scott has challenged me, pointed me towards great resources, and made me want to be a better writer. Each time I sit at the keyboard his voice fills the back of my mind, encouraging me to hit the keys until something comes out.

I have the opportunity to have written a guest post for his blog today. In it I discuss 5 ways Hannah and I want to improve our marriage this year. If we’ve learned anything in our almost 5 years of marriage, it’s that you have to work hard to have a good marriage. They don’t just happen. You have to put in the time, be intentional and pray like crazy.

Please go check it out on ScottKedersha.com

I’d love to hear a few ways you’d like to improve your marriage this year as well. Share them in the comments below.