757 – Even an Inch

This post is a day late, but that’s ok. I’m not writing to meet deadlines or increase subscriber count or anything like that. In fact, posting here is more of an exercise in making myself look back and see if I could learn a lesson from what happened during the day.

So…what happened yesterday that I can learn from?

Even an inch of progress is progress. Since I am not competing with anyone, even an inch of progress is progress.

With everything that happened…relationships took the focus of practically everything and all other areas – even an inch forward is still forward.

756 – Confirmation

I am doing this post in the early morning (about 4:30 am) of the day after. Was just too wiped out last night to make the post on schedule. And for some reason or other, just snapped awake just a few minutes ago. Soon as I make this post, I’ll be doing some heavy duty praying…I have a feeling my Abba Father has something important to tell me.

And that will be just like yesterday, when He told me something loud and clear, in the tiniest of whispers.

I have been filling in at my church, handling a certain job on  temporary basis, and part of the job includes an element of being a pastor. I have sensed God calling to the pastorate for  long, long time. But part of the process includes seeking confirmation of the call through everyday life experiences. Or, being put in a position to actually do it and doing it relatively well.

So that happened last night. I am both shy and introverted (yes, a potent combination) and tend to stay to myself a little more than most people. I will usually wait to engage until you engage me first. Otherwise, I don’t really want to impose myself on you.

But last night before worship practice started, without even realizing what I had done, I sat down next to someone on our worship team and engaged her in conversation. That turned out to be exactly what she needed in the moment and we had a very deep conversation in only a few minutes. Then we were able to pray together and later, make music together.

When it was all said and done, it was just another in a long string of confirming incidents that are all telling me I am doing the right thing to pursue a position as a pastor.

755 – Raising the Average

In the past, I held the belief that my personal success depended on constantly excelling, constantly raising my level of performance, and most importantly never having a step backward.

But that is simply not life. In real life, I have learned the hard way, I will make mistakes. I will not always excel. Sometimes my performance will simply not measure up. Sometimes I will have not just one, but two or ever three steps backward. If not more.

However, I have also learned the hard way the most reliable way to make progress and achieve my own vision of success is to raise the average. For example, if I average 5 miles in a 20-minute exercise bike ride, then my goal for next week is to average 5.5 miles.

Some people teach the idea of quantum leaps in performance and I say “Awesome for you!” If that approach works for you, then by all means continue to make the most of it.

In my current life situation, however, I am finding it more reliable and consistent to simply raise the average. This way, in the course of a year, I will have made those same quantum leaps – doubling my exercise output or doubling my savings account balance or something similar.

As I approach my next birthday in just over two weeks, I am setting a number of goals in which this approach will be invaluable. If you are interested in following that journey, go to My 49th Orbit beginning on September 5th.

Thanks for raising my average.

754 – Another Day, Another Dollar

Today was just one of those days in which I managed to drag out of bed, get going for the day and then…

…And then, it’s just one of those days where you do what you’re supposed to do, handle what you’re supposed to handle, deal with a little challenge here and there. Nothing spectacular but also nothing too bad. If I were to try and describe it, I would say “average”.

Fact is, there is nothing at all wrong with having one of those “just another day, another dollar” kind of days. Even when you’re engaged in world-changing activities or doing everything you can to chase your dreams. Even when you’re working on making a name for yourself.

We all tend to think that crossing the finish line is the most important thing. But it’s not.

And if we think about it a little, the starting line is pretty important. Without starting, there is no finishing.

But if we think about it a lot, we start to realize that the most important steps are the many between starting and finishing. Those are absolutely critical to your success in whatever you are trying to accomplish.

So, join me in celebrating the awesome fact that it was just another day, another dollar!

753 – Will and Way

It is just a few minutes past midnight as I start to write this. I have just finished homework for the day, investing my energy and time in preparation to be a pastor of some sort. I would love to say it was easy-breezy to stay up this late in order to do my assignments and do them in a high-quality way. But it was not, by any means, easy. In fact, it is the 17th consecutive night of doing this since my current class started.

Why? Because I have the will to finish this class and to do so with excellence. And I have the will to do so while living my life…busy though it is.

It’s just the latest example of this same idea. While I agree that the old saying “where there’s a will, there’s a way” might be pretty trite and overused by now, it still holds a mighty truth: If you refuse to give up on your goal, you SHALL find a way to accomplish it.

Did not want to get out of bed this morning…but have the will to improve my health. So I found a way to get it done. The list of how this played out today is much longer, but that is not the important part. The main idea is the main idea for this one.

752 – Small Steps, Giant Leaps

One of my favorite video clips is from the moment when Neil Armstrong climbed down out of the Apollo XI lunar module and put the first human footprints into the lunar surface. As Neil said, it was “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

And whether we realize it or not, very often our personal growth happens in much the same way. In the moment, something might appear to be a very small step. But a year from now, we look back and realize just how giant that leap really was. In fact, that one small step might be the true turning point – the first in a series of choices that leads you to the end result you wanted. To paraphrase Confucius, without that small step, your 1000-mile journey won’t happen. Ever.

And let’s be honest with ourselves, it doesn’t really matter if that small step is the first or the last. Without it, the journey is not complete, the goal is not achieved.

Today, I took another couple of small steps that will likely turn out to be giant leaps in the grand scheme of my life. I got out of bed…more like dragged myself out of bed…and did a short high-intensity interval bike ride. Then I signed up for a daily email that will help me read the Bible in chronological order over the course of a year. And later in the day I invested in the Jim Rohn One-Year Success Plan (find this at SuccessAcademy.com). This will give me a structured program in which I will be able to drip Jim Rohn’s incredibly effective life philosophy into my brain over the course of the next 12 months. Those will be small steps. And they’ll be giant leaps.

I also invested time in homework reading, reaching out to people to let them know I am grateful for them, making contact with someone who really needed to know someone cared, and handled a few things at work that will make a substantial difference in how we are perceived by our customer.

Small steps in the moment. Giant leaps in the big picture.

Be blessed.

751 – Making the Effort

I have to admit, while I am under so many responsibilities (work, council, school, worship team, family, etc.) I am currently living on 4 – 5 hours sleep most nights. Last night was no exception.

So, it was very tough to get out of bed this morning. In fact, it took three alarms and an insistent spouse before I got up to start the day. But once I did, a quick minute to remind myself of the few things I want to accomplish over the next several weeks leading up to my birthday, and I was ready to get going.

So, by reminding myself of the results I want, I was able to get myself to make the effort to ride my exercise bike. After that, I was able to get myself to make the effort to make a good breakfast and not just settle for anything. After that, I was able to get myself to make the effort to choose good mental input and good spiritual food in the form of praying and listening to worship music.

And now, I am making the effort to reflect on the day and recognize the lessons to be learned and the successes I had. Biggest win: making the effort. In every single case in which I did not want to make the effort, making the effort was the right choice. And every single time, it felt great.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll make the effort to remember how good it felt to make the effort today.

Halfway Point

So after doing this site for 750 of my 1,500 days, it is obvious I have not been very consistent with making daily entries. There are reasons for it and there are also excuses. And I will share none of those because they are not the important part. The past has passed and there is nothing to be done about it, except to learn from it.

I have revised my list of things I want to be, do or have…this is something I do periodically. Typically, I time this for my birthday, but I’m a little ahead of the curve because of the halfway point coming up like it has.

Some of these are already in works, albeit somewhat under the radar. But that is just the nature of the beast with these things. And others I have not even started, or I cannot start until a previous thing is completed.

Looking forward to tracking daily progress again, assuming I am not sent somewhere for work, where my internet connectivity is virtually non-existent. Otherwise, if I am home, I will try to do a much better job of tracking my progress as well as lessons learned.

533rd Forward Step

Today, I got up early to work on the first few assignments for my class. Then I did my 40 Days of Purpose reading.

I also read from my NKJV Chronological Study Bible toward the end of the day.

In the morning, I rode the recumbent bike, doing 3.42 miles on a tabata ride.

I worked on a couple of assignments for school and did some visioning for my possible position as Worship Pastor (plowing the field while praying for rain).

531st and 532nd Forward Steps

For both of these days, I read my 40 Days of Purpose daily portion and also read from my NKJV Chronological Study Bible.

In addition, I started some of the work I need to do for my class that starts Monday and did some additional reading.

There were some other little pieces of progress related to getting ready to play for the weekend and some relationship moves.