Plenty of research shows that curiosity and learning have health and social benefits throughout your lifetime. Learning is not isolated to age groups,educational institutions, classrooms and libraries.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Our economy has shifted from an agricultural economy, to an industrial economy to an ideas-driven economy. Great business guru, Peter Drucker, calls our generation the “knowledge economy”. Since most of us are visual learners and will spark our curiosity by learning something new through a visual medium; TED Talks are an outstanding resource for business and personal growth.
Curiosity sparks ideas! Ideas worth spreading – that’s the slogan for the TED Conference – one of the world’s most admired conferences. TED (Technology, Education, and Design) ideas are the currency of the modern knowledge worker. TED’s free 18-minute online TED Talks have over one billion views.
Are there inefficiencies in life that frustrate you? How do you feel when you are waiting in the drive through for your morning coffee? Some people and situations make us think about productivity, primarily when it causes any inconvenience to us and when we think there must be a better way! Productive doesn’t always translate to effective and when we think about our lives, it makes the tension between these two measures even more compelling. How do I spend my time for the greatest effectiveness? I often struggle with using my time productively and effectively.
We all want our life to count but in this day of information overload it’s easy to get distracted. Emails and texts constantly fill my phone. Blogs need to be read. One web search leads to another, leading to lots of wasted time. We all suffer from CPA: continuous partial attention. So how do we get more of the right things done without confusing our activity for productivity and effectiveness?
God, through the apostle Paul, gives us the fundamental passage on time management.
In the movie Pay It Forward a fictional social studies teacher gives an assignment to his junior high class to think of an idea to change the world for the better. Then put it in action.
One student passionately contrives a plan of paying forward good deeds for 3 other people. Choose the people do the good deeds. The story unfolds his actions which not only affects the life of his struggling single mother, but also starts a wave of human kindness that grows into a national movement to change the world.
A feel good movie that stirs in everyone who watches it the good intentions to put the concept into practice. It’s exciting to think that a small act on our part can have big and far reaching impact. But for many that intention just fizzles – it gets parked along with the other “someday” to-dos. That’s how it used to be for me. But I’ve learned something.
When I look around at my generation and the next one to come, I see a culture surrounded with “isms”.
We live in a culture of destructive materialism, relativism, hedonism, individualism and consumerism. Surrounded by these seductive powerful influences, post school, we stop learning and growing to reach our full potential. We are lured into losing focus of things that matter.
Like taking responsibility for our leadership!
Take a moment and think about this reality. I was leading a business with many employees, subcontractors and customers – never having read any books or had training on leadership. We often don’t think of ourselves as leaders. Think again! If you’re a brother, sister, parent, friend, teacher, coach, employee or employer – YOU LEAD YOURSELF and the NEXT GENERATION!
I passed up a great opportunity in high school, when selected to participate in summer leadership camp, I said no. Teenage wisdom….after all a summer job in construction paid a lot of money! I had no idea the path ahead would be filled with leadership opportunities. Changing my thinking – changed my life.
Most people do not view themselves as leaders. If that’s you – then you should read The Traveler’s Gift. If you’re an employee, business owner, parent, teacher, or a stay-at-home Mom, you are leading others. Leadership is having influence on others. No matter what you do or who you are, you are a leader; a person of influence. Some say, we’ll influence over 10,000 people in our lifetime! To be a truly effective leader, you must first be able to lead yourself. Leadership develops from the inside out.
As a child, I dreamed of being an entrepreneur, of starting a business. At age 25, I began Land Ark Homes. It was a modest home building business that grew in 20 years to build over 350 luxury estate homes. I became a legitimate entrepreneur.
This is a shared dream, many of us want to be an entrepreneur and run our own businesses.
Throughout those 20 years I began focusing more on my strengths and passions and delegating responsibility to others with skills that complemented mine. Later, I was free to focus on what I did best and eventually find the work I love. With that came the responsibility of partners and employees. Ultimately, my job became serving people: the staff and our customers. This is one of the secrets to winning in business – being eager to serve.
Leaders lead by example. Remember the old saying, “more is caught than taught?” Well now is your time to shine and lead by example!
Often I find myself wondering how to respond to pictures of the poor on magazine covers. When I’m at the gym, watching one of five TV screens, I often see videos of the poor and I feel guilty. Why was I blessed to be born in such a wealthy country? What could I do to help? Then I’ll grab a bottle of fresh water, rehydrate myself and forget my good intentions.
Most of us take clean drinking water for granted, yet over 1 billion people in the world still lack access to clean, safe water. Children are weak and sick. There is a constant struggle to find the most basic of human needs. The lack of safe water worldwide is a crisis. It steals the lives of 5,500 people each day. More than war, natural disasters, AIDS or hunger. Much to our shame, this rarely makes headlines. It is today’s silent killer.
Stop right there! That’s the place where together we can make a big difference. There is a simple guilt-free solution!
We measure it, strive for it, endlessly compare ourselves to others’ and often it requires great sacrifice – but what is success anyway? Look up the definition and success is: “setting a goal and achieving it.” Sound reasonable? Well that’s true until one starts to think about what goals we should strive to achieve? Our world usually defines success in terms of money, fame, popularity, followers, etc. but let’s take a more alternative view of it.
Charles Stanley offers a great definition of success that I love in his book “Success God’s Way.” He defines success as “The continuing achievement of becoming the person God wants you to be and accomplishing the goals God has helped (or directed) you to set.” This is very different, almost counter intuitive, from society’s view.
This is your sneak peak! It’s my privilege to share with you some resources that I am assembling in an upcoming book. These are not just ordinary resources, they are game and life changers! They changed mine and I know they’ll change yours too.
As the former president of Land Ark Homes in west-end Ottawa, my career was in the home building industry. I worked hard and God blessed the work of my hands. This new venture is my new passion. No more building homes! I want to “build” people by sharing what I have learned in over 22 years of running my own very successful business. It is my goal to help improve and change the way you think on many levels. I’m going to share valuable resources and experiences that have significantly impacted my life and led to my company’s success. I’d like to share with you other things that I wish someone had shared with me earlier in my life. I now write, speak and consult part-time as my wife and three sons cheer me on in this exciting new adventure.
Why a blog??
- It is a great way to inform people about resources. Since my number one strength (from StrengthFinder 2.0 – more on that in a later blog) is LEARNER there are many resources I have used to gain specialized information that I hope to share with others.
- It provides a mechanism for feedback. At the bottom of this blog you can join the conversation. You can post using your real name or anonymously if you like and everyone can have their say!
- It provides an archive of resources. Topics that interest you may have other resources you wish to explore further. You can catch up if you miss an entry and search specific areas of interest as the need arises.
- It is free. Unlike buying a book this medium of delivery doesn’t cost you a cent. New posts will come out every Friday. You are free to investigate further the ones that pique your interest.
- It’s easy to share. Many times we read something and want to share it with others but don’t always get around to forwarding them the book title or buying them the book. Months go by or even years before we see the person again and we forget why the book or resource might have been useful to them. This blog can be shared at the click of a button.
- It’s easy to remember: Resource Freak. Dave Ramsey, EntreLeadership podcast is my inspiration for the name. In it Dave talked about all the young people in the company listening to Leadership Freak. They interviewed Dan Rockwell, the Leadership Freak who blogs about helping leaders in 300 words or less. I aim to do the same… okay maybe 500 words or less.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Attitude: Think about where you wish to have a change in your thinking.
Action: Decide to read this blog and share it with others if you find it useful.